3 Things Running Has Taught Me About Life

1. Patience

 This training season has not gone the way I thought it would. I decided I was ready to not just run another marathon, but to train to qualify for Boston. I knew it was a lofty goal. I had a lot of time to take off. And I knew I could not do it alone, so I hired a running coach. He is someone I’ve worked with and have known for a long time. In just 2 months of working together, I set a personal record in a 5K and half marathon!

 I felt determined and motivated. And once I started to really feel good, I wanted to race. Especially because I knew I was getting faster! And it was exciting!!

 And unfortunately, I may have pushed it too hard, raced too much, got fast too fast, didn’t roll/stretch out my calves or other muscles enough, or wear the right sneakers. Because after my half marathon PR, I ended up with a diagnosis of “possible tendonitis,” the early signs of a stress fracture, or possibly sesamoiditis.

 Thankfully no fracture, but still pausing my training has been mentally tough. And through this all, I have learned to be patient. To rest and let my foot heal.

 All runners in your running career will most likely get injured, but if you want to keep running for a long time, it’s best to just be patient.

 Be patient if you want to be a faster runner. And be patient when you need to rest due to an injury.

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2. Embrace the challenges and enjoy the journey

 Throughout this journey, I have been trying my best to keep a positive mindset and continue to learn. Advice from my coach: “Think about getting better, not where you need to be.” – Coach Dave

 I keep comparing myself to others and feeling like I needed to be running 14 milers on the right NOW. I feel frustrated and anxious. But I know my coach is right. Right now, I need to focus on the present moment and getting healthy again. This means rest (from running). But I haven’t stopped moving!

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3. Challenges only make you stronger.

 Having such a BIG goal then seeming unattainable now is crushing. But I know once I get through this, I will come out stronger on the other side. Because I am tough and resilient. And I won’t give up hope. Even if my goal isn’t attained this year. I will still do it.

 And my advice to you wherever you are in your running journey: be patient, embrace the challenges and enjoy the journey, and know challenges only make you a stronger runner. Don’t give up hope. You are stronger than you think.

Kayla Slater