My only picture crossing the finish line! It's blurry but takes me right back to that moment, so I love it. Also, that's the marathon timer and they started a few hours before us. Juuust FTR.
2. Just focus on the run you're doing that day. I distinctly remember walking through the door after my 7 mile run--a full month before race day--and feeling so defeated because I couldn't imagine running 5 miles after the beast of a run I'd just finished. I had to shift my focus. Even on my short run days, I tell myself: "Today, it's just 4 miles, nothing more." Tomorrow's distance, or next week's distance, they don't matter. It's all about the run at hand (which is, like, so true as a metaphor...for life, man. Think about it. It's deep).
3. Warm up. Warm. Up. WARM UP. Warm up, ya turkey. Ain't nobody got time for an injury. I have to stretch out and walk briskly for a long time to give my lungs time to clue in that they're about to work. My lungs are fickle, petulant little organs. I have to be gentle with them or they go full-on screaming in the cereal aisle on me.
4. Good shoes! It's basically your only expense as a runner, don't be cheap about your feet. Go to a running store, have them fit you properly, pay more. They're going to last you 500ish miles, it's worth it. No sale rack at TJ Maxx or neon Nike shoes just because they're trendy, I'm being for reals here.
6. Be so patient with yourself, and then also push yourself. If you're positive you can only do 1 mile, map a 1.25 mile run. You'll get such a rush out of pushing yourself just a little extra bit, you'll want to see what you can do the next time. And then also, don't be discouraged because the guy who fits you for running shoes does 12 milers regularly. The coolest (COOLEST!) thing about the running community is how excited runners of all levels are just to see other people out on the road with them. I rarely pass someone without getting a nod or a smile or a thumbs up.
7. Sign up for a race! Nothing gets my butt off the couch faster than knowing I paid entry fees and they'll be wasted if I'm not ready. Plus, you get a tee shirt. And a huckleberry milkshake if you do the Mesa Falls run like I did.
8. I mean...just do it. Put on your sneakers and walk out the freaking door.