In 2010 I went into my first marathon with hopes of finishing in less than five hours. The unseasonably hot October day and 26.2 miles humbled me. I finished in 5:17. I was disappointed and embarrassed.
With eight years hindsight, I’m damn proud of that marathon. That marathon was what got me hooked into the endurance athlete lifestyle. I ran a second marathon four weeks later (bad idea), got injured, couldn’t run for many months, started swimming, and did my first triathlon the following spring. Triathlon life has been nothing but humbling training and racing moments since 2011!
What’s my point?
There is no such thing as an embarrassing pace in running.
When you run, you have made the decision that you want to propel yourself forward towards whatever your goal is. Maybe it’s to run around the block, maybe it’s a first 5K, maybe it’s a half marathon. No matter what distance or speed you are running your best in that moment.
If another person says something that makes you feel bad about your pace, take a deep breath and remind yourself that you’re doing your best in this moment. That person might not realize how it felt for you to receive it, and they likely meant well. Most runners are very supportive, encouraging people. No one purposely wants you to feel bad about your pace.
Don’t even let yourself be the person who makes you feel bad about your pace. Think of something positive about your most recent run. Instead of “At this time last year I was a 9:00 minute mile, now I’m a 10:00 minute mile” rephrase it, “I’m building a strong base for my spring half marathon goals!”
Try it! I promise you’ll feel so much better than it does when you put yourself down. The other really cool part about finding a positive spin on your training is you will no-doubt inspire someone else along the way. It’s contagious!
I’d love to hear your positive rephrase in the comments!
The morning of my first triathlon in June 2011