A few words on pace…
When I first started running back in February, I really got hung up on pace. But the truth is that beating myself up over that is quite silly and pointless. I would compare myself to others that I knew to see if I was faster or slower.
None of that matters. We are all on different journeys. Is it fair to compare my speed to someone who is now in their first month of getting healthy and trying to exercise? Is it fair for them to compare their speed to those who have never struggled with weight and always been fast?
This has been really bothering me ever since I read a comment on a local social media site with a group geared toward runners. In a discussion about a race which involved various corals, a runner made a comment about one of the slower corals, and labeled it the “Doughnut Brigade”. Such arrogance and thoughtlessness repulsed me. I am sure there were plenty of people in that coral who were excited to be running at all, excited to be losing weight, excited to be getting healthy, excited to be alive. To be judged and packaged so quickly by someone who has always been thin and naturally a fast runner saddened me. It seems like I tend to have more respect for those who are slower but had to work harder to get where they are than for someone who has always been able to just hit the ground and run fast.
Your pace in running is much like your weight with regards to getting healthy. Sure, if you are getting healthy, getting on the scale is one measurement of your progress. But it is not the end all be all. You have so many other factors to consider. So why can we not apply that to running? Yes, your pace is a great indicator, but what about your weight, your age, how long you have been running, terrain, what you ate, what you drank, etc., etc. I have since stopped worrying about what my pace is compared to others. My only comparison is with my previous runs and if I am getting better or not.
If you feel like you are slow, who cares? You are still running. Yes, you are a runner, regardless of whether you do it fast or not. You are still covering the same distance. You are still out there making yourself a better version of you. Whether it is a 14 minute mile or a 7 minute mile, IT IS STILL A MILE!
Only compare yourself to yourself. And even then, do it in moderation.
I still have a hard time not comparing my pace to my pre-tendon injury pace, even though I know it’s not fair to myself to do so.
Just go run and have some fun.