I started running four years ago when I was studying abroad in France and was rapidly gaining weight due to excessive eating of cheese and bread, that, mind you I don’t regret at all. Since I was in a foreign country, broke and the landscape was beyond beautiful, running was my solution, plus it was free of any gym fees; and ever since running is my go-to exercise whenever I feel I need to lose some weight.
Two years ago, after a particularly depressing episode and where I felt extremely fat, I started training for a half-marathon. Four months prior to the race I set up my training program through Nike+ and started, I was very strict about my training and stuck to it for three months, then, things at work got worse than I expected, and I was starting a side business so, only a month before the race, I quitted… There’s so much more to stay about this story, but I’ll leave it for another post.
Anyway, this week I start with my second training for a half marathon and my first half marathon in February 2018. This time I’m going through a rough patch at work and I feel a lot of things are out of my control, and the very few things that are in my control feel like a complete failure, now, this might or might not be true, but while I work on it, I figure out a good way to feel better about myself was an obtainable short-term goal, so here we are.
And before I keep going on and on about why I so much need this (guys, I really do) I want to enlist all the things that I’m going to do different this time, so at the end of my training I do go to the race.
- Be realistic. I choose a half-marathon because I’ve being running for 5 years, and I have already run 5k, 10k and 15k. Whatever goal you decide or set for yourself must be realistic and challenging at the same time, a half-marathon is that for me, but if you’re recently starting out running, you could probably finish the 21k but the chances that you get injured in the process are really high.
- Be flexible. I was very strict with my running schedule. I remember this one time I had to go to this dinner, and after wings and two beers, I went home and did the kilometers I was supposed to do that day. It was one of my worst races ever, all the time I felt the wings stuck in the middle of my throat. If you can’t, you can’t, be discipline but also understand that sometimes not going out for a run might be better.
- A hard day isn’t an excuse. There will be other times when a lot of shit has happened and, instead of embracing the fact that exercise leads to endorphins and therefore makes me feel better, I came home, ordered pizza and watched Netflix. Of the very, very few times I have run after a particularly hard day, I’ve found out I never regretted. So, every time I’m having another one of those days I’ll try to remember myself that exercise endorphins are better than whatever self-indulgent (and probably unhealthy) option I’m thinking of.
- Healthy eating is a must. Since I was running a lot, I pretty much ate whatever I wanted and still was losing weight, so I took that as a free pass to Taco land and Junk land. What I know now is that you must also eat something that gives you the correct fuel, I’m still working on my diet to follow for this training, but don’t doubt that I’m going to share it with you guys!
- This is important too. The reason I quitted my half-marathon the previous time was mainly because of the extreme workload I had at that time, and to put in other words I basically decided my goal wasn’t than important. This time I’m going to give the importance that it deserves, this is a goal and an accomplishment that I want to make, thus whenever something seemingly important comes I’ll have to decide if it’s a good reason to drop my personal goal, or if I might have to sacrifice this other ‘important thing’.
- Celebrate every week. Making the time and having the dedication to go out for a run when it’s cold, you’re tired or it’s raining is something worth celebrating. When they say that only a few people do it because it’s hard, they’re right, so if we are used to beat up ourselves (or is it only me?) for every miss training or every little misstep we take in life, we must also celebrate every training done right, and (reminder) this also should be an approach for your overall life.
- It’s isn’t only about running. Finally, the only thing I did in preparation for my half-marathon was running. I didn’t investigate about proper running shoes or the proper self-care needed, and I believe this made my training seem like a burden at times, instead of the journey of improvement it really was.
Well, all let you know guys how I’m doing! I’m in my first week, and we all know starting things is easy, so I’ll do an update when the races are harder and therefore my feeling of ‘I don’t want to run ever again’ starts to creep in. Wish me luck!
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