I love to run. I enter a lot of races, I cover lots of different distances, I’ve even completed a half marathon. BUT am I a good runner? I have no idea. Sometimes I doubt myself massively (especially when people try to give me unsolicited advice), there’s nothing worse than when someone asks you what is your fastest 10k and then look totally disappointed. Why do I doubt myself so badly?
Firstly it’s the ‘oh you don’t look like a runner’ response. Sometimes people outwardly say it and sometimes it’s hinted at. I know I don’t really look like a runner, sometimes when I step out for my evening run and there are lots of people I tug at my clothes and wish I didn’t insist on wearing such tight clothing. I’ve been running for a long time but no I’m not what you would call sleek or streamline in body type. If I’ve learnt anything from the crowds of excited people queuing for their run on race day: they come in all shapes and sizes. So maybe it doesn’t matter that I don’t look like a runner.
Secondly, I still struggle. I still struggle to complete a set distance; sometimes that is 10 miles, sometimes it is 3 or 4. But I keep going. Sometimes 2km feels like 200km. I’m not even kidding with this one my legs are screaming at me and I want to cry. I get a lot of aches and pains. Little things here and there but that’s not what holds me back. I think sometimes I get a mental block and I feel like I just can’t do it, I keep going though.
I dress like it’s a fashion show; a bad one! Oh yes every mismatching bright colour I can. I’ve only just got to grips with the layering thing in order to stay warm. I spend lots of money and sometimes feel like it’s an “all the gear no idea” situation.
I’m not the flash. Definitely not the flash; my average time for 10km is an hour. I have swapped from flat runs to trail running so I have gotten even slower as of late. I’m running in such a hilly area it feels like I’m constantly surrounded by hill. The downward hills don’t seem to exist either… what’s that about?!
I don’t like being given advice if I don’t ask for it. Particularly slightly overweight men: “running is bad for your knees so don’t run often”, “don’t run uphill during a race” etc., etc. I do however ask for advice from people I know are regular runners, I also love runners magazines and talking to competitive runners. I love running with experienced runners.
I’m one of those awful people who posts every run on social media. Oh yes, I am one of those people whose smiling sweaty face pops up on your Instagram everyday with the details of my latest run or workout. I know some people hate this but I love it! I love the encouragement from people who comment and I love looking at everyone else’s sweaty faces and trainer pics with the details of their latest run.
In reflection: I am a good runner, I’m just not fast.
Happy running folks!