It Doesn’t Matter How Fast You Run

6.2 Miles - Just Keep Going. Eventually you'll get there.

I know, I haven’t even done my “Weekly Weigh In” post from last Wednesday. And I’m trying to be better about it, but I’m sure I’ll re-cap it in my next update. I just feel that the number on my scale pales in compared to what happened today.

I have my first 8K race this coming Saturday. My training plan, as usual, got derailed. During what I thought would be an 8-week trek to maybe increasing my pace and getting to 5 miles again, in usual high-expectation-fashion, left me scared.

I got strep throat and a sinus infection for a large part of this plan. And when I don’t run every day, I get scared. Scared that I can’t live up to what I was before. I start hating running. It’s so weird.

But today, I faced that fear. I told myself that “I can do it.” That it doesn’t matter how fast I go. I believed. I was brave. Not the sun, the heat, the hills, my pace, my size, my sweat, or my pain was going to stop me today. Not even as every other runner passed me.

As the birds, butterflies, and squirrels crossed my path, I imagined that they were cheering me on. I ran at a comfortable pace, and for the first time, the first two miles were not horrible, but enjoyable. But the hills and the heat did provide moments I would have most likely given up.

But I didn’t. These mantras are always going on in my head:

Just keep going. Eventually you’ll get there.”
“If you need to slow down, it’s ok, just keep going.”
“No matter how slow you go, you’re still lapping everyone else on the couch.”

I haven’t run in 2 weeks. I’ve barely completed a few 5K races in the last 6 months without hating it. I’m slower than I was two years ago. My training plan was not even a plan. But I made myself go out there. And although there was some pain, and some moments I wanted to give up, I just kept going.

It may have been the article I read from Competitor Magazine: If You Run Slow, Who Cares? It may have been that I wanted to contribute to the #118forBoston project on RunKeeper supporting the upcoming Boston Marathon and those that suffered last year. It may have been my new Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation Bravelet bracelet that told me to “Be Brave” that I kept looking at. It may have been my draw to Meg and Cameron‘s running inspiration… both stories from Virginia, the state that formed the later part of my childhood and where I call home.

Most of all, it was just an abandonment of what I “should” be… at a certain pace or a certain size… and just enjoy the ride and the achievement without comparing myself to anyone else. I quit “shoulding” on myself, and I did it.

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  1. marjorie1940, 16 April, 2014

    I’m not a runner, but I can sure relate to your feelings……..but you kept going, no matter what! You’ve given me my inspiration boost for the day! Thanks, and keep going!

  2. Miztea, 03 June, 2014

    Great post — I resolve to ignore that “but I’m so slow” voice and focus on being grateful. My goal is to enjoy my next run, one at a time! (Love the idea of birds cheering us on!)

  3. Rod Gaither, 03 June, 2015

    Ah, couldn’t agree more. Whenever I participate in marathons, I don’t care so much about how fast I’m running. What’s important is the distance I’ve covered and that I’m reaching the finish line no matter what. I hope I can say the same whenever I’m playing basketball though. There, speed counts. LOL
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