It may look like I'm going slow but I'm just getting started.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Speed is Relative

I recently had occasion to cease criticism of myself for a few minutes and give myself credit for the incredible amount of work I've done to get to this point. The occasion was this article about Jennifer Love Hewitt running the LA Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon in 3:09. Not only did Jennifer run with her boyfriend, she was paced by Deena Kastor (American record holder and Olympic medalist). And my first thought was: I beat Jennifer Love Hewitt AND Deena Kastor with my lightning fast time of 2:43! Some people might obsess on the fact that Deena Kastor was very pregnant. Just let me have my moment! I always agonize over my speed and find myself apologizing to people for being so slow. As if they care how fast or slow I am, as long as they can continue eating cans of Pringles in front of the television. On a related topic, do you ever feel guilty about binging while watching The Biggest Loser? I usually don't even eat while it's on because I can feel the guilt from Bob and Jillian being transmitted over the airwaves. I should probably do sit ups during commercial breaks or something.

OK back to the original topic: I beat myself up for being "slow" and I think, "If I can do it anyone can do it." I'm starting to realize that may not be true. Yes, I was finisher 2387 at the Women's Half but there were 997 women (and some men, but that's another story) behind me. And I'm pretty sure they were trying their best and not just letting me "win." A 12:30 or 12:00 minute mile pace may be slow for some people but considering I never thought I would be a runner, it's pretty fast for me. And I know there are some women out there now thinking they will never be able to run because it's just too hard. I used to be that woman. Ten years ago I even wrote, "walking is all I'm capable of." And I was ten years younger, with springier knees and joints that didn't crack upon rising from the dinner table. I've decided it's all mental. A lot of people live by the Henry Ford quote: 
If you think you can do a thing or think you can't do a thing, you're right.
Now Henry Ford may have had some other issues (Nazi ties anyone) but this quote pretty much sums it up. If I think I can never run, I never will. And I like to think some day I will run like a gazelle through the savanna. I picture myself being that elegant now but I think if I ever saw a video of my running form it would be a different story. But I still strive for that. I know I will get faster and I know that every "slow" step I take brings me closer to that point. I am a runner (no matter what Pearl Izumi says). And I am fast.


  1. Speed IS relative. I'll be thrilled when I hit a HM time of 2:43! My first was 2:57 (though it was really hilly & windy!) I am hoping to get under 2:50 for #2 in February.

  2. I'll be interested to see what my January half time is. I don't know whether to push myself to go faster or just try not to die! Congratulations on your time. Hilly and windy are words I like to avoid!