|Maybe I should get this shirt?!|
I loved Jen Miller’s article “It’s All Good” in Runner’s World about not comparing yourself to other runners
and not losing sight of your own accomplishments.
This is something I struggle with constantly. I love reading other runners’ blogs, but I am always in awe thinking, “She/he is so fast!” Just today, I was reading a 5K race recap on the Spiritual Creaminess blog. As he was describing the pain–the hyperventilating, that his “pulse was pounding so hard it threatened to pop out my eyes,” I thought, “That’s how every one of my speed workouts are…and my speed workouts are two to three minutes slower than he’s running.” Insert frowny face.
I will never be fast. I’m a back-of-the-packer hoping to get to the middle of the pack. And it will never be easy for me. I will follow my training plan religiously and do all the workouts and sweat and want to cry, and I will still not be a fast runner.
But I can’t let that get me down because I’ve come so far on my personal running journey.
Remember the presidential fitness tests we had to do in elementary school? You had to complete specific athletic exercises like climb a rope or do a pull-up (girls were allowed to simply hang), and you had to run one mile. Every year, I was the only or one of a very few kids who could not run that mile. And knowing that mile was coming up each year and that I couldn’t do it filled me extreme dread and anxiety. Between elementary school and 2011, I ran exactly once, when I first met my husband 16 years ago. He was (is) very fast, and the run ended for me in tears and a vow never to run again.
- I have been consistently running at least three times a week for more than a year, with all but two runs outside–even in the polar vortex!
- I am running every day for 40 days straight on a run streak.
- I have run two half-marathons with another on the books this fall.
- I have improved my 5K race time since my first 5K in 2011 by 50 seconds/mile.
- Perhaps most importantly–I love running.
When I start to feel frustrated that I’m not fast, I need to remember how far I’ve come and be proud of myself for my own accomplishments.
Are Jen Miller (the article’s author) and I the only ones who feel this way? Have you ever felt this way?