Running Tips From A Non-Runner Turned Semi-Runner

Probably 4 years ago (dang, 4 years…craziness!), I had the bright idea to go “run the floodwall” with my uncle. I nearly keeled over in my insane attempt to keep up with a man who had been running, and improving, for months while I had done a whole lot of, well, walking…maybe…probably more like nothing.
Today, I ran the length of that floodwall without stopping.

I wouldn’t, by no means, classify myself as a runner. I don’t have the desire to do more than a 5k and, while I enjoy running, anything more than the small challenges I set for myself (run this set time, or this set length) gets a bit overwhelming. As I was running today, my mind kept reviewing the series of events – no matter how distant from each other in time – that led me to this moment: running the floodwall.


I apologize for the awkward, mirror, pic. It was the only way to capture my post run essence.

Tip One: run because you want to. Don’t start just because you want to wear short-shorts again. Run because you’ve decided to.
Tip One-b: Define “run” as anything other than walking a snail’s pace. Once I got it through my head that running is defined by the runner and not what the running club or the runner that has trained for months ahead of you sees as running, I was fine. This is where being too competitive and over confident gave me fits for years and what prevented running from being fun.
Tip Two: Embrace the tight pants and short-shorts. When I started running, I was very…VERY…uncomfortable in anything other than the long basketball shorts I would don for any type of athletic activity. It was something my uncle said to his daughter that really turned my attitude around. She was worried about what some random person at Walmart might think of her in sweatpants, sans makeup. He just looked at her and said, what makes you think they are looking at you anyways – or something to that affect. That statement started me thinking, who would be looking?! More importantly, if I’m comfortable and happy, what do I care?! Plus, those short-shorts and tight pants are really comfortable to run in. After all, that is what they are designed for.
Tip Three: Have a plan. What I mean is, find what helps to keep you moving. For me, initially, I would set small goals for myself like run past two benches and then walk one. That evolved into using the Couch to 5k app. Now that I’m starting up again, I’ve swung back around to setting distance challenges for myself.
Final Tip: Let your mind run as well. If I start thinking about “the run,” I get worn down much quicker than if I just let my brain go. I have an overactive mind, meaning I think way too much about everything. When I run, I pop in my ear buds, turn on my Loyal Citizens of Zamunda playlist, and let my brain go. I’ll think about this blog, what I need to do for school, what I need to spend my paycheck on, my failings, my successes – all the things!! It’s a good release for me, and when I’m finished, I feel rested mentally. Let the run take you, and your mind, where you need to go.

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