Since my first time running is July 2011 and following the C25K Facebook Page, I have read a lot of posts about not being fast or a "real" runner.
I have read, "Oh, I just hope I am not last." People have thought they were doing something wrong because they couldn't run three miles in 30 minutes. So, I thought I would share my stats from the Narrow River 5k, which by the way, I PR'ed in.
In my age group, 40-49, I finished eighth. Now before you say congrats, there were only eight women in my age group. Yes, it was a small race.
I finished in 35:04, which is a 31 seconds faster than my previous best time. The seventh place woman finished in 34:26 and the first place woman in my age group finished in 24:05 and she came in fourth among all the women.
There were walkers in this race and a couple of them started in the front. I never caught up to them. They were fast and I actually wanted to yell at them, "Just run for crying out loud!"
In the last half mile, an older gentleman passed me with a stroller. More than 15 years me and a stroller! Are you freaking kidding me!? I never caught up to him either, but I really didn't try and looking back, I wish I did.
There wasn't much crowd support until the end, which is fine, but I did love how everyone cheered for you when you were in the last .10. They made me feel like I could do another three and, I think, I actually wanted to.
Why am I telling you this? Well, because I am a runner who may never be first in my age group, let alone first overall. I want to finish and if that means I am the last to come in, well, I am good with that. I run because it makes me happy and healthy.
I am focusing mainly on distance and not so much speed right now, but I do think I can be faster at my next 5k.
I like that I can have goals for my race that are completely different from yours. I love that about running. Our races are just that, ours.
Now, I am not saying I won't ever run a race that I won't want to win, I mean, I am the same person who said that I would never run, but for now, I am happy just running my own race and finishing at whatever goals I set for myself, or somewhere in the ballpark. LOL
Be happy my friends, and do what you love. Be honest with yourself and make your goals realistic, especially if you are new to running.
And of course, if you want to run a race with no official time clock and still get an awesome medal, then I highly suggest you check out the Run Strong, Think Big Virtual 5k. You can run and help others with this race, which is another thing I love about running.
I hope you find my stats funny but inspiring. If you run at a seven-minute pace you are a runner. If you run a 12-minute pace, you are a runner. If you are running and a walker and old dude pass you, you are still a runner. If you run, you are a runner, simple as that!
Run strong, think big!