Monday, December 30, 2013

Struggling with Speed

Or, why I hate being slow.

After spending some time in some running groups, I've learned that a runner always prefaces his or her time with "I know it's slow but..."  Sometimes, that comes across as false modesty - especially to someone who is struggling to hit and maintain a 15 minute mile pace.

But then I realized it isn't.  They, just like me, feel as though they can do better.  That they should do better.  They should be faster, so it is slow.  It shows that they are continuing to try to improve and get faster.  And as runners, that's what we need to do.  We always need to be reaching, improving, working harder and getting faster.

A part of me thinks that if I ever hit a 12 minute mile pace, I'll be happy.  I'll just run at that speed, finish my races and be that runner.  And then I think that even if I do hit a sustainable 12 minute mile, I'm going to want to hit a 10 minute mile.  And if I can hit a 10 minute mile, why not try to break that barrier?

But for now, the reality is I'm painfully slow.  It's part of why I don't really like running outside yet.  I feel like I've run forever and I've hardly gone anywhere.  Although when my family found out how far I ran on Christmas morning before all the festivities, they were impressed.  All I thought was, "but it's only 2.5 miles!  And I'm slow!"  But they don't know that.  And they don't care.   They don't run, so the fact that I got out there in the cold and the snow on a holiday was a big deal.

And it is, given where I've come from in this journey.  Running has taught me a lot about what my body can do, and also what it can't do - like running a half marathon when I'm not ready (but I finished!).  The most important thing it's taught me is that I can live my life, even if I am overweight.  I don't have to wait to do things until  I lose weight (like running a half marathon).

Now, if only I could get a better selection of good quality technical gear in plus sizes without breaking the bank.  I don't plan to need to wear them for a long time, but they'd really help me get where I'm going.

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