During my last two runs, I started thinking about all the various ways that the thoughts and lessons one has and learns during running can be applied to many aspects of life. I am not claiming that any of the below is original in its thought, but I bet this is the first time these thoughts will have been organized together in such a way that I could call them my own. I'll keep updating these "life lessons" as they come to me...!
Start with a goal in mind
If you do, you will know at what date you need to start actually doing something so that you are physically able to participate, let alone accomplish something. In my case, I am signed up to do a 5k with work on July 12 so as of last week, I sort of needed to get cracking.
If it hurts too much, it probably isn't right
We all know the phrase, "No pain, no gain," but I think there are times when you need to give yourself a break. If you really hate something, or you really don't feel at your best when you're doing the activity, ask yourself whether there are other ways to meet your goal and if this is the best route for you. Maybe take a break and see if with a bit of rest and time to think, you're renewed after the break.
Don't pay any attention to what others think of you
For instance, if you're approaching an intersection while running and you hear from the backseat of an Audi station wagon, "Mom, is that an albino bear running toward us?", just remember children have very active imaginations. And that sun damage is bad. And, well, maybe you could shave your legs the next time you shower - but only if you want to be more aerodynamic.
Fresh air is a wonderful thing
Dogs feel quite liberated by this, as well, though, so watch where you step as the best way to ruin 20 minutes in the open air is to trod in dog poo 30 seconds into your run.
The downhill can be as hard as the uphill
I kind of am never really relieved to get to a point in my running where I am going downhill, because my knees don't really like the pressure. If you're "coasting" in a situation you're in, it can indicate that you need to reset your goals and introduce some challenges for yourself
Don't cross a busy road except at a traffic light
Too many idiots drive around reading Kafka on their Kindles these days...I'm kidding - they're TEXTING or TALKING ON THEIR PHONES, neither of which I approve of while driving. So just go find a safe place to cross the road - you can make up the 30 seconds it takes for the lights to change later in your run.
Root for yourself
Anytime you're doing something on your own, especially a solitary activity like playing Solitaire on your computer, you need to believe in yourself that you can achieve whatever challenge you have given yourself. Tell yourself that you can do it, and you most likely will.