Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The Life Lessons we Learn from the Run

Today was my hardest and fastest workout in a long long time.  Maybe in almost a year.  Definitely in this training plan.  Towards the end of my ten 1000m repeats, I could see that I underestimated the time it would take to finish the workout.
The 10:35 kinder pick-up time was quickly approaching,
Was quickly FADING.
I wanted to quit.
My son was ready for mommy time,
     and I knew I needed to hurry or I'd be late to get my daughter from school.
I ended the last 1k at only 400m.

But as I started to get off my treadmill, I hated the feeling that came with quitting because it was hard.
I hated the feeling of walking away from something because I just didn't want to push myself.
So I stepped back on the treadmill
       and finished.
Stronger than planned.
More Determined.
Knowing that finishing would feel so much better than quitting.
And It DID.

I'm so glad I finished today. So glad I got back on that treadmill and did the rest of the repeat even though I was exhausted. I KNOW that workouts like today carry over to my life. When my life goals get blurry and hard and seem as if I can't finish something or make something happen, I will remember workouts like today that tell me there is more in there than I think.  It's up to me to dig deeper.

There are so many lessons we gain from our runs...the slow and steady ones, the challenging ones that leave us feeling as if we can't push another step but do, the ones we drag ourselves out of bed for, and the ones that we take PURE PLEASURE in. And the ones we really do skip because we know what is best for us and how to listen to our inner voices that tell us what we need the most.

Some of the lessons I've learned from my training:  

The hard workouts like today that we push through even when we want to quit teach us that we have more inside of us than we think we do.

The runs we go on where we are filled with so much joy and love at doing something we feel made to do...where we come back feeling refreshed, energized and inspired....These runs teach us to be true to our passions and in making time for what makes our souls sing.

The long runs where we keep going at a steady pace all the way to the end teach us about endurance. They teach us to keep putting one foot in front of the other.  To keep working towards our dreams and goal.  To keep making our way through life.  They teach us about the satisfaction that comes from reaching the end of a long process and not stopping.

The runs we have with friends where we talk and laugh and just enjoy the companionship of another runner teach us about the value of having friends that share common interests.  They teach us about the treasure of play and friendship within our sport...within our daily lives. They teach us the value of surrounding ourselves with people that uplift and encourage us.

The very EASY or RECOVERY runs teach us the necessity  of slowing down in life.  They teach us of the value in stepping back a bit and not always having to be pushing ourselves and making BIG things happen.  The value of just being content with being present and with the day as it comes.  

The REST days teach us the value of being STILL in life.  They show us the truth in just wrapping ourselves up where we are at and just being where we are at.  Just resting and replenishing. Taking time for us to do what recharges us so we have more to give later.

I could think of so many lessons I gain from my running.  So many things I take from my training and carry over to my LIFE.

What are some things you've learned about yourself or life through running/training for something?



  1. I love this. Running does indeed teach us so much about ourselves. It's taught me to look past doubt because I have accomplished runs I never thought possible and that lesson translates to life in many ways.

  2. Holy cow this was a fantastic post. And so true!
    some of the things I've learned (out of so, so many) That I'm capable of much more than I ever thought... That I must take days off.... And the value of the easy run, especially after a challenging workout....

  3. Loved this post! So true, all of these examples. Good for you for finishing up yesterday--makes all the difference in how you feel about that run.

    And it's funny, I just wrote about how I had to rush back home at the tail end of my tempo yesterday...and then went back out 15 minutes later to squeeze in the cooldown. Whatever it takes, huh?

  4. Ah! This is great Amanda!!! Love how you tied this together. I should/I will print this out and keep it right next to my training schedule to read before I head out for each run:) SO true.

    I hope you're feeling amazing after that workout. 10X1K is a big one!!! I was thinking about you today and wondering if you were running!! Kudos to you for toughing it out. I know that feeling of being DONE and just letting yourself off the hook....and then in a split second choosing to fight through it and finish strong! SPENT but so very very satisfied!! Damn, nothing better than that! Great mental workout in taper here too as well as a great physical one:) Hope you reward yourself tonight! XO

  5. Such a great post!! The biggest thing I've gotten out of running is that it is a perfect metaphor for life. We have good runs, bad ones, and those ones we feel we never recover from, but we do. Just as in any other life experience, running is no perfect-if we figure this out-we start to get life.

    That may have made no sense at all, but I tried! GReat workout BTW!!

  6. Ha! I needed this post Amanda. I SO recognise this. The feelings of accomplishment, and also the feelings of struggle, failure, joy - running is a real metaphor for life for me.

  7. Post of the month award goes to this post!! Everything is so true. One thing I love about endurance sports is going from "there is NO way I can do (insert race, mileage, hill, distance) to smiling as they place a finisher medal around my head for (insert race, mileage, hill, distance)

  8. That is a crazy hard workout! Running is the greatest metaphor for life. You put the words together so beautifully.

  9. Oh this is a great post!! It needs to be in Women's Running or Runner's World- seriously! I can relate to EVERY single one of these runs. Today is a forced rest day. It took a lot of self talk to come to the conclusion that I need to rest. I might do an easy 3 later but I have two harder runs tomorrow and Saturday and I am trying to fight off some potential foot injury so I made myself stay in bed this morning when every part of me wanted to lace up and run!

    GREAT job for finishing a TOUGH workout. It is so hard making yourself push through but you did it and as much as this workout helped you physically it also helped you mentally too!

  10. I understand everything you wrote in this post! One of my greatest lessons I've learned from running is that I need to appreciate that it is time for ME. It is a moment in the day where I need to give myself something. Whether it is a training run or a relaxing run", it is time for me. I love my kiddo, she will always need me, but I need to also take care of this body too. It has taught me to love the "ME". :) Have a great Valentine's Day!

  11. Great job finishing it! Sometimes it is so hard with scheduling and everything else. But, like you, I regret it too when I cut things short. Way to go, Amanda.