I’m a slow runner. I know this. And I’ve accepted it. But sometimes someone makes a comment and it knocks me. A friend made a joke on Saturday night about my GNR time being slow. They laughed. I laughed. We all laughed. But somewhere in my little head a seed was planted. And two days later, I’m still going over the comment. Yesterday I bought Runner’s World magazine and instantly felt like a fraud buying it. What would the shop assistant think if I told them my half marathon time? And this is how it starts. This is where self doubt creeps in.
I’ve been running for a year now and I have improved slightly in that time, but I’m still slow. Only last week I was at running club when someone announced they had just done a half marathon in a time three minutes quicker than mine. She’s a good 15 years older than me. And she said she hadn’t done much training. My heart sank a little. The comment on Saturday was the last thing I needed.
Running is something I do for myself. I don’t do it for praise from others so it’s annoying when people offer comment on something they know nothing about. They don’t understand how far I’ve come, how much I’ve trained and how difficult I find it. For me, when I ran my first 5k in under 30 minutes, it was a massive achievement. I have no natural ability. I started from nothing. I didn’t do any sports at school. I have not done any exercise in my adult life. I don’t even go to the gym. I started from scratch and I managed to run two half marathons this year. To me that’s an achievement. I’m always going to be slow, but I’ll always make it over the finish line because what I don’t have in speed or strength I make up for in determination. So, you might have finished your marathon and be on your third pint when I cross the finishing line but who cares? If you’re only enjoyment of running is your finishing time, you’re missing out.