Thursday, February 14, 2013

Confessions of a slow runner

I haven't gone for my run yet, since it's a day my daughter doesn't have school and I have to wait for my husband to get home, but I'll get that in in a few hours.

In the mean time, I've been thinking more about speed. It's no secret that I'm a slow runner - back of the pack generally, and I came in last in my first 10k (granted, there were only 21 people including me in that race, but still). My fastest mile according to my garmin is a 10:48. Some of that is that I started running while 50lbs overweight - but some of it, as I began to realize when I got closer and closer to my goal weight (10lbs away, but losing that last 10 is obviously on hold right now) is that I'm just physically slow. I -am- faster than I used to be - my very first 5K clocked in at a 40:18. Speed demon, amirite? My most recent last month was 35:17 and that's good progress between September and January, but it's again, primarily because I lost weight. I'm just a slow poke. And usually, I'm okay with that.

Sometimes though, it's hard not to be just a little self conscious about it. Blogging has made this better and worse; better, because it's brought me into contact with other runners who -are- running my pace or close. Worse, because like the rest of the running community, most are a whole lot faster than I am.

For the most part, I know better than to compare myself to others and I'm grown up enough that comparing myself to others mostly lost its glamour in grade school. But .. but but but.

But I'm extremely competitive by nature and it's hard sometimes to ignore the little snipes that those of us running 12 minute miles aren't running, we're jogging, or aren't running, we're just briskly walking. I know that -most- runners aren't like this, and most of pretty damn supportive of everyone who gets out there and puts themselves on display to run the best race they can.

But, it's hard to swallow that working as hard as I can, I may never even end up in the middle of the pack.

But, it's hard to know that when I go running with my husband, he really doesn't get anything out of it at all. Especially as I get further along in this pregnancy, he's probably going to be able to walk alongside me as I run! (...which, he has before. Side effect of short wife and tall husband - his natural walk is a 15 minute mile and mine's a 20...)

I do love to run. I love that I can. For me, it was impossible. Jeff Galloway and the C25K made it possible for this particular pipe dream to come true, and I -can- run 5 miles without stopping, even if it's slow. Every time I go out there, I do the impossible. I'm the girl who couldn't run, and I have run as much as 13.1 miles! And that's worth celebrating, even if I'm slow.

10 comments:

  1. You and I have about the same "fast" mile pace! My fastest ever is 10:30, but I normally run at around a 12 minute mile pace myself. I have a really hard time not comparing myself to others, and I do constantly refer to myself as really slow. But the thing is, we're both faster than we used to be and running is ultimately a solo sport. And like some internet meme I saw said, no matter how slow you are, you're still lapping everyone on the couch :)

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    1. We are, and it is definitely worth being happy that we RUN. Because really, running is awesome...I do count my blessings every day that I can run :)

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  2. I'm right there with ya! It is hard not to compare yourself to others. I still do it, and then remind myself that I'm running to stay fit and have fun. Then, repeat to my self that, I'm proud of my 11 min mile pace. Keep enjoying your run.

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    1. It really is - most of the time I do okay but on an off day it's hard not to say, "Wow, ____ is so much faster than me!" For the most part I really am a positive person and am just overjoyed that I can run and totally pleased with my progress though.

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  3. Hey Heather, way to go. Im in the same pace and competitiveness as you. I see "kids" fly by me and I want to catch up. I'll get there, it'll just take me awhile. Keep up the great work!

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    1. Thanks Mike! We'll get there, and in the mean time we're getting better all the time!

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  4. Yes - keep thinking about what you can do! There is no use to comparing yourself to others, not even your past self! That just sets you up for disappointment! Someone is always going to be faster than us!

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    1. Thanks Kim! It's harder some days than others. Today I'm just hoping to fit a run in at all, who cares how fast I go!

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  5. I have had these same thoughts (and wrote the same post once!) and all I can say is that you have to remember you do it for you. There were some blogs that over time I had to stop reading because I was feeling less than good enough. I know that I do the best I can do and that IS good enough. Same for everyone who runs :)

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    1. I think that's a great way to think of it; most of the time I'm 100% there, because for the most part I'm just so damn proud I can run at all, time aside! Every now and then it bugs me, like it did the day I wrote this, but for the most part I totally agree with you. We ARE good enough the way we are, we do this for ourselves, and we are our own yardstick for progress - no one else!

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