five things I learned as a runner

5 things I learned as a long-distance runner

Yes, I am a runner. No, I'm not crazy- I don't think.


The first thing that most people say when they find out I'm a runner is either "I hate running." Some people even say, "What?? You ran 10 miles today?? Are you crazy??" And to that I respond: maybe, who knows?

The truth is, I hated running at first too. It wasn't like I was a natural runner. I didn't just one day decide I wanted to be a runner and then the next day, I ran 20 miles. No, I started running with my mom in the fourth and fifth grade, and I absolutely hated it. My lungs burned and my legs hurt after one mile for weeks. But now, almost 13 years later, I still enjoy running, and I ran my first marathon last year. The following are the ten things that I learned through my journey as a long-distance runner.

1. Being a runner isn't easy, unless you are Forrest Gump.

I was by no means like Forrest Gump in which I started running one day, and then I never stopped. It took weeks, months, years, for me to feel like I could run more than 3-4 miles without passing out. As they say, practice makes perfect. Running taught me that if you persevere with something, then you will most likely be able to succeed in the end.

2. As a runner, sometimes you have your good days and other times you have your bad days.

Sometimes I feel like I could run mile after mile, and I would never get tired. These days my feet feel like they are running on air, and I feel fly free like a bird. Sometimes I feel tired after only a short run, my legs are heavy, and I don't want to take another step. Whenever I have bad days, I try to not beat myself up because sometimes your body and mind just need a break. No need in pushing yourself too hard. You got to give yourself a break from time to time.

3. Running taught me the importance of getting over the hard stuff in life. 

Let's face it. Life is hard, and it is easy to get a rut. When things go badly or not the way we planned, it is easy to become frustrated. During my years of running, I have gotten injured twice, and both times, it took a long time to recover, and I felt angry, hopeless, and frustrated. It didn't seem fair, and that's because life isn't fair. But we can't give up just because something is hard. After I was healed from my second injury, I decided I wanted to continue to run (despite my cross country coach being nervous). I enjoyed running and I didn't want two bad injuries to stop me from running forever. After months, I was finally able to run again. And by the next year, I was on the Girls' Varsity team at my high school. You can get through the hard stuff if you just don't give up.

4. Like many things in life, running takes patience and practice.

I didn't get super serious about running until high school. I joined my school's track team and cross country team, and it took me years before I finally was able to do longer distances. Some weeks I barely did any mileage, but slowly and surely I was able to run farther and farther. I wasn't able to do a half marathon (13 miles) until my junior year of high school. Then, by college, I was able to do three more half marathons, pretty easily. Then I decided I wanted to reach one of my big goals: running a marathon. My college friends thought I was crazy. Even I thought I was crazy. How was I supposed to run 26.2 miles? To be honest, I probably should have trained more (the most I ran before the race was about 15 miles, yikes), but somehow, I was able to complete the race (and I only cried once!! *whip* *dab*) Let me tell you, the finish line looked so good. All my hard work and patience had paid off.

5. You got to get over how other people see you, and stop comparing yourself. 

Yeah, some people are just going to be better than you at some things. In high school, I was constantly comparing myself to my teammates who were faster than me. No matter how fast I was, it was never enough, in my mind. I set the bar for myself super high, and this caused a lot of internal stress for me before my track meets and cross country races. Then if I sensed any disappointment from my teammates, my parents, or my coach about how I didn't place super high in a race, I would beat myself up about it. However, I had to learn to not worry about how other people saw me. I had to just do my best, and that had to be enough. Since coming to college, I realized that I don't have to be the best runner. Just being able to finish a run or crossing the finish line is good enough for me.

As a runner, I have learned that life has its ups and downs, but in the end, it's going to be all okay, and working hard is going to pay off in the end.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

Podcasts are such an integral part of some of our everyday lives that it can be hard to recall a time at which they didn't exist. Podcasts exist on about every single topic, from dating to celebrity gossip and Harry Potter.

Now more than ever, it's likely you're reeling from the news, and (hopefully) wanting to do something about it in order to educate yourself. Podcasts are one of the best ways to get the most up-to-date information in a conversational, personal way from some of today's top educators, scholars, and theorists.

Keep Reading... Show less

Stop Pitying Me Because I'm Single, I'm Very Happy With My Relationship With Myself

I don't need your opinions on why I'm single and you're not. We are two different people.

I'm so happy for my friends when they get into relationships, but that doesn't mean they get to have control over my love life, and that is what bothers me. For the record, I've been in four relationships, one lasting for three years, so I do understand relationships.

Keep Reading... Show less

13 Books About Race Absolutely Every American Should Read, Especially Now

Books about black lives, from classics to new must-reads.

It's likely you are seeing the current state of the world and wanting to do something about it. Whether you're only beginning to or wanting to deepen your understanding of the black experience, these books are precisely where to start.

Some, like Maya Angelou's "I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, are classics you've probably heard of, but may not have picked up yet. Others, like Reni Eddo-Lodge's "Why I'm No Longer Talking To White People About Race," are newer hits.

Keep Reading... Show less

What's Coming To And Leaving Netflix In June For Your Summer Viewing Pleasure

Just in time for another your summer binge-watch list.

Paramount Pictures

The first of the month is now here, which means we will be losing some of our Netflix favorites but gaining some new ones.

Here is a list of TV shows and movies we will be losing and gaining on Netflix during June.

Keep Reading... Show less
Politics and Activism

I Was At The Atlanta George Floyd Protests, Here's What It Was Like Before The Violence Started

What started out as a peaceful protest quickly resulted in destruction, with mixed opinions leading narratives on both sides.

When I heard about the protests happening in my city in honor of George Floyd, a black man who was brutally and fatally detained by police in broad daylight, I was conflicted about the best way for me to support a cause that I was passionate about. The senseless killings of people of color in America had been weighing on me, and I was eager for a way to help, to do my part. I wanted to be out on the ground with my community, having our voices heard. However, there was the issue of the coronavirus, a very real and troublesome threat that is still controlling our daily lives.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

If You Can Eat Crap And Stay Thin You Aren't Healthy, You're Lucky

A high metabolism isn't a get-out-of-jail-free card!

Photo by Tarutoa on Unsplash

Everyone has that one friend — the one who eats to their heart's content but never gains an ounce. Meanwhile, you feel like you gain five pounds just stealing a glance at a hamburger! My childhood best friend was like that, much to my chagrin. Anyone who hadn't witnessed her eat might be tempted to say that she was thin because of her diet, but she would sometimes eat a bag of Sour Patch Kids as a "meal." One time, I watched in awe as she chowed down on a "salad" made up of one part romaine lettuce, two parts shredded cheddar cheese, and two parts French dressing — it was nothing more than a red lake of dressing with bits of green and orange debris floating in it. Clearly our definitions of "salad" were quite different, as were our perceptions of a balanced meal.

Keep Reading... Show less

I Started Dating A Guy Before Quarantine, But Now We Rarely Speak Unless I Double-Text

"He's really nice and cute and I like being around him when we see each other, but he's awful at communication."

Each week Swoonie B will give her advice on anonymous topics submitted by readers. Want to Ask Swoonie B something related to dating and relationships? Fill out this form here — it's anonymous.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments