We’ve all been guilty of having negative self-talk regarding our running journey. There have been many times where I’ve told myself “Really, only 6 miles today?? You should have ran at least 8 miles” or “Wow, you are so slow! How can you let your pace increase by 10 seconds per mile”. Maybe it’s the pressure of social media or it could just be our own self-applied pressure. Regardless, when we find ourselves in this head space it is important to stop and reflect back to why we starting running in the first place.
What is your “why”? What get’s you out of the bed in the morning or off of the couch in the evening to lace up your shoes and go for a run? Whether it is to improve your health, battle the demons in your head, challenge yourself, or just to feel or look better it is important to circle back to that North Star. For me, it started as a way to improve my health and self-image. Were those first few runs painful and did I want to just give up? Hell yeah I did! But I didn’t let the self-doubt and pain deter me from persevering forward and increasing from 1 to 2 to 5 to 8 to 13 to 20 to 26.2 miles.
I frequently have new or returning runners reach out to me for advice on where to start and the biggest piece of advice I can give is to never compare yourself to other runners. Instead, start slow and aim to compete against and better YOURSELF. Will I ever finish first place in a half marathon or be the fastest female in the race? No, but that’s OKAY! I am proud of every run that I complete because I took the effort to get up and get going. It is disappointing when I hear a runner discount their run by saying “Bad run today…” or “I only ran x miles”.
The truth is no matter how much you run, you are still logging more miles than most people. While it is true that almost anyone can run, we are part of a small family that DO run. Everyone’s running and fitness journey differs, however the thing we all have in common is a desire to continue improving not only ourselves but our fellow runners through inspiring and motivating each other. The running community shares a bond that is truly special.
So next time you are doubting yourself or your journey, remember to point back to your North Star. Oh and also, you are a RUNNER F#*%ING SUPERSTAR!!!