1. Tough it out. Dory in Finding Nemo said it best, “Just Keep Swimming”…. I suppose that’s more apt for triathlon tips, however the theory is the same. Keep Going. Some days are going to be really, really, really discouraging and hard.
2. Be consistent. I’ve been accused in the past of not “rolling with it”. When things need to get done, I don’t want to do it later. In this case consistency pays off, so I’ve learned to balance my consistency running with my desire to get everything done right now. I know it will pay off in the end and I’ll be a better person for it.
3. Prioritize. No one has time. It’s a priority so find it, make it. I’ve trained at 4:30 am and 10:00 pm. When running becomes a priority, when you admit consistency is a key to success, you get it done. Enough said.
4. Endorphin’s. Bliss, heaven, utopia, euphoria, runners high, love of life, superman complex. Run miles to feel them. You won’t regret it.
5. Set goals. Write them down and say them to other people out loud. Make them real. Then realize it will take a lot of work. It will be worth it. I promise. Even if you don’t hit them the first time. Give yourself something to strive for. Then remember it’s the journey and not only the destination.
6. Don’t play the mental game. You are your own worst enemy. And your own worst critic. No matter what, you’re off the couch. Embrace it and squash the demons. They suck.
7. Bond. I’ve been alone at races. Didn’t know a soul but there always seems to be someone in the port a potty line or at the finish line that will hug you anyway. There is an intense, intimate bond between runners. Some of my closest friends have come from random hugs at the end of a race. Between meeting new people and maintaining the bond with the ones you already know, embrace the relationships you have. At Running with the Bears we are very glad you’re here. Hugs are waiting.
8. Snot rocket, spit and pee in a bush. Learn how to do them all and instead of being grossed out by it, learn to rock it. Embrace it. Love the runner in you. Once after a long run and an uninhibited snot rocket a man approached me and said he wanted to marry a woman just like me. I was tired, dirty, sweaty and had snot on my face. Own it. And marry the person that looks at you and feels that way.
9. Travel. I’ve seen some pretty neat places and met some very wonderful people via destination races. I don’t get the chance to travel far or often, however putting an event on the calendar that’s even a couple hours away is an inexpensive excuse for a healthy getaway where I know I’ll make new friends.