I've been blogging quite a bit this week, I must be feeling quite inspired (or its because S has gone away for two weeks and I am bored and dont really want to study).
One thing that has been on my mind and was said to me a few times today as I have been talking about my half marathon. And that is, "wow you must be a good runner". The short answer, no. I am no more spectacular than the average Joe, truth be told I am quite slow with my best 5k time at 39mins10secs. I My technique still needs work and I am still significantly overweight (20-25kgs) which brings down my speed as well. I spose then you can say what I lack in technique and time I make up for in perseverence. When I began running I did short bursts, like everyone I fatigued quite quickly and with the excess weight I was carrying I find it quite tough on my joints. Over time though, you do build up strength. Sprinter always amaze me, my PT/friend E is a sprinter and she can move like nobody's business, its incredible. With distances though, while speed is important, its about training your body to endure the pressure of moving for longer periods of time - its about training your mind to push through the boundary of feeling tired and to find that little extra.
The quickest I have seen someone do a 5k is 20mins, thats 4min splits. The fastest half marathon finisher for the half I am entered in was 1hr 11mins. So there are people out there who can run with the speed and agility of a sprinter but have the endurance for the long distances. There are people that compete to win. But the everyday person shouldnt fear running or entering into races because they arent in the same catergory. There is nothing marvellous about what I love to do, its something that everyone can build up. The BIG thing is, you have to want to. And if you dont, well thats okay as well. Some sports I dont like, sprinting, baseball, softball, golf. What would make me sad however is that if someone didnt run because they werent the fastest or the best and they didnt think they belonged. One thing I love about running is that its for everyone, you run in a group but there is an element of solitude. I remember in my first fun run I got a high five from another runner who was doing the 10k, it was awesome and put the biggest smile on my face. I have heard stories of people who collapsed just short of finishing but other runners gave up their PB's to help another runner finish. You cant buy that kind of mateship.
One day, just get out there and try it. And if you dont like it, well then you know. But dont not try because you think everyone else out there is a good runner. A quote I love by Dean Karnazes I try and remember every time I think I am not good enough to call myself a runner, or I think I wont finish.
"Run when you can, walk if you have to, crawl if you must; just never give up. "