After talking with quite a few people following my race recap post, the main comment I received was ‘stop beating yourself up, you are amazing!’
And you know what? I am.
There are millions of people who live in and around Washington, D.C. Many who probably claim to be runners. But, how many people signed up for the Leesburg 20K? A little over six hundred.
And I was one of them. And I finished.
I finished a race most people wouldn’t have even put on their radar. I finished a race that most people ask me ‘why do you even want to run that far?’
Because its special. It makes me feel special.
Not a lot of people tackle races longer than a 10K. Those who do usually reach for a ten miler, maybe a half marathon when they think they are ready.
And even then the amount of people who attempt and finish those races is a significantly smaller pool than the masses who do 5K and 10K.
If running long distances was easy, everyone would do it. It is hard. It takes a lot of time to train and prepare for this. It’s taxing on your body and your emotions and even your relationships. This takes time and effort (unless you have Forrest Gump abilities).
So instead of beating myself up over being on the slower side of the curve, I want to celebrate the fact that I am doing this. I am running distances I never imagined were possible for me and I am finishing races.
Slow and steady isn’t something for me to be ashamed of, it is something for me to celebrate.
I feel like in my race recap I came off a little snarky with my finishers medal graphic.
So, instead of hating on myself for not being a faster, more seasoned runner. I think its necessary for me to celebrate the fact that I finished that race in a respectable pace. I was slow and steady, like the tortoise, but I finished and am proud of that.
When you start to feel down about how you performed in a race or a training run, remember that you stuck with it. You are special because you’re doing something that not a lot of others consider doing. You may be slow and steady but you’re winning the race.
And you deserve an award.
So, stop beating yourself up. You’re amazing!