Last night after my simply fantastic run outside after work I started to ponder the definition of “good”; as in what makes you “good”. Is it a 5:00 minute mile? Is it an 8 minute mile? Is it whatever pace you think you totally rocked your run at?
To be honest when I took up running more seriously, I started to compare myself to other runners. It’s only natural for a type A personality such as mine to do just that. “How come she barely trains and can run a 8 min mile and not break a sweat?”, “How come they decided to run a marathon 6 months ago already qualified for Boston?” , “How does he make it look so EASY??” Oftentimes I would be running at what I felt was a difficult (for me) pace and glance down at my Garmin only to be defeated when the mile marker beeped something like a 10:25 pace. Seriously? I would get so down on myself because I wasn’t going as fast as I should be (whatever that was in my mind) or running as far as other runners.
When I decided to sign up for marathon #2 (The New Jersey Marathon) I forced myself to throw all those preconceived notions out the window. It was time to focus on ME and only ME. I have to say that not only is it so freeing to let go of my original definition of “good” but it has allowed me to dig deep and push outside my comfort zone a little bit more to achieve “better”. I’ve also come to the conclusion that if I can endure the pain of running a marathon (let’s be real…it ain’t no cake walk!) then I can endure a little discomfort that will bring me closer to reaching my goals.
Last year if you asked me if I could run 10 miles before putting in a full work day – I probably would’ve laughed at you. Now I’m doing that on a fairly consistent basis. Last year a “quick run” after work was 3 or 4 miles; now I’m going double that distance in less time. Things are finally clicking and it feels great. I won’t lie, it’s still a bit of a mental battle when I read other blogs or workout updates – but then I remind myself of how far I’ve come.
So here’s my unsolicited advice for the day: “GOOD” is what you make of it. Whether it’s a 5k, 10k, half, full, or ultra – the last runner is covering the same distance as the first runner. Just having the courage to get out there and accomplish something that you never though possible is GOOD enough for me 🙂