12 Lessons I Learned From Running In 2012

By Zac Marionnew-years-eve-20136

Quickly after ringing in the New Year with toasts, songs and kisses, us runners take to our calendars and immediately start planning our goals and races for the next year. It’s a bad habit… but we can’t help it! I mean, we started this running thing to be better, right!?!

Losing a couple pounds or finishing that 5k wasn’t enough. We just had to go for more. Eventually half marathons and then marathons were conquered. Then we wanted to shave minutes off a PR. For some of us, Boston became that next goal.

Immediately after sitting down and planning out new goals, I began to feel a bit of shame in not stopping to appreciate what this last year of hard work and adversity has brought me. I was happy to reflect on such a great year of running and on what mediocre successes I had worked so hard for. I had reached all my goals I set out to reach, but more importantly, learned SO MUCH about running and life.

Running has taught me a lot this year. I decided to roll these lessons into my goals and plans for this year. I would also like to share them with my running community in hopes that some of these lessons can help you guys and gals reach those goals you’re shooting for in 2013.

  1. There is a difference between discomfort and pain. Being comfortable allows us to enjoy running. Being uncomfortable forges the legs, lungs and mind like steel to become stronger. Pain can win a race, but can also keep you from running one. Learn the difference.
  2. You are so much stronger than you think you are. I’ll admit, I am the world’s most emotional runner. Nothing chokes me up more than watching others persevere and overcome the challenge of reaching goals they never thought possible. You’re mind is your greatest weakness, you can do more than it wants you to.
  3. Don’t listen to the Naysayers… if you do, prove them wrong. I am my own worst naysayer in training and on the course. I pump myself up and tell myself how great I can be, right up until the gun goes off. Then it’s a constant struggle between what my body wants to do (stop running, lay down, and take a premature death by trampling of a thousand runners) and what my body is capable of doing (persevering). I wouldn’t listen to me if I were myself.
  4. Dream big! Without dreaming big, how will you ever see yourself reaching big goals?
  5. I was born to run. OK- this is not because I read McDougal’s book, Born to Run. After completing human physiology, human anatomy, and physics of the human body courses at the U of U this year, there is no doubting that the human body was meant to run and run long distances. Those courses inspired me to trust my body’s capabilities to the thousands of years of evolutionary workings to become the amazing endurance machines that we are.
  6. The view at the top is worth the climb! Everyone who knows me knows how bad I HATE running uphill. But this year, some of my greatest training runs have been bagging a few peaks. I’m slow, I hurt, I can’t breathe, and I get humiliated by my friends EVERY time. But once we reach the top, it means that much more to me because I worked that much harder to get there. I guess it’s because, sometimes, we end up measuring success from the weight of the blood, sweat and tears that went into getting to our goals.
  7. If you really want something, you’ll make time for it. It’s true. If you have time to read this, sleep in, sit on Facebook, etc. you have time to run. Simplifying my life and making training a priority this year made a great difference.
  8. Never take yourself too seriously. Just when you think you’re awesome, you’ll get beat by a kid wearing Crock’s (trust me, I was embarrassed). Someone out there is better than you… it seems they show up just to humble you sometimes.
  9. Help others along the way. To me, it’s important to lift while you climb. We live in an amazing running community where everyone seems to want to push others to success. I have many great influences around me and no one inspires me more than those who I have helped reach their goals, dusted off after a fall or run with in the Park City Half just weeks after so much adversity in their life (you know who you are).
  10. There’s always room for improvement. None of us have ever reached our fullest potential. Our bodies are so much more capable of what our minds tell us we can do. Break down those barriers little by little and watch your “best” efforts become better. There’s always another mile.
  11. Don’t forget to breathe. Take a deep breath. Stop running once in a while. Just look at your surroundings. Enjoy your passions. Appreciate your health. Acknowledge your success. Don’t allow yourself to get burnt-out. Sometimes it’s worth it to bag your daily run for a hike, swim or day of nothing to recharge your batteries. If you’re like me, you’re non-running spouse will appreciate it.
  12. There are no short cuts for success. If you want it then you have to work hard for it. If there were a secret product out there that got you what you wanted, without you having to work hard, our dedicated management team would have found it for you. Then they would have destroyed it and wiped any evidence of it off the face of the planet. Trust us, to revel in your successes through your hard work and dedication is what makes it worth it and makes us who we are.


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