running realizations


Sometimes I wish that I could think about NOTHING during my runs. I do not want to think about my day, the weekend or have random thoughts pop into my head about what I need to do, what I forgot to do or what I should write about next.

But then you have a run where you have all of these running realizations that turn into a post you want to share which is exactly what happened last Thursday so here we are today.

Running realizations…let’s discuss!

running realizations

According to my training plan, the workout for Thursday was a one mile warm up followed by two x 3 miles at goal half marathon pace with 5 minutes recovery in between plus cool down.

Running Realization #1: I now prefer a two mile warm up over a one mile warm up.

When I asked Laura why this run had only a one mile warm up, she told me that I could absolutely add in the extra warm up mile if I wanted it, she only cut it to the one mile warm up for the workout to save me time.

I know I have said this before but I will say it again — I used to start my runs, especially races, way too fast, giving all that I had at the start,only to burn out later. Over the years and especially now, I have come to love not only easing into a run and finishing stronger but to embrace the warm up miles! Not just one mile, but two miles seems to be my favorite way to start a run.

I was tired during the warm up miles, by the way. I wasn’t sure if running the 10k race only days earlier combined with the cumulative effect of half marathon training was starting to set in and I even questioned how I was going to jump from the warm up pace to half marathon pace. But I did it!

Running Realization #2: Total distance of a workout is completely lost on me now.

If you run a lot like I do, I bet you can agree with me when I say that total distance of a workout is often not realized. When you add up the warm up miles, working miles and then cool down miles, suddenly you find yourself with a total of a lot of miles which you didn’t even realize until they were over!

We runners do not see total distance anymore like regular people see distance. Regular people see a 10 mile run as OMG a TEN MILE run. Not us.

We see 10 miles as, Okay so I will warm up a for a mile or two or three and then run some tempo stuff  then cool down. And hey, if my endorphins are flowing and I have some time and the sun is shining, I will keep going until my GPS dies or I have to go to the bathroom.

I don’t even know what the total distance of this workout was supposed to be (it would vary depending on how fast or slow I ran the intervals) but it became 10 miles before I even knew it.


Running Realization #3: I am so capable.

Capable has become a word I hear in my head during this half marathon training cycle. I am more than capable of these workouts which makes me proud of myself. And, saying the word capable and seeing C-A-P-A-B-L-E in my head as I run the fast paces makes me feel even more capable.

I knew during the warm up miles that even though I felt fatigued, the later miles would feel the best. Try telling that to someone who doesn’t run. Us runners understand that it often takes a bunch of miles to find our groove but regular, non-running people? They think we are nuts when we say we ran a few miles before a race to warm up or we ran 10 miles, feeling our best after mile six.

Running Realization #4: What used to feel fast is now considered easy.

The more we run, the more efficient we become. What used to be a fast pace for me is now my easy range. Sometimes I can’t even believe that.

Running Realization #5: You can be tired yet still feel strong.

During the second set of half marathon paced miles of this particular run, I kept thinking to myself, I am getting tired yet I still feel so strong.

I can continue this pace right now even though I am tired.

There’s such a thing as tired yet strong.

I want to remember this during the last half of the race in a few weeks. Acknowledging your fatigue but recognizing that even through the tired feeling, you can still feel your strength which can help keep you moving along.

Running Realization #6: Every runner has a story.

And I sometimes forget my own.

My friend’s daughter asked me the other day, almost as more of an assumption looking for confirmation from me, if I ran track in high school.

No sweetie, I absolutely did not. In 9th grade, the wheel chair was summoned from the nurse’s office to come get me  after I fainted (and then threw up) because I was forced to run one mile during gym class.

Every time I tell this story, we laugh until I have tears in my eyes.

Me? Fainting and throwing up from running ONE MILE?!

Yes. It really happened. If my younger self knew that she would one day become a runner, she would probably laugh and then faint again.

I sometimes forget about the runner that I wasn’t but it’s so important to remember where you came from, how you started and where you are now.

Posts of Interest:

How To Start Running – Told more like how I start running to help you start running.

Running Helps Me Think – A good round up of posts that I thought of while running.

Running Realizations #running #halfmarathon #halfmarathontraining #fitfluential Click To Tweet

Does your mind think too much when you run?

How old were you when you started running?

Any running realizations to share with me?


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  1. says

    I complained about running so much when I was in high school. And I don’t really know what I think about when i run. Usually in the beginning of a run I overanalyze every step. I am better about zoning out during weekend runs but during the week I do end up thinking about all the stuff I have to do that day!
    Lisa @ Running Out Of Wine recently posted…Another Weekend Away And Weekly WorkoutsMy Profile

  2. says

    Ah yes, I think a lot and have many realizations! And the mostly forget them, so good job on this! You are in such a strong point right now in your running and all these thoughts are proof! I love the idea that everyone has a story. I wonder how I’ll look back on mine a year from now, since we change so much and are always adding to this story.
    Michele @ paleorunningmomma recently posted…Mushroom Spinach Homemade Sausage Patties {Paleo & Whole30}My Profile

  3. says

    The one thing I liked about doing speed work when I ran track in college was that I was so much stronger and more capable than I gave myself credit for. I never thought i could run those times but I would hit the splits again and again. To me, the craziest realization I had is the distances. Right now, I couldn’t fathom running 10 miles but a few months ago that was a pretty normal distance to run, and 16 was a “short” long run. Our perceptions change SO quickly.
    Sarah @pickyrunner recently posted…Busy Is Not What You AreMy Profile

  4. says

    Hilarious story about the fainting and throwing up! I ran (and still run) everywhere I go, even as a kid. My sisters and my mom would try and time their drive home from wherever so that they could pass me while I ran home from school. My pigtails would be streaming behind me and there I’d be just running my little heart out, backpack fishtailing on my shoulders. I often catch myself (when I don’t have the kids with me, which is rare) running out of a store to my car. People stare because they think I’ve lifted something. LOL
    Suzy recently posted…Week in Review: Good FindsMy Profile

  5. says

    I hate my PE classes in school. And when I started running (18 years old) it started suprising me. Why I think that 2km is a lot? That`s less than a half of my regular distance now. And after my first race I was so proud, I took a medal in my old school for my PE teacher 😀

  6. says

    I was not in shape when I was young either! I remember feeling my lungs burning; I had no strength at all.

    I love running because it clears my head of thoughts. When I’m just trying to keep going it’s hard to entertain my thoughts. 🙂

    Three years ago I started running and know that I have found a lifelong hobby. After a couple years of 5ks and 10ks, I am doing my first half this year! 🙂
    Emma @myfullfatlife recently posted…Controlling hip drop when runningMy Profile