If I knew then ....

My friends over at the Runner's Lounge often post some interesting subjects. They also have an awesome Web site connecting runners with runners, but time just isn't on my side to get involved as I would like. That all being said, this week's "Take-It-and-Run Thursday" topic is very interesting, and like many things with running, it is very challenging. So here's my take on "If I knew then what I know now."

What have you stubbornly resisted learning or trying? Speed work. I've always been scared to push my body to its limits. I always impressed myself with races, but never did interval training at all until I ran with a group. I definitely suggest doing it with a group first, then your confidence will come around to trying it by yourself.

What has led to breakthroughs in your running? Lots of little things. Finishing my first race made me realize that I can do anything I set my mind to.

What lesson about running has taken you too long to figure out? Injuries. I wouldn't say it's taken too long to figure out ... it's just frustrating to figure out.

What 1 or 2 factors have made your running most successful and enjoyable? Finishing my first race ... and four years later finishing my first marathon.

What training or racing blunders have set you back? In training for my first "long" race - a 10 miler - I increased my mileage too quick and suffered from knee problems. I know now to stop when something hurts.

What 1 or 2 pieces advice would you pass along to a beginning runner? It gets easier each day ... then it gets hard all over again. I also suggest to push yourself a little farther every day. Start at a mile ... then 1.25 miles, then 1.5 miles, then 1.75 miles. A little bit goes a long way.

What advice would you pass along to a veteran runner who is stuck in a rut? Try a different route. I know too many people who have the same route, or same neighborhood. You need different scenery at least once a week.

What has kept you from achieving your running goals? Injuries, but I've been lucky to only have two and neither have been major. But they're frustrating.

What is one mistake that has made a significant difference in your running that would you like to reverse? Instead of using the work mistake, I like to say lessons learned. And, I think the biggest lesson learned came 10 years ago when I stopped running. I missed out on a lot by stopping and gaining weight.