Loving even the tough parts - Ask almost any non-runner and they will tell you that they "hate" running. They claim that no matter how much they try they will never enjoy it. The mistake here of course is being afraid of the pain. Long runs, speed workouts, pushing through limits - they all require a certian amount of pain. But runners know that the joy derived from running is worth every ounce of struggle. If someone new to running can commit to running everyday for 2 weeks (even just a little bit) they would taste the fondness that grows with time. In the same way, relationships only grow more powerful with time. They are not unlike long runs - feeling amazing in the beginning, really have to focus and concentrate in the middle, and then pick up speed again towards the end. In Love and Running it pays to remembering that this is what you LOVE to do (and this is the person you LOVE) even though it might be painful for a moment. As Yoda once said, "Love is not love which alters when it alteration finds" (on second thought I believe that one is from Shakespeare ;)
Patience - In running, listening to your body is a key to effective training. Every mile you run is a gradual achievement of your goals but progress can sometimes be slow. For the last 5 years my relationship with Brittany has almost constantly been long distance. Anyone who has done long distance knows that it can be trying but that the time together is so cherished, making it all worth it. Right after we began dating in April, Brittany went away to Japan for language training. She got back in the nick of time for the 2008 Olympic Trails and then was there to send me off to the Olympics in Beijing, China (my first international race!). After the Olympics I went to Africa for a few months to bring my youngest brothers, Alex and Peter, to America (one of my proudest achievements!!). As soon as I returned, I took Brittany to the airport for a semester in Nagasaki, Japan. When she returned she competed for and won the Rhodes Scholarship and was off again to Oxford (one of the things I am most proud of her for!). And you get the point... All of this was a HUGE learning experience in patience and communication (thank heavens for Skype!). Not unlike learning to listen to your body, Learning to listen to the person you love, is the fuel of a successful relationship. Every mile between us is just another opportunity to run toward each other. All is not "fair" in love and war (well I don't know much about war, but sometimes that's what racing feels like ;). It's amazing what patience can do to level the playing field....
Running Tip #4: Love what you do! Positive reinforcement during and after runs improves your mood and positive thoughts promote better health and recovery - Job well done!!