Good Afternoon Fellow New Runners!
On Saturday mornings I run in a park where there are lots of other runners, bicyclists and even walkers. Aside from the natural beauty of the park, running where there are more people is much safer, especially at 6:30 in the morning. It is a nice camaraderie; people pass by and say “Hello” or a friendly “Good Morning”. Sometimes I am really lucky and I get a word of encouragement “looking strong” or some other sentiment. It is really nice!
Today though I got a bit discouraged. Large groups of people passed me, all chatting about Christmas and their plans. I tried so hard to keep up, but there was just no way. Another woman passed, she looked like she could one of those athletic models. Two men passed and I honestly had to look down to make sure my legs were still moving, as compared to their speed I felt as though I was standing still! I thought “I am so slow, I am never going to improve” and “Maybe running really isn’t my thing”.
After my run a fellow runner was telling me about a friend who started running at a 12 minute mile. She was the slowest of her group and when people passed her, she never got discouraged. Instead she would say “I’m going to keep going, I am going to get better”. Guess what…she runs a blistering 6 minute mile now.
As new runners it is so easy to get caught up in comparing yourself to others. Everyone is faster than you, everyone can go farther than you. It can be discouraging. However, we cannot let those thoughts derail our runs! Do you think the CEO of a major company started as the CEO? Nope, he or she had to start low and work their way up. It is the same in running. It takes a while to build up endurance and speed. Most people flying past you have probably been running for years and years!
So give yourself a break (I’m going to give myself one!) and remember in running, as in life, it is all about running YOUR race. You are trying to beat the person you were last week, not a random stranger. So don’t give up, keep trying. Watch, you WILL get better!
Enjoy the Run!