There is so much pressure when you decide to become a runner.
If you’re a runner, you may be aware of some of the lingo: pace, form, dynamic stretching, stride, interval training, tempo run, cross training, rest day, fuel, endurance, 5K, 10K, runner’s knee, etc.
The list goes on! People often think when you become a “runner” you have to become an elite althlete with amazing skills.
That’s not the case and I’m reminded of that often on my journey. As I connect with other runners and grow in my own story, I’ve learned that we come in all shapes, sizes and performance levels.
And if I hear one more person apologize for their speed, I might lose it!
I’ll be honest, I’ve done this SO many times. When someone invites me to run with them, instead of enjoying a buddy I think about being a burden. I use my pace as an excuse and I’m embarrassed of my skill level. I’d hate to slow someone down or “ruin their run”.
Which is why I want to tell you that it’s ok to walk. If you want to become a runner or you’re just having an off day, it’s ok to slow down and walk your route. We all start somewhere!
You’re not failing by walking. You’re still moving and you’re still awesome! Pace is just a number and I’m doing my best to tell myself that daily.
I’m not as fast as I use to be and that’s ok! I’m also not training like I use to and I’m in a different stage of my life.
I came to this realization when I was reading Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis. Rachel talks about a trip she took her friends who were running a half marathoner. Most runners have this desire to run every race – especially when your friends are doing it! In this chapter, she talks about the struggle of being at that race, trying to support her friends but has this major epiphany as she sees the elite runners – something she has never experienced before.
Sometimes the best thing you can do as a runner, is support others. It’s ok not to run a race. It’s ok to walk a race. It’s ok to follow your heart. It’s your journey!
So if you’re overwhelmed to start running, know that you don’t have to be perfect, you just have to start.
Oh and never apologize for your speed.
Running allows me to set my mind free. Nothing seems impossible. Nothing unattainable.” — Kara Goucher, Olympic long-distance runner