Being a “Slow” Runner

I mentioned this briefly Thursday when my Garmin went wonky, but I want to touch on it in a little more depth. Last night, I discovered a post entitled I’m a “Slow” Runner, and I’m Okay With That through Twitter. Oh social media, what would we do without you?

That post reminded me of why I had originally wanted to run a half-marathon. I wrote these down 7 weeks ago when I first decided I wanted to run one, and this is the first time I’m looking back on them since. My reasons were:

  • To give myself a goal. For some reason I don’t do well with goals with weights, and then I get workout ADD and then I get unmotivated and frustrated.
  • To learn to eat food correctly. Instead of eating food for pleasure, or out of boredom, or because I feel crappy, or any other reason that I binge, training for a half-marathon will force me to eat to fuel my body.
  • To make me appreciate my body for what it can do, rather than how it looks.
  • To lose a bit of chub. (I would be lying if I didn’t put this on here.)
  • To prove to myself that I am capable of doing things I never thought I could, physically, mentally, and emotionally.

Nowhere in this list is there any mention of time, because when I set out for this goal, I had no time expectations whatsoever. However, as days turned into weeks, I would catch myself thinking, “I want to run [insert distance here] at a [insert number here] pace.” If I met this goal, I’d be overjoyed. If I didn’t, I’d be slightly bummed. I wanted (want) to be like those insane awesome people who can crank out 10 miles at an 8 minute pace. But I’m not like those insane awesome people. My body is not the same as theirs.

I want to be able to fully enjoy running to enjoy running–feel the wind on my face, the pavement underneath my feet, the beating of my heart. I think it’s important to celebrate my improvements, and to keep challenging myself. And I think it’s okay for me to be disappointed if I run slower than usual. But I don’t want that to take away from my runs at all. I don’t want to compare myself to others, or to put myself down because I can’t run as fast as they can. Every mile I run is an accomplishment in and of itself, and I never want to forget that. So this post is pretty much just a reminder to myself and to every runner out there that you, my dear, are amazing, regardless of how fast or how slowly you run on any given day.

And now, for your regularly scheduled programming!

4 mi // 0:36:33 // 9:07 min/mi

Now, having said what I’ve said, I’m so excited about my pace. But the one thing I want to focus on above that is how genuinely good I felt both during and after my run. Was it easy? No. Was I completely exhausted? No. Runner’s high at it’s best.

Breakfast was yummy today.

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Greek yogurt with thawed frozen mangoes, scrambled egg whites, and a cranberry scone.

I didn’t end up eating very much of the egg whites.

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Oh mangoes, how I’ve missed you.

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It was my first time trying a scone in any of our serveries. I’d always stay away from them because I insisted they were too carb-laden…but what better way to replenish my glycogen stores after a good run? ;) It was so good. The inside was perfectly fluffy and the outside was perfectly crunchy and it was just perfect. :)

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Also, how lucky am I to be able to attend such a beautiful school? Pretty darn lucky. :)

Questions for the morning:

  • If you’ve run a half or full marathon before, why did you want to do it?
  • If you haven’t, do you want to? Why or why not?
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19 thoughts on “Being a “Slow” Runner

  1. I’ve run a half before and I am embarrassed to admit I did it because I wanted to say I did. When I was finished, I didn’t feel that sense of accomplishment. That aha moment just wasn’t there. I wasn’t like “omg I just ran a half marathon” it was more of a “meh, I just finished 13 miles, I’m not going to go stuff myself full of food now.” Sometimes I look at my runs and my attitude towards them is actually pretty upsetting. I should be proud of being able to run that far (and yes, I may be one of those insane people who can run that far at an 8minute pace. It’s a struggle, but I do it). Instead, I have lost that feeling of pride. I think it’s really great that your list doesn’t have any time goals. I know you’ll enjoy it more that way- you’ve really got me thinking about some future posts here :)

    • Haha I’m glad I could give you some ideas! :P And you should be proud! A half-marathon ain’t nothin’. :) For me, personally, I never do anything unless I’m 100% invested in it (which becomes a problem if I need to do something that I’m not 100% invested in…), so motivation and enjoyment hasn’t been a huge issue for me. I’m sorry to hear about your feeling towards running though, and I definitely hope you find some of that spark! (If not for running, for anything :) )

  2. The first race I ran was a 10 miler and I only did it because the teacher who was working with me as I was student teaching brought it up to me (I had just started running two months prior) and she kept encouraging me to sign up. After that race I immediately wanted to sign up for a 1/2 marathon. Part of me wanted to do it because I really enjoyed the 10 mile run and I knew I could add three more miles and the other part of me wanted to say I did it. I think that is a big drive for anyone at the beginning- saying you did it. It’s after you do one that you need to evaluate whether or not you want to keep doing them and why. I love 1/2 marathons and fulls (fulls more) for the challenge and strength it provides me but I also think that 1/2 marathons and fulls aren’t the distance for everyone and every one needs to find what works best for THEM.

    • I definitely agree! Going through training, I’m wondering if my body was made for this kind of wear-and-tear or if I could do this on a regular basis. I love running, but training for halves and fulls are no joke! We’ll see how I feel after my half! (Less than 4 weeks!!)

  3. I used to be all about trying to run a half or full marathon. Then I got diagnosed with hypermobility syndrome (which explained my multitudes of injuries). I’m at the point now where I’m coming to terms with the fact that there are better fits for my body than long distance running. I absolutely adore cycling, and it works for me!

  4. It’s funny because slow is all relative. You recognize that for many folks a 9min mile seems impossible right now :) For me there was definitely a period of feeling like GAHHH why am I not getting better, but i realized that running for me was about so much more than the time on my watch

    • Haha I did actually realize that after I posted this. A 9 minute mile is so much faster than what I started out with, but at the same time, I’ve talked to people about my training and they assume that I can crank out 7 minute miles simply because I’m able to run long distances.

      And I agree–while I’m so happy and proud of the improvements I’ve made since beginning training, I never intended running to be about the clock for me. After taking today to re-center myself, I’m more aware of this than ever. :)

  5. Love this post! I’m a ‘slow’ runner (usually averaging 10-11 minutes miles) and I couldn’t care less. Well, at times I’ve thought about training harder or wondered why I’m so much slower than everyone else, but at the end of the day, I get out there and DO it and afterwards, it feels awesome. No matter how slow I go :)

    • I read a quote on a blog once upon a time (so specific–I honestly don’t remember!) that was something on the lines of, “Run as slow or as fast as you want, but just go out there and do it.” I definitely had to remind myself that being able to run at all is a wonderful thing, and that the primary thing is to enjoy it and savor it. The runner’s high is most definitely worth it!

  6. This is such a great post! I would probably categorize myself as a “slow runner” as well. I love to run, but I’m not the most speedy. I’ve been toying with the idea of signing up for a half marathon too, for many of the same goals that you listed. I’m still not sure if I’m ready to commit to it yet, but it’s nice to know that if I do, it’s ok not to worry about my time, but rather focus on what a great accomplishment it would be to run and finish it!

    • Thanks! If you want to do it, I say go for it :) training for it has been such a great experience so far! And yeah, I think not giving yourself a time goal really helps just enjoy the training and the experience (hopefully–we’ll find out in 3.5 weeks!) a lot more than having that pressure, especially for us first-timers. :)

  7. Good for you!! I was struggling with a similar issues last week… mine wasn’t speed… it was distance. It is so easy in the blog world to start comparing ourselves to others and feel like less of a runner. Keep up the good attitude. Your mangoes look delicious. I want some.

    • Thank you! I completely agree. I get caught up in the “comparison trap” a lot, before having to remind myself that I’m not that person and that’s perfectly okay. :) Ha-who knew that Dole’s frozen mangoes could look so good? :P

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  10. I run at a pace that is perfect for me (but pretty darn slow compared to others). I just ran my first half marathon (OKC Memorial) after only really running for a year and I am 46. I ran it to show myself and my kids that if you set your mind to something, have a plan, feed your body right, treat and train your body right, it will respond positively. I said my goal was just to finish, but i secretly wanted to be in under 2:30. I finished in 2:29:32 (and I even stopped for a potty break). Running brings peace and balance to my someties chaotic mommy world.

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