Thursday, November 18, 2010

Not so New to This Running Thing

Sprinting for the finish line of my first 20 mile race 2008
 I've been running full time (except for my injury hiatus where i dreamed day and night about it) for very close to three years. As runners who have run as far as a marathon we have a different perspective on distance and time on our feet. Many people call it dedication (well many people who I run with) but those who don't run for fun sometimes many times call us crazy. Its hard to remember when 3 miles was impossible or before we knew terms like fartlek or tempo. I can see how new runners could be intimidated and a little put off by the lingo and jargon of those of us living the hard core running lifestyles.

As I woke up this morning I had a list in my head of the races I'd like to run in the Winter and Spring next year. All of them lead up to my first 50k trail race in a nearby town. 50k is 31 miles. I'm struggling at the moment with 15miles due to a very sore foot. I have potential to crash and burn on this marathon I'm supposed to do in two short weeks and I pray my  new wider shoes come in ASAP! Even some of my marathon training friends don't see the appeal of an "Ultra" (anything longer than 26.2 miles)is a bit daunting. I look forward to a new challenge even if a marathon still seems a bit overwhelming.

Over at Dimity and Sarah share their wealth of knowledge about running with a family in their book "Run Like a Mother: How to get moving~ and not lose your Family, Job or Sanity". In a recent post the girls ask what works or not on their site, in their book before second publishing comes out, or on their FB page. As I read through the suggestions I noticed a lot of readers/runners who are just starting out are frustrated with the "go big or go home" mentality many of us who have been running longer have. Personally i do not like the run/walk method and feel like I'm half~assing it when I use it... but guess what? I've used it and it worked... I don't like it for me personally but I've also run two marathons and several 10-22 mile runs without stopping so for me its a little like defeat. BUT there was a time when I couldn't run a half a mile. That time was a little more than three year ago. I was there, frustrated, alone and not understanding how anyone could make it to 26.2 when i struggled just past the .2.

Here is the advise I left for some of the girls who voiced their concerns over how they perceived some of the comments in the book referring to how slow a 12minute pace or how short a 3 mile run is. Those miles matter, that speed is amazing because you are trying and we all had to start somewhere.

I’m sorry that you girls feel that way. Much of that is perspective. Many of us have been running for a long time for long distances and its hard to remember (or maybe its easy to forget) how it was when we first started out. BUT We were all there once. We all had to start somewhere and many of us started out after we became parents and had to learn to juggle and balance the family with our running. We were discouraged and felt very alone. No matter what the distance or the pace please know that those of us who talk “big” are very proud of you guys starting out because putting one foot in front of another is an amazing accomplishment in itself. One of the best ways to get faster or run a little farther is to either find a running group or just a friend who is a little faster or runs a little farther than you already do. They will be happy to slow down a bit or use their easy run with you as a warm up. In no time you’ll be doing the same thing for your friends that YOU have encouraged to start running too. This book will not only give you perspective but will also give you to the tools to encourage and inspire others.

I hope that if you haven't read the book and you are new to running you will still pick it up and feel the same vibe I did... that YOU AEE NOT ALONE. If you don't have a running group or spouse or friend to run with you can go to their blog... and to many other mommies blogs just by "following these mothers" on the right hand side of the site. Be kind to yourself and know that you have to start somewhere and that it all matters, no matter the pace or the distance. Those of us with the "go big" mentality just need to be reminded that we all had to start somewhere.... and that was by putting one foot in front of the other.

1 comment:

Kirsten said...

I agree with you wholeheartedly. I love knowing that I have all you ladies to look up to as I journey towards my first 1st full marathon. Even the ultra sorta speaks to me as there are so many around these parts.

But I've also been part of mentoring new runners, and I love that they, for the most part, don't care that my times are faster than theirs. And I'm right there encouraging them on while they make their strides. Most of us are on Daily Mile, and I'm humbled by some of those who are faster/farther/more miles than I do. But it gives me something to strive for. To be a better "me" runner.