Unles you are brand new to my blog, you’ll know I’m not the fastest runner in the world. I can’t run 8s or sub 7 miles, and I barely break a 9:30 on a GOOD day. I read a lot of other running blogs where they constantly bombard me with times I find out of my reach. People running 10 miles in a little over 1:10? YEESH! For a few months I found myself comparing myself to them, wondering ….when will I get that fast? When will I break the 1o minute mile for longer than a four mile run?
I’m here to let you know, DO NOT compare yourself to other runners. It will never end good.
I am guilty of it, hard. I’ve realized that I’ve been doing it, and now I read running blogs for encouragement and motivation to become faster.
Let me start from the beginning of my running journey, when I was on the Couch to 5K. I would dread the runs that I had to run more than 5 minutes. I LOVED the walking portion. As the weeks went on, I wondered how I would ever run 2 miles straight. And then the day came I had to do it, and I did it. I didn’t run it fast, but I DID IT. It was an accomplishment for me.
Then I came home and read my usual blogs, and began to think if it really was such a big deal. I mean, two miles? Big whoop. People are here busting out 10 miles before breakfast! You’d think that I would have stopped comparing myself to others at this point.
I began beating myself up. Wondering if it was even such a big deal that I was trying to run a 5K. My parents didn’t really help, either. We are a sarcastic family and when I told them my plans to run one, they just responded “big deal”. Well, it was a big deal to me.
I remember hitting the 3.1 mark for the first time. It was amazing, I was on cloud nine. I couldn’t stop talking about it to Brian, my coworkers, any unfortunate soul who would listen. And then I got back on the blogs. I ran that first 3.1 in around 37 minutes. Got on the blogs, sub 8s, 7s ….what am I doing, being so slow!!!!
Then one day, I decided to actually read their past posts. Two years before ….their times were much higher. It finally hit my dumb little brain;
People improve over time. Everyone is different.
I am injury prone. I’ve had two stress fractures before, and being on my feet alot for running was a potential problem. I have to take things slow (at least before I did) and I should be OK with that. No need to push myself to 8s or 7s until MY BODY IS READY. What a shock!
I wanted to make a post on this topic because I KNOW a lot of people tend to only talk numbers when they run, and I’m very guilty too. I beat myself up when I don’t run an even 40 minute 4 miles …but I’m beating myself up in a different way. I want to challenge myself and be better than the day before. I don’t worry so much about the numbers in comparison to others. Heck, I ran a half marathon in 2:33:44 (which is about an 11:30 min mile) BUT I RAN A DAMN HALF MARATHON IN THE DAMN POURING RAIN. And I will be DAMNED (how many times can I use this swear?) if anyone takes that pride away from me!
The long and short of it, take the numbers from other blogs at face value. Even if you compare mileage instead of time, take my advice and stop. Those people have trained for a long time to be that fast ….and we are all running for the fact of RUNNING, the enjoyment and therapy we receive from it. Not just digits and data from our Garmin’s. 🙂