in the beginning, it took me well over a month to figure out how to prepare myself properly for a run. before i stepped out the door for the first time in my brand new shoes, i scrubbed the internet for some basic tips for beginners, and read some articles in a few running magazines that were generally helpful. but how i really learned was by fucking up. a lot.
and by fucking up, i mean the following:
- drinking too much water within that “magic window” of time before running and having to stop in the middle of a run to hunt down a restroom like a crazed lunatic on the streets of brooklyn
- not drinking enough water before that magic window cutoff and suffering an oppressive case of dry mouth by mile two
- forgetting to put sunscreen on my nose and ending up looking like rudolph for a week
- wearing the wrong socks and getting blisters on my toes
- failing to set my running app correctly and realizing at the end of my run that it was still waiting for me push ‘go’ [insert withering trumpet noise here]
- not eating enough food (or the right kind of food) pre-run so i’d have enough energy
- eating a giant meal less than an hour before i was supposed to run, and getting a major belly ache. doh!
- not putting on chapstick before a long, dry cold mid-winter run
there’s more, but i’ll spare you the sad, gory details. in terms of tips on what to actually do before you head out for a run? don’t do those things i did, mind your magic windows, and always double-knot your laces.
so yeah, over the last year i’ve learned a lot about how my body functions, its general inputs and outputs, and mostly what not to do. before i started running, my body was an achy, out-of-shape mystery. nowadays it’s predictable, and yet somehow still achy no matter what i do to prevent it. i’ll never reach the rainbow’s end. even though i’ve learned a lot, i can never bet on a 100% annoyance/pain-free workout. if i end up having a particularly bad run, i think to myself there’s always the next run! this kind of mildly-blind optimism (that i started practicing since day one of my running fuck ups) is what makes me lace up day after day.