I often read posts or get told when I ask someone to run with me or see pictures that say, “but I’m not fast”. So. Did anyone ask how fast you are? And what is this obsession with being fast? Fast does not mean better. Yet, we often associate it as such. Who wants to be last? Ugh last, you suck if you’re last.
F that. No you don’t. What sucks is stopping yourself from doing something because you’re afraid to. Because you aren’t as good as the person next to you. News flash: There Will Always Be Someone Better Than You. Faster, stronger, smarter…but why should that stop you? I have run with people much faster than me. I have also run with people slower than me. When I ask someone to run with me I am pretty well aware of their capabilities. I don’t expect someone with an easy pace of 10+ min/mi to keep up with my easy pace of 8:30 (well, 9-9:30. What I think is easy, should really be easier. I’ve been told). It is good to run with someone during your easy runs that is slower than you because they can keep you from running too fast. On the flip side if you want to challenge yourself run with someone faster than you. Sounds simple, yet I still find it hard to find someone to run with because they are “intimidated to run with you (me)”. Me?? Really? Trust me, no one should be intimidated by me. It bothers me to hear that, and it bothers me to read posts about how slow someone thinks they are because in a way, it is negative. No one thinks being slow is good, it is looked at negatively. Negative thoughts get negative results – even if you’re not meaning for it to be that way. I know I am probably guilty of this myself. But when I have a hard training run, or I feel slow I try to think of why I feel that way. What am I doing that is effecting my runs? I also realize that I am training to get better & I will get better. It takes time.
These last couple of months I started power lifting, and really focusing on my deadlifts. My current PR is 170lbs. My goal is 200. There is a woman at the gym I go to who is probably about 25 years older than me, so late 50’s, that is pretty close to lifting 200lbs, if she hasn’t already. Last I heard she was at 190. But that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t workout with her. Hell yeah I would. That is awesome. I want to be lifting 200lbs when I grow up 😉 But do you see my point? Don’t let someone else’s betterness make you feel less than. Let that inspire you. Think about where they came from and where they are. Think about where you came from and where you’re going! You don’t just start out lifting 200lbs, and you don’t just start out as a fast runner.
Here I am running the Clarksburg County Run (20 miles) in 2012. This was the year I started running. Was I fast? Hell no. I finished with an average of a 12 minute mile. But I was out there training for my first marathon. I had no goals of being “fast”. I just wanted to say I did it.
Here I am at one of my more recent races. Now yes, I do have a goal of getting faster. But it is not for the sake of just being fast. I don’t have a goal of getting faster to say, “I run a 5 minute mile” or “I run a sub 3 marathon”. Those things don’t even sound fun to me. But who knows, maybe some day they will and that will be my new goal.
As of right now my goal is to qualify for Boston at the California International Marathon this year. What does this mean for me? I need to run an average of an 8:12 min/mi. For 26.2 miles. Is that doable? Personally, I think it is. When I was at the top of my training last year I was set on accomplishing that goal. But then I had an injury…My current marathon PR is 3:53:47, which is an average pace of 8:55min/mi. I have to shave 25 minutes off my time and yes I realize that is a lot. But my marathon PR at CIM last year is based off of only 13.1 miles of training. Because of my injury I never got to run more that 13 miles while training for that marathon. I believe I still ran a decent race because I had a strong base mileage (I had run 2 other marathons that year). And, as silly as this may sound, I also believe it is because it was CIM. In case you didn’t know this is my FAVORITE race of the year. It was my first marathon in 2012, I’ve run it every year since & plan on running it until I am 112 years old – I’ve decided that is how old I am going to live to.
So, back to my point. Who cares if you’re not fast. If that is a goal of yours, then great! Work towards it – and you will have to work! Be realistic, train hard, recover hard but also know that it is okay to be “slow”. As much as I hate to sound like a motivational meme: