Once upon a time, there was a girl who was training for her first half marathon. The race was in March, so all of her training happened in the winter. One Saturday morning, bright and early, she went for a run. It was a cold, sunny day causing her to think two things. First, she wouldn’t need to take water with her, even though she was scheduled to run 10 miles. Second, the sun lulled her to a false sense of security and made her forget that she was still running in the ice and snow of a Utah winter. Being that she is an extremely independent and stubborn girl, it didn’t occur to her to carry her phone with her.
She headed to the Provo River trail and off on her run. Things seemed to be going well. She ran along just fine for about 10 miles. And then she fell. She wasn’t wearing gloves, so she cut her hands. She had no water or fuel with her, so when her adrenaline started pumping from the fall there were serious consequences. She was so shaky it took her about 30 minutes to walk the last mile to her car.
Another “upon a time”, a girl was training for her first marathon. She had flown from Utah to Arizona in June to help her sister with a new baby. As she had just started her training, she did not want to lose momentum, so she planned to run in the scorching heat of the Arizona summer.
Saturday morning she needed to run seven miles. She left the house bright and early at 6:30 am. Unfortunately, in Arizona, at this time of day it was already about 90F outside. Being that it was hot outside, she was smart enough to bring water with her, 20 whole oz. About three miles into said run, she was out of water and ready to die. Once again, she had not brought her phone with her (some lessons take a while) so she couldn’t call her sister to come rescue her. She had not thought to bring money with her to buy more water. So there she was, on the corner of Queen Creek and Power, standing in front of a gas station.
She had been heading over to her friend’s house (she used to live in Arizona) and there was no way she was going to make it, so she finally went into the gas station and asked if she could use the phone. It’s not that she didn’t want to ask to use the phone, but she was afraid they’d say “no” as there was a pay phone outside. They didn’t and thankfully, Vicky’s phone number was one of the few that she actually knew by heart. Vicky answered and came to pick her up.
- Running in 30F is very different than 90F, which is different than 70F.
- Carry your cell phone when running alone.
- Have enough water (or access to it) for your run.
- Running in Arizona in June is just stupid.
- Know your limits.
Really, the thing I know now that I wish I’d known then is that knowledge is power, even in running. Learning from others is the best way to avoid making the same mistakes. Ask questions. Talk to people. Read books. Runners are some of the friendliest people I know. What works for one may not work for you, but it’s sure nice to know the options and possibilities.