Thursday, November 7, 2013

how far i've come

i recently (thanks to a tweet allison sent out) discovered the website where you can find old race results and claim them to your profile as a way to keep track of all of your previous races. since i haven't been blogging that long and am also terrible about any organization of any type on my blog, i don't really have a record of all the runs i've done except a vague group of memories in my head. i wasn't able to find all of my results on athlinks, but it was really interesting for me to get a glimpse of some of my previous race times and it got me thinking about exactly how far i've come as a runner.

(from one of my first half marathons with my dad)

as i've said before, i haven't always been a runner. in fact, my high school bff and i almost failed the mile in pe because our mile time at the end of the semester was about 2 seconds away from being slower than our first attempt in august (this was the only criteria for passing the mile). that should be embarrassing for me to admit, but i still laugh about it to this day with my friend. i was on the track team for approximately two seconds freshman year of high school before i developed a foot injury that required surgery and provided me with a convenient excuse to quit because...well, i hated it and i wanted to be editor of the literary magazine instead. i was, and enjoyed every moment of that. do what you love, you know?

(now, i love dressing up like a polar bear)

now, though, i can genuinely say that i do love running. do i love every run that i go on? no. do i whine about "having to go for a run" sometimes? sure. are there moments where my couch wins in the lounging vs. pavement pounding battle? absolutely. but for the most part, i don't regret any of the runs that i go on and i always end up feeling better afterwards.

(nike women's half with allison - arguably the run i'm most proud of in my life)

something i don't like about my running is how as soon as i finish a run i judge it based on my time as opposed to how i felt or my level of effort. i want to work on changing my brain in this department. yeah, sure, i have goals in mind for the marathon i'm running in january. they are pretty realistic goals for the runner i am right now - but i need to remember that important fact: they are MY goals and they apply to me. after a brief review, i would say about 84% of the people i follow on instagram run faster than me. but they aren't running on my legs, they haven't eaten the same things i eat, they may weigh more or less than i do, the list goes on. unless i had an indentical twin with an identical lifestyle, comparing my own running to anyone else's is just plain dumb, not to mention a recipe for mental and emotional disaster.

this is where my random shoutout to athlinks comes into play. i get so caught up in being angsty about not hitting a certain pace that this gave me a serious slap of reality. my first half marathon time was over thirty-five minutes faster than my PR. that's a pace improvement of over two and a half minutes per mile. am i proud of both of those races and times? you're damn right! i remember how i felt crossing the finish line of my first half with jess and my dad and feeling like i was on top of the world. that's the feeling i can't forget - even if i look at that time now and know i wouldn't be satisfied with it, it's amazing to think just how far i've come in my running abilities since then. 

(not that first race, but you get the idea - jess was there with me)

it's high time i got back to basics and remembered that i have come a LONG way as a runner (miles and miles, in fact) and no matter how much farther or faster i go, i've accomplished a lot, and that's enough for me. i plan on crossing the finish line in january. i plan on doing it in a time faster than my last marathon. but regardless, i am proud of myself for even taking the first step, because high school molly? well she would have laughed you out of the building for suggesting 26.2 was an option for anything besides the number of soft pretzels consumed in a month during fourth period. 



  1. #1: You just discovered Athlinks?! Oh, girl. That website is my JAM. True life: I am more likely to stalk someone on Athlinks than I am to stalk them on Facebook. You tell me you're a runner, you tell me you ran one race in your entire life, heck, you even DON'T tell me you're a runner, chances are I'm looking you up on Athlinks. I don't care what you do. I don't care who you're dating. I care how fast you are (or aren't). Haha. I'm also a total race results stalker. If I know someone ran a race, you better believe I'm on that race's website looking up their results for the same reasons. I'm awful.

    #2: I like this post a lot and it really resonates with me. I don't have too much trouble comparing myself to people I have only known as runners (like bloggers and such), but I get into A LOT of trouble comparing myself to people I grew up with who weren't runners when we were younger but now are. I'm a bit possessive of the whole running thing, and I don't like to share it with the popular girls from high school, especially if they're at all faster than I am. Which is so dumb! Who cares if one girl can run a faster 10K than I can? And who cares if another girl ran a marathon and so did I? It doesn't matter! What matters is that I'm doing what I can to be the best runner *I* can be at a particular time, not the best runner there ever was.

  2. I have never heard of this website but I adore this post. Everything about it. I definitely catch myself in the comparison trap... with myself... more than anyone else. It's so frustrating because at the end of the day, no race is going to be the same. No run is going to be the same. There are so many other factors that affect our times and to see that kind of improvement in a relatively short amount of time is really incredible. Now I'm off to check out that website...

  3. Hahaha you sound like me with running! I hated the 2 lap warm up for track, and never ran more than 300 meters for a race, lol. Now I love it! Who knew things could change so much?! I never heard of this website but I want to check it out! I actually have a post ready to go about the comparison trap. Of course no one makes me feel like that, except me. Keep improving and making those gains!! :) Proud of you girl!

  4. D'awww I love this so much! I find myself being so judgmental of my runs and it takes a lot for me to step back and be like- wait, remember when you ran that 5k and it was one of the happiest moments you can think back to? and it had nothing to do with time or pace or anything but the fact that you ran? Comparing yourself to other people is so silly and it's so frustrating that we all do it and let us get us down. We're awesome. End of story.