Saturday, May 28, 2011

To Slow Runners

I’m a slow runner. Honestly, I don’t even know if I could call myself a runner. More of a jogger—or a slogger! I move at an accelerated speed from my normal walking speed at a little over 4 mph—comfortably. Sure, I can run faster than that—but my endurance runs out pretty quick! I can “run” a 5k from start to finish and finish faster than if I had walked it—but hands down, I’m pretty darn slow.

Lately, I have just been beating myself up about it. Why can’t I run faster? Why does this have to be so hard for me? It’s so embarrassing! I bet everyone is staring at me and wondering why I’m so red faced and out of breath when I’m barely moving faster than a turtle. In other words, NOT a good dialogue to have going on in my head when I’m attempting to run.

But I started thinking about it and you know what? Two years ago, running for 30 seconds was a challenge and many times, I couldn’t even do it. And look at me now, I could run for an hour and be tired, but I bet I could keep going if I wanted to. So there is improvement. I must not be discouraged. After all, I’m still running and that gets me a whole lot farther than sitting on the couch! Maybe I’m not as faithful in running as often as I should, or want to—lately, mostly because I have felt so ashamed of my running ability—but being more dedicated to it would really help me improve.

But you know what? At over 200 lbs. I’m probably not going to be running 10 minute miles for a while. Is it possible? Probably. But the impact on my knees and hips can be pretty high—and taking it slow is probably the best thing for me right now. And that’s OK.

Remember him?

He ran a 5k. He was overweight. If he can do it, so can I—and so can you! I often think  when other people see me running, they probably make fun of me or laugh at me. But you know what, when I saw Michael run that 5k, or if I see other overweight people running, I am inspired. I respect them because of the effort they are putting forth. There’s no shame in running slow—at least we’re running!!

There’s nothing wrong with your best. If your best is slogging along at a snails pace—who cares! You’re not racing against anyone but yourself. Giving your best means winning Every.Single.Time. Being the first one to the finish line is remarkable, but so is just getting there—giving it your best, and not giving up.

No more shame in being a slow runner. Just give what you’ve got to give—and it’s always enough as long as it’s your best!

24 comments:

  1. We all run for different reasons. Just run your won race, and run for yourself and don't run for anyone else. It is your own personal victory. And remember we have all been in your place.
    Here is a quote I love.
    "If you run, you are a runner. It doesn't matter how fast or how far. It doesn't matter if today is your first day or if you've been running for twenty years. There is no test to pass, no license to earn, no membership card to get. You just run."
    John Bingham

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  2. Sorry mistake in my spelling
    *own race

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  3. I needed this. I have registered for a 5k on Monday and id have to walk some it just to complete as I can't jog it all yet. I was having major doubts about being embarrassed but then remembered at least I'm doing it. That's more than some could say!

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  4. This is a great post! Something it's really good to remind ourselves :)

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  5. I am so glad you posted this. I've wanted to become a runner for so long, but it's just so hard for me to do it. But this post definitely inspired me to keep trying!!

    Thank you :-)

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  6. Great post! I too am a slow runner, but what matters to me is I get out and do it.

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  7. There are lots of thin people who can't run a 5k.....I say build distance and then build speed!!!!

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  8. Winners never quit, and quitters never win. You've already done the hardest thing which is starting, and then sticking with it to build up distance! If you stick at it one day those 10 minute miles will be yours, i'm sure of it!!
    Anyway slow runners are the best, tortoise and the hare anyone? :)

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  9. YOur are so right! I probably could be considered a slogger, too. I don't run fast, but I do run or jog or whatever you want to call it and that's all that matters.

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  10. Great post! When I first started running at 240lbs I couldnt even run 30 seconds without gasping for breath. I never gave up and just kept plodding along.

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  11. I love all the encouraging comments and agree with all of them!! Alissa you are doing great and those people that you think are looking at you are thinking WOW I wish I could do that!!!
    Betta

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  12. I thought I was an ok runner till I did my first official run, now class myself as a slow runner as well....so welcome to the slow runner's club....I'm happy to be here, I hope you will as well....we run...we move and we get results...so what more do we want??

    I remember Micheal, as we only saw that series a few weeks ago....and then he was the winner!!!!
    The fact that they ran a half marathon, or was it a marathon, that blew me away as I am scared of a half marathon and half his size.

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  13. What a great post! I am a slow runner too! I have been working on my goal of running 2 miles in 24mins for MONTHS! But I just have to keep at it :)

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  14. Great post Alissa! Slow, fast, or somewhere in between, you are a RUNNER!!!! And look how far you've come!!!! I've said it before, but will again, you are an inspiration! Have a great rest of the weekend.

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  15. Yeah I feel bad about myself a lot when it comes to my running because I get so winded. It just feels like such a challenge. I run/ walk. I hate it. But it really gets my heart rate up, so I do it every so often (usually the elliptical tho). Everyone says once you do it for awhile, it just gets easier and easier. Obviously they are right, havent gotten to that point yet myself. No giving up tho.

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  16. I consider myself to be a slow jogger myself and it used to bother me a lot. I finally realized that I have more time to look around and enjoy my surroundings.
    We may be jogging slow but you know what??? We are not on the couch, we are out there doing something!!
    Keep up the good work and who cares if we don't look like gazelles to others as long as we feel like gazelles.

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  17. Ima slow runner, and its ok! The important part is that we're challenging ourselves 7 working hard to accomplish something!

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  18. I dont think "shame" and "runner" are words that go in the same sentence!!!

    It takes time and just moving more is good, push yourself and you will look back in a year and be shocked at your progress!

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  19. I'm by no means a fast runner, but I just think to myself- YOU ARE RUNNING! No matter the speed- I know I wouldn't have been able to do last year the things that I am doing now. That keeps me going.

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  20. I've noticed that (for me, at least) running pace is reflected by my weight. As I was losing a large amount of weight, my pace just kept improving (from about 14:00/mi to eventually 8:30/mi). Then, I gained some weight back, and my pace went back up to about 10:00/mi.
    I'm SURE that your pace will improve as you keep running! I'm not sure if I've commented here before, so I want to say CONGRATS on all your progress--it's a super tough journey!!

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  21. There is no cut off speed that constitutes running. Anyone who says so is just a running snob LOL!

    The important thing is that you are doing it and the time it takes is not important at all.

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  22. I feel the same way when I try to run!!! But like you said, at least we're trying...it sure beats sitting on the couch feeling sorry for ourselves.

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  23. Girl, I am right there with you! If you haven't jumped on the John Bingham train, you should. Running is still running - even if it's slow! You're awesome! Good for you for identifying the negative thoughts and kicking them to the curb!

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