...or something like that.
If you have kids, you know what I'm talking about. You try to explain things to them because you've been there, done that, and often know when something just isn't going to work. Or you try to tell them a way to make something easier or better.
And they look at you with that expression that says, "Why are you wasting my time with your babble when I already know everything?"
Yeah, that's me.
Not that I think I know everything. Far from it. I think every day I get a little dumber...except with running, where I started out at pretty much the rock bottom of ignorance. And yet for some reason, despite reading a year's worth of Runner's World, several running books, and countless running blogs, I find it necessary to learn things the hard way. Here are a few things that have finally sunk in:
1. You should warm up before a race.
Old Kate: Why are these people running extra miles before a race? I already have to run 3 miles/6 miles/13 miles...why would I do any extra running???
Light bulb: Running with N, the first mile was awful. The second mile was much, much better. Thought to myself, I wish I could just start at the second mile! It's so much easier after I've already run a......... Oooooohhhhhhhh. So that first mile's like...a warm up...and if I warmed up before a race, my first mile would feel like the second mile....Oh.
2. Running with other people is fun.
Old Kate: I'm too slow, I can't keep up, my schedule doesn't fit with running with other people.
Light bulb: Actually running with other people has made me push harder, run further, go new places, and meet some pretty cool people...who wait for me when the trail turns. :)
3. Yes, I do have time to run.
Old Kate: We're too busy, there's no time to run, I can't get up early in the morning.
Light bulb: OK, I'm still not living in a world where I'm happy to get up before 5 a.m., but it turns out that I can, indeed, get up at 4:15, run 8 miles before getting myself and my kids ready for the day, and function. In fact, I'm usually more awake when I've run that morning.
4. Ice is your friend
Old Kate: Ice may help, but heat feels better. How about I just soak in a hot bath full of Epsom salts and call it good (and limp for the next few days)?
Light bulb: Barely able to walk after finishing my first 18-mile run, I decided maybe I'd give ice a try. Oh, my gosh! I felt like a new woman. Granted, my hoo hoo was frozen, but it thawed out eventually. I took an ice bath after my 21-mile death slog, too, and was able to do a 9+ hour adventure race the next day--pain free!
5. Use energy to gain energy
Old Kate: I'm sooo tired; I'd like to work out, but I'm going to sleep in/take a nap/go to bed early instead.
Light bulb: Getting up at 4:30 a.m. to run and being wide awake for the rest of the day. Dragging my butt to the gym even though I have no desire to go and coming home happy and refreshed.
6. Running is cheaper than Prozac...and brings a cool new wardrobe.
Old Kate: I went through an extended low period where dangerous PDPMS (that would be pre-, during- and post-) negatively affected every part of my life. I didn't much like myself and hated my poor husband for half of the month for absolutely no reason. It took a ridiculous amount of effort to fake being a functional, rational person. I often thought that I should go to the doctor and get on some kind of medication. And then I would think to myself (and this is ME, not anyone else. I wouldn't presume to speak for anyone who's going through depression) that what I needed was to clean my house, start eating right, get organized, and get some regular exercise.
Light bulb: Ummm...two out of four isn't bad, right? :) My house is messy, and I'm still an organizational disaster, but regular exercise has made all of the difference. Not just the "exercise", but the fun it has led to. I love the fun of a race or a group run/ride, I love the community (internet and real-life) of active people that I've met, and I love the experience of repeatedly testing myself with new challenges. I can definitely tell in my mood when it's been a few days since I've run or ridden my bike; I start to notice myself feeling crabby and irritable and then realize...I need to go for a run! Running and working out make me feel better...and feel better about myself. Granted, my husband sees less of me, but the me he sees is much more pleasant to be around!
So what about you? What have you had to learn the hard way? What else should I have learned by now? Do share...I may not listen, but you can always say "I told you so" later.