…of course, if you aren’t a runner at heart, I hope that you’ll understand as well.
I have a friend who recently took up running. She built up slowly, using the Couch to 5K program. I would see her about once a week where our girls were enrolled in a weekly program. She’d tell me about her progress, new distances, new paces. I would give her some strategies to overcome barriers, both perceived and real. To help her stay with the program, she had signed up for a local 5K.
One week, while asking for some pre-race advice, she prefaced her question with, “I know it’s only a 5K and that must seem really silly to you but…”
I stopped her. I told her something anybody who ever seeks advice from a long distance runner should know:
You never, ever have to preface a question with, “it’s just a 5K”. You never have to qualify any of your running questions to us. We’ve been there. We know the trepidation. We know the uncertainty.
And just so you know, we still feel it today when we toe the line for a 100-miler or a 5K (if we are running for time).
My point is this – we all run and it doesn’t matter if you run 3.1 miles, 50 miles, 100 miles or farther. There was a time, when I first started on this running journey, that 13.1 miles might as well have been 100 miles. The thought of the distance was staggering. Anything with the word “marathon” in it (half, full, ultra) all fell in the same category and all seemed equally absurd.
Come race day, it doesn’t matter whether you finished first, DFL or anywhere in between; it’s not whether you finish quickly or slowly – ultimately, it come down to whether you enjoyed yourself and are satisfied with your performance. Sure, there are always exceptions to the rule – certainly there is the occasional ultra trail runner who seems to think they’re a goddess of some sort, and therefore can look down on the more casual runner, but those people are few and far between.
If your butt is off of the couch, your feet are pounding the trail or street, your quads are burning and your lungs working; if you are running, then you are one of us.
Welcome to the warmest, coolest family outside of your own.
*if you aren’t a runner, then please, come join us!