OWN IT // FIVE MILE FRIDAY
The good, the bad, the didn’t quite go according to plan, it’s all a part of the process.
And, you have to own it all. Even, when there’s nothing you’d rather no than forget about, throw it all under the rug and pretend it never happened. The tears, the set backs, the not good enough days, own it. It’s never fun or easy by any means. That’s what I realized this week when I had mediocre run after mediocre run. Each time I logged into Strava (site that tracks your running routes/times), I saw it right in front of my eye. While my overall pace for each different route remained average, the times I put up this week were some of the slowest I have ran in over 3 months.
It’s hard to not let something that define you, send you spiraling downwards into an emotional rabbit hole. The only thing you can seem to focus on is all the places where things went wrong, all the moments when you couldn’t seem to quite give your all. When you’re in the moment mid run, struggling harder than you think you should be, the culprit is always your own personal failings. It’s only after the fact that you look back and realize just how hard running is. Whether it’s the weather, the time of day, or just the physical toll it takes on your body; there’s no doubt about it: Running is HARD.
It sounds cheesy, but it’s true: if running were easy…everybody would do it. It’s mentally taxing and often times physically grueling. It’s rain and shine and everything in between. So, when I took off on my fourth run of the week this morning, I had one goal in mind: Own it.
I really, REALLY wanted to go 5 miles. That’s it.
While paces/time is normally (and will likely always be) a ginormous part of my running, I didn’t set out with any time goal in mind. Just finish, and own every single mile. Every single step and stride. That was my goal today. So, that’s exactly what I did. I put my Ipod on shuffle, ran my normal 5 mile route, and somehow managed to enjoy every single second of those 5 miles. Whether it was lap 1 (the first 2ish miles), climbing the mini hill, or coasting downhill towards the finish line…it didn’t seem to matter. It was all fun and so worth the 4 a.m. wake up call.
There were times when I was running incredibly fast and other times when my feet were barely leaving the ground. Regardless, I kept my eye focused straight ahead and told myself at least a thousands time all throughout that I was doing a great job. An incredible job. That, no matter the final time or my average pace, 5 miles was still 5 miles; and it was just another run under my belt. Another experience that I could learn and grow from.
It’s the hardest thing in the world, to feel like you’re not giving something you’re passionate about everything you’ve got.
Even if it’s just a feeling or your mind playing tricks on you, it’s a tough obstacle to overcome. The thing is though, you’re the only person who can make the did I/did I not give 100% today call. And, naturally, your judgement isn’t always going to be perfect or unbiased. You’ll be to hard on yourself and neglect to factor in all of the different, extraneous variable that have an impact on the final result. For me, that’s the biggest issue. Physical limitations, weather conditions, music selection, sleep, nutrition, and self doubt just to name a few.
The funny thing is, if someone (literally anyone) told me that they ran x amount of miles, the last thing I would care about was their time, pace, and whether or not they beat their previous time for that distance. I would just be proud of the fact that they pushed themselves to get out there and run the distance. So, why on earth would I think it’s okay to set the unrealistic running expectations for myself?!? To, compare each run (good or bad) to the many, many runs that came before it. I’m no sports psychologist, so I’m not going to even attempt to figure that out.
However, I can honestly say that I was proud of the way I ran today. The effort I put forth, the positive attitude I maintained, and the fact that I ran with zero pelvic or hip pain. I am 100% okay with owning the fact that my average pace was 9:45 min/mile. I had some fast miles and I had some slow miles. And, at the end of the day, that’s how a typical run goes. You go fast, you go slow, and at some point you completely forget about why you even started running in the first place.