What I Learned from Running This Year

by Melissa Brunner

I'm writing this with just hours left in 2010. As the new year approached, vie thought about resolutions. Every year, I pledge to be healthier. In 2010, a large part of that had to do with a certain running goal. A few things I learned along the way:

A goal is a powerful thing. In January 2010, I signed up with Amanda Lanum and Amy Schmidt for the Kansas Half Marathon. It was the first half for all three of us. Knowing that finish line was lurking kept me moving.

Your goal must be your own. While having friends at your side keeps you motivated, you also must be realistic with your goal. For example, Amy went on to achieve running a full marathon. I knew that wasn't in the cards for me, BUT reading Amy's updates motivated me to keep my workouts regular and keep a few long runs on the schedule.

Training logs keep you honest. I use two online resources to track my miles - Daily Mile and Map My Run. Hard to argue whether or not you've been slacking when it's right there in front of you! Plus, seeing updates from other users can get you off the couch and out the door!

Mileage isn't the end all, be all. When I saw how my total miles sank in the month of October, not to mention almost two full weeks without a little running person on my Map My Run calendar, I started to lay a guilt trip on myself. That was the two weeks we were in Greece. Not reelected on the calendar were the miles we walked every day, up and down hills, exploring the sites. Not all workouts are formal!

Sometimes, you just have to stop. Shortly after the half marathon in April, I tweaked a calf muscle. I tried to keep going, but couldn't. Two weeks without running after training so hard the months before was extremely frustrating, but it had to be done. It forced me to rediscover stretching, weights and floor exercises, so I guess it was a couple lessons learned!

So what does the new year have in store? I hope to get another half marathon in somewhere along the way. I've also always wanted to try the short course at the Tinman Triathlon. J.B. and Matt did it last June when I was down with the injury. Whatever I decide, I'll keep you posted on the running page, www.WIBW.com/running. I'll be updating the calendar of events soon, too. Make sure you let me know about the events in your area!

Happy trails!


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