Running Your Own Race

Happy 50% off Valentine’s Day Candy Day!  Yesterday marked the midway point of February which means time is ticking by and June 16 is fast approaching us for the San Francisco Marathon.

I was fortunate enough to participate in a 10k last weekend.  My second one ever, to be exact.  I’m always giddy on race morning and enjoy the excitement that comes with meeting new people, the camaraderie, and most of all-racing!  Races are something a lot of runners live for.  They give runners something to train for and presents the perfect opportunity for any runner (or walker) to show off what they have worked so hard for.  So many people from so many different walks of life are represented at every race.  But one thing I have to always tell myself is to run my own race.

Running your own race can be extremely hard at times.  It is almost impossible not to compare yourself to those you see in Runners World, in Instagram photos, blogposts, or those you read about in other places of triumphant victories over seemingly daunting obstacles.  It is easy to feel inadequate.  It is easy to think that your first sub-30 5k that you busted butt for can seem so meaningless in the shadow of someone who has accomplished greater feats.  It is easy to get caught up in sizing up fellow runners/walkers at the start line.  Those feelings are real and they are justified.  We live in a media driven society and running has become the mainstream. But still, we must remember to run our own race.

I can’t count the times I have stood at a start line and felt like all my training was a waste after looking at seasoned runners that surrounded me.  I can’t count the times that I have felt discouraged when someone passed me while out for a run.  I can’t count the times when I have been embarrassed to post my race time to Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook after seeing so many others complete a much faster time than me.  But guess what?  I got out there and I did it anyway.  I stopped focusing on everyone else and simply ran my own race and enjoyed every minute that ticked by on my Garmin.  I was having fun and no one could take that away from me.

One of my favorite parts of my 10k last week was the out and back portion where I got to high five and tell good job to when I passed those who were behind me on the course.  They were out there.  They were walking.  They were putting their best foot forward and they were proud.  They were no less important than the guy who passed me wearing short shorts and a singlet earlier.  We were all racers and we were all doing our own race.  Don’t ever feel like someone else’s accomplishments are better than yours or that you have to live up to the expectations that the running community has placed.  Do your thing and do it well.  You can do it. Focus on yourself and how amazing you are for being out there doing something that many other people could only dream about.  Take pride in your effort. Just run your own race.

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