Brooklyn Runner


“I can only do 11-minute miles…”
December 4, 2008, 2:24 pm
Filed under: Contemplating, training | Tags: ,

I must confess this comment from a Runner’s World online column, which came through my inbox yesterday, pulled at my heartstrings a little bit. The writer says she “feels like a loser” for not being able to crack 11-minute miles after drumming up the courage to go out and run her first race, a 5K.

How sad! No one should feel like a loser or be discouraged from running because they turn in a performance that can be improved upon, or they’re not as fast as someone else, or they haven’t done their best yet. The beauty of running is that it is possible to be competitive with yourself, and at the same time not have to worry about anyone else. Running is all about improving yourself and finding your own rhythm and stride, doing the best that you know you can do. What makes it a success for you as a runner will be different from what success will look like for someone else.

The coach here gives some good advice about slowly building mileage and intensity of workout. She says the hardest step in becoming a runner is taking the first step — having the courage to show up on race day. I agree taking the first step is hard, and important. But I don’t think the first step is the hardest part. The more difficult challenge is to continue taking those steps, to keep at it, to persevere and be consistent. Isn’t it the same with so many things in life that we’d like to do? Sticking with something, keeping at it even when times get discouraging or hard, that’s the true challenge.

They say “a writer writes” — that if you want to be a writer, well, be writing. The same is true for runners. If you’re a runner, you run. You run when you’re in shape and when you’re not in shape. You run when it’s cold and when it’s hot. You run when you’re tired or not tired, when you have free time, and when life is busy. Sometimes you take breaks, and some breaks are longer than others. But the point is, keep running!

Whether you can do 11, 8, or 5-minute miles.

Advertisements

2 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Thanks for writing this. I’ve been running for a few years now, and my fastest time has been approximately 10 minute miles for a 5k. I have been trainig for my first half marathon, and I’m now at 11 min/miles for my long runs. And I’m huffing and puffing! And I’ve felt like a loser, too, that I’m actually going backwards. Perhaps I will be persistent after all and not worry so much about being faster than the other girl.

Comment by Jen

Keep in mind also that your pace for long runs will be at least a minute – if not more – off your pace for shorter runs! Plus it depends on if you’re looking at race pace vs. training pace, etc. So you’re not going backwards… you’re doing great. It might help to decide what your goals are — i.e. do I want to get faster or do I want to be able to run for the rest of my life and enjoy every minute of it? It is different for everybody.

Comment by Brooklyn Runner




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s



%d bloggers like this: