Don't take it personally. I read an article with advice about running outdoors that said, "Don't take the wind personally. Resistance is just another sensation." The wind is not there to ruin your day. The wind is not a person > The wind cannot have ill feelings for you. It's simply resistance. If you insert another annoyance for 'wind', it makes things, well, less annoying.
Benchmarks, schmenchmarks. I followed the Couch-to-5k program. Because of my back issues, I repeated some weeks. When I signed up for the extra races, I had a period of panic, but somewhere between weeks 4 and 5, things clicked. It didn't align with the program, but eventually I reached my goal.
You've got to figure out how to be your own side-line high-fiver. During races, some of the most bolstering moments were when strangers would high-five me at mile markers. What I'm trying to learn from running is how to be my own high-fiver and cultivate that feeling of "Yes! You rock! Keep going, you rock star you!", on the treadmill and off.
One way to accomplish that is to regularly feed yourself positive thoughts. It's no secret that I'm a little bit neurotic. What I learned from yoga is that you have to cultivate your own positive thoughts and gentle reminders. In the spirit of becoming my own yoga teacher, I've been growing a collection of positive refrains to use while running, as it's sometimes the only thing that will get me through that damned second mile. Among my collection:
"I'm already doing this."
"I am so much stronger than yesterday."
Figure out how to be your own Good Witch.
"Whether you think you can, or think you can't, you're right." It's so annoying, but so true.
"Your mind will quit 1000 times before your body will." Ugh, my freaking mind. Despite it being one of the pillars of yoga, I never understood the relationship between mind and body until I started running. Both separation and oneness are skills to cultivate, that's for sure. There is a time for both.
Don't compare. Doesn't matter how fast/strong/fit the next guy is. You're already doing it.
It's all a really big privilege. Whether it's grueling physical activity or standing in line at Whole Foods, all of it is a blessing. I'm lucky to be able, literally, to choose my route. That's the biggest lesson of all.