Runners! Stop apologizing for your runs! Ditch the disclaimers and own your run!
Are you as guilty of this? We, as runners, have a tendency to put a disclaimer on our runs. I hear it all the time, heck I even say these things sometimes...
"I know I'm not as fast as some of you but I ran my fastest mile today."
"I know it's not as far as some of you run, but I ran my longest run ever today!"
"I only ran three miles today."
"I just did the half marathon."
"I'm only running the 5K."
BUT...ONLY...JUST. Runners! Stop saying these three words!
Why do we do this? In the world of social media, maybe we put a disclaimer on our achievements in case someone might try to undermine our accomplishment, we want to beat them to it. If we say it first, no one else can tell us we're not good enough. Maybe we compare ourselves to other runners and we feel like we don't measure up to the Insta-runners online. Maybe we're afraid of sounding like we are bragging about our runs.
You know what? We should be bragging about our runs. Whether you ran one mile for the first time or you're an ultra marathoner, you should be proud. Whether you ran a seven minute mile or a 13 minute mile, you laced up your shoes, got out there and did something that was hard for you.
IT'S ALL RELATIVE
The thing about hard work is that it is all relative. A runner completing a half marathon may be working just as hard as an elite marathoner. In fact, I'd venture to say that the newbie runner who completes their first half marathon in three hours is working harder than an elite athlete who completes a full marathon in less than that time. Slow or fast it doesn't account for individual effort and it certainly doesn't dictate whether the run was brag worthy. Did you do something that felt hard for you? Congratulations for pushing outside your comfort zone and doing hard things. You are already doing better than most.
STOP THE COMPARISON GAME
No matter where you are in your running journey, there will almost always be someone faster than you and someone slower. There will always be runners who can cover longer distances and runners that can't run as far. The truth is no one cares about your pace or distance as much as you do. Share your runs online. Tell your friends. Someone will be impressed that you are out there at all. We are all on our own journey. You know that gal online who runs an 8 minute mile? There was a time when she first started running that she was a lot slower too. Stop comparing yourself to other runners and be proud of your own accomplishments.
Own your run. Own your accomplishments. Be proud. I am proud of myself everytime I lace up my shoes. Sometimes I have great runs that feel speedy and effortless, then sometimes I have hard runs that feel like I am running on two stiff logs instead of legs. I'm still proud i'm out there trying. Running fundamentally changed who I am as a person, and I am better for it. Who would have thought that the young lady who was afraid to break a sweat would grow into a woman who regularly runs half marathons and coaches others to do the same? Certainly not me.
It doesn't matter how long it takes you cross the finish line. It doesn't matter how far away that finish line is. It doesn't matter if you never toe the line at an official race. If you push yourself to run, then you are a runner.
Make a new year's resolution to banish the words but, just and only from your vocabulary and be proud every time you lace up those shoes. You earned it.
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