But since I have started running again, after my 3 month break, I have learned some valuable life lessons. Each lesson is great for running, but can be translated into every-day life as well.
Today, I can tell you ~ It gets harder before it gets easier.
I was running the a couple weeks ago and one day, I noticed a pattern when I ran. A disturbing pattern. The pattern went something like this:
In that in the first mile I was feeling pretty good. I was energetic and my breathing is just right. I could even run halfway up that fairly big hill at the beginning.
In the second mile, I started to get tired, legs ached, breathing was not as comfortable. Thoughts of 'why am I doing this when I could be walking' started to creep in my head.
I started to walk for just a short walk, caught my breath and felt a little better, then I started running again, but soon those same thoughts were right back in my head. All through the second mile it was very difficult to keep the run up. I fought the urge to walk. Sometimes I lost the fight, and walked again, but when I started the run again, it wasn't smooth, it hurt, and I felt like I was lumbering along. I couldn't help but think 'well, just walking will still be a decent workout, and much easier'. I felt clumsy.
Each run, it got harder.....then it got easier! That thought got me through many a run. I knew it would be hard in the middle, but then it would get easier, and the run would end great.
But after 2 months, I couldn't help thinking, 'shouldn't I be getting better? Why couldn't I run the whole time?!' I was so frustrated I started to think all my work was for nothing.
But, about a week later, something had changed. I didn't have these mid-run bouts of walking. I got to mile 2 and kept running with little discomfort. I ran the full 3 plus miles, and even added some distance to the runs. I am now running 4 miles, and yes, no walk in the middle. Suddenly, the run got easier!
It seemed sudden, but really it was all the hard work I had put in to it, each week. It was hard, but I can now see the results. It is now 'easier'.
Life is the same way!
As it often happens in life as well, some days are good, some days not so much so. Sometimes, things are going along okay, good even. Then suddenly things are crap. Suddenly it's really difficult, and you question what the hell you are doing, or why suddenly it is crap. You want to give up. You want to stop running.
But I can tell you, after struggling through many a run, it gets harder before it gets easier. That is true in running, and that is true in life. Why? Because it takes the pain, heavy breathing, it takes getting through the difficult patch to get you really to how you should be going. You keep going, you get stronger, you figure it out!
It helps if you keep in mind to wear the right shoes, get enough sleep, and keep your form. These things help you get through the tough times, to the better times.
So keep going.
It does get harder - but then it gets easier.
(And wish me luck for the race on Saturday! There still is time to donate...it would be nice to have a little extra motivation.....click HERE.)