Previously I have posted Do You Look Like a Runner? Nothing I said in there was particularly profound, but it really hit home with a lot of people, and I can see why. This is still a big issue for almost all of us. Even those of us who are confident with our bodies for the most part, still have some areas that that little demon comes to to your shoulder to talk negatively about, but it was nice that so many people shared, and I hope it helped you to see that if you run, you ARE a runner.
However, I have a feeling that some of you still do not believe me when I say you are a runner….or actually any other athlete for that matter. You are not a swimmer, not fit, not strong. You can insert your own sport there. So today, I wanted to focus on a different aspect of doubt in runners; too slow.
This was another topic we discussed at the Runners Connect and within the Running4Real Community. The body image discussion soon turned into a “too slow” conversation, and it shocked me how interlinked these two are. I asked the group of 22 runners who was worried about coming to camp as they thought they would be the “slowest”. About 15 of them raised their hands.
I could not believe it, 15/22 people were nervous about going to a camp because they thought they would be too slow.
We need to change this.
What does being “slow” mean anyway?
You are out there doing it!
I know what you are thinking. When you are out running, you think people are looking at you running, and thinking “damn, that girl/guy is running SO slow”.
Trust me, I have those thoughts sometimes too. When I am cooling down from a hard workout, or when I am on my easy day where I promised myself I would allow my body to recover, I have to battle that voice in my head that is telling me everyone is laughing at me, thinking I am running too slow. Yes, I mean that! Remember running is very relative.
Or when I see someone up ahead of me. I have to fight the urge not to run them down to prove to them that I am not too slow.
Or how about this one; when elites run together, almost every run, one of the group will apologize for slowing the others down. The feature image of this post was me cooling down with my friend Ali Tuliamuk-Bolton after the Bix 7 Mile, I was worried I was slowing her down….as we ran 9 minute miles for our cool down (compare that to her 5 minute per mile race pace!).
Runners are always concerned with others. That they are thinking about how slow we are running.
Well I am here to tell you that no one really cares how slow (or fast) you are running.
Think about it. When you drive past a runner. What do you think to yourself?
“I wish I was running” or “Good for you getting out there doing it!” or “YAY! Runner!”
Soemthing along those lines right?
Most people would end up driving away from that runner wishing they were running! I dont know about you, but even when I have had a long run that morning, when I see someone running, I wish I was out there. We know how good it feels when you get that runners high, and for that reason, we are jealous….and besides, you never look as bad as you feel, so it looks more fun than sometimes it is 🙂
So keep that in mind next time you feel too slow. Most of us worry about what we look like to others, but to be honest, most non-runners do not even notice you running (unless they are staring at your butt :P), and those that do, are wishing they were out running themselves!
You are out there doing it, and that makes YOU a runner. Yes, YOU! I will say it again. If you are out there running, does not matter what pace, YOU ARE A RUNNER, and you should be proud of that fact! It does not matter if you are running 3 miles or 30 miles, running is still putting yourself in an uncomfortable situation, and you are doing it. That makes you a runner!
That is the wonderful thing about running. It is so simple. It is putting one foot in front of the other. It does not judge, it does not compare, we each have our own stories, our own journeys that make us who we are, and listening to others running journeys is so inspiring. We have the best community, and we have the best camaraderie. Just go to the finishing straight of a race if you do not know what I mean.
That is what makes running so special, and that is why you should never feel like you are too slow, like that cheesy quote says, you are already lapping people on the couch 🙂
Be honest. Have you ever thought you were too slow? Why do you think we do this to ourselves?
Ps. If you need more reasons to keep your runs slow, read these articles:
P.P.S Check out my friend Griff’s blog about training for his first marathon. You love reading about elites on their journey, I think you are gonna love this post!