In my mind, I happily converted every word the author wrote into a running-related example. Here's my list, partially-plagiarized and tweaked.
1. You will find out how truly out of shape you are. I can clearly remember the beginning of my running days, and how difficult it was to run a full mile...the first few times out, I barely held a "running" pace for a minute before I needed a walk break. Here I was wearing small sizes and thinking I was probably fitter than my friends...and then running humbled me. Running has taught me to never judge others by how they look, because that dude with 30 years and 50 pounds on you may just be able to smoke you in a race.
2. You will realize how fat you and other regular people are compared to real athletes. Even training for a marathon, I avoid calipers like crazy. When I happen to see an honest-to-goodness athlete in the gym (or at a race) and they're 50 years old, toned up, slimmed down, and everything I want to be...Well, yeah. I'm definitely no elite athlete. And that's not to say that normal people are "fat", but elite athletes are seriously in a class of their own!
|Keep your dignity intact and avoid these like the plague.|
- Race pace
4. Your friends and family will start Googling [running] and giving you warnings. If I hear one more person rant on how my knees are going to give out, or how marathoners drop dead at the finish line all the time, I may explode. Recent studies show that runners' knees and joints are actually healthy and strong, and few people die from over-exertion in running unless they have a health condition. It happens; it's tragic; it's rare. Isn't it ironic how the ones giving you the advice are always the worst of the couch potatoes?
5. You will get insanely good at counting. Figuring out your pace for beating a PR, your tempo pace, interval times, your race pace, your 800 pace, etc. takes a little mental math. Not to mention the last couple miles into a long run when you see "10.56" on your GPS and have to figure out how many miles left you have to hit your target of 13!
6. You'll begin to respect endurance and stamina. I mean...do I need to even comment on this? The farther I can run, the more respect and awe I have for those who have been running long distances since before I was even a runner. Every time I hit a milestone, I look up to see someone completing twice my distance. The ability to just keep going? That's truly amazing.
7. You will gain weight at first. Because suddenly you are rungry all. the. damn. time.
|Sad truth: there were tons more food pics on my phone than just these.|
9. You will learn about your mental weakness. You begin to realize, as you tack on mileage, that certain miles are harder than others. Jumping from 5 to 6 miles was tough, but 7 miles was a breeze. 9 miles was easy, but pushing to 10 - and seeing double digits - was mentally exhausting. Runners are notorious for superstition: the shoes we wear, the colors we race in, having our lucky headband, etc...these are crutches we create to combat perceived mental weakness. The best thing ever is breaking through it.
10. You will learn a lot about your mental toughness. Like I wrote in my guest post on Alyssa's blog See This Girl Run, you've got to just break down your mental barriers and learn to be mentally tough. Nike had it right all these years. Just do it. We are truly capable of doing so much more than we think we can; our minds give up long before our bodies do.
As Matt (my cousin, not my husband) pointed out, these things apply to any sport or exercise routine we undertake, especially if we stick with it long enough.
If you want an extra laugh, go read the comments on the original article. They're so negative - like most comments on things of that nature - and I just know that the negativity comes from a place of jealousy and bitterness. Nothing is stopping you, naysayers. Get out there and join in.
What would you add to this list?
What's the #1 "warning" you get about running from friends/family?