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Run Your Own Race: Focusing on Your Mission as a Runner

RUN YOUR OWN RACE! 

How to actually enjoy a run, an article from 4D’s owner, Liz Navarro, a marathon runner 

 

 When I was asked to write a brief piece on running, I’m not going to lie, I thought, why me? I’m not fast, I’m not as consistent as I probably should be, and unless you call my teenage daughters “hand-me ups” fashionable, I’m not that either. But I love to run. Love love love it! So if you are looking for a few tips from a 46 year young woman who can run without hurting you’ve come to the right place.

  • Only YOU know your own body

I tell my kids this all the time, because what makes one person feel great might not make you feel great. For example, nutrition wise I am as boring as they come, peanut butter and jelly, kale and lots of pasta are pretty much my staple. I can’t drink coffee (don’t be mad at me) not because I don’t enjoy it, it just doesn’t make me feel good…too acidic for me. I don’t eat red meat for the same reason. But my husband on the other hand can’t eat pasta, but pretty much survives on lean red meat. The point being you have to get comfortable being honest and knowing what makes YOUR own body feel good and just stick with it. Once your create a comfortable consistency in your diet with foods that make you feel great, it’s easy. Donuts everyday does not count, I did not go there, so neither should you.

  • If something hurts, STOP

Why, why, why do I hear so much advice to “push through the pain”?? Is a PR worth muscles strains and aching knees? Nope, not for me, I want to enjoy the run. If something hurts stop…slow down walk for a bit and reach to the sky. Stretch, breathe, but for goodness sake give yourself a break and don’t hurt yourself more. Tomorrow will be a new day! Unless if you are training for the Olympics or competitive athlete then listen to the advice of your coaches…I am training for neither, but I do have a 19-mile race coming up and I don’t hurt. 

  • Exercise your MENTAL muscles 

There comes a point during a race where you hit a certain mile and the “runner high” kicks in…and then comes the point in the race where you start to wonder why you decided to run this far. I like to imagine how strong each of my muscles are, and kind of take myself to some Zen happy place in my mind.  Sounds weird but here is an example.  Your legs are complacent in your pace…you approach a large hill…you mentally envision how strong your quads are and how they will power you uphill…focus your mind on that muscle specifically…you’re now going downhill…focus on the strength of your hamstrings comfortably carrying you down…and so on and so on. Exercising your brain too!

  • Run the LIFE out 

I can only imagine that I am not the only human being out there that does not have a perfect life. I have a wonderful family #blessed, but geez life comes at me.  Work, kids, issues, kids, grief, …did I say kids? Yes, there are magnificently wonderful times mixed in here, I’m not being a downer, I’m just a real person with real feelings. All I know is my running shoes have carried me through thousands of miles of therapy, all for the price of a nice pair of Brooks. What other sport can you do where you can start off lost and hopeless and finish ready to conquer a mountain?!! And the end of your run… when those life changing endorphins just kick in! That’s when you’re hooked!! You enjoy the run….