Sunday, September 28, 2014


I've been hanging out with runners lately. And by runners, I mean fast, ultra-marathoning runners. It's incredibly fun sitting around talking about pace and PRs and black toenails. I've also been learning a whole lot and becoming a much stronger runner myself.

Yesterday, I met up with the boys for "an hour-long run" because they go by minutes and not miles. I was scared because they can be fast when they want to, but I was totally able to keep up with them and they ran at a pace that was easy for me to have a conversation. A couple of them did fartleks, but I stuck with the guy who didn't want to do speed work.  Eight miles flew by and it was an amazing run in the sun.

Then, a few of us were sitting on the couch and my friend says, "yeah, tomorrow I'm probably only going to run an easy five miles." Then he paused for a minute and said, "God, listen to us. We're crazy. ONLY five miles. To anyone else, five miles is really far." And in that moment, I had a bit of a reality check.

It's been very easy for me lately to fall into a place of not feeling good enough. Hanging out with runners training for a marathon, reading running blogs, and basically being immersed in the running community now can do that to me. I have been feeling pressure to run a certain amount of miles and if I don't, then I'm not a "real runner." I ended my week this week with 44 miles. To me, that sounds low compared to my friends who are doing 50-70 mile weeks. But to anyone else, 44 miles is a whole lot of miles. Especially when I am only training for a half marathon.

I have to remember that what I am doing is good enough for me. I have PRd in all of the races I've run in the past two months, I'm not injured, and the majority of my runs feel amazing. Today's ten-miler seemed to fly by.

As it is with most things in life, it's all about perspective. After my friend's comment, I was able to break free from the weird headspace I was in and realize that I am doing far more running than most people do ever. I should be thankful for my body moving me through hours of running, not bashing it for going too slow or not going far enough. I should appreciate every moment that I am able to run because there are many out there who can't. I should also be thankful to live in such a beautiful part of the world that I get to run through huge trees or on unpacked sand. I should also be grateful for my amazing runner's tan, because it is a badge of honor.

So, I am happy that my friend made that comment. It helped me realize that my perspective was very skewed and I am definitely changing my mind and the way I think of my training.

Do you sometimes get caught up in thinking you're not doing enough?


  1. I have got caught in that frame of mind as well where number of miles = how good you are as a runner. :S now that I'm tapering it has eased off a I know it's all about what YOU are doing and not what others are, but sometimes it's hard when we see those 60-80 miles/week people zooming along injury free. How they do that, I'll never know! I've never run more than 57 miles in one single week. Ever.

  2. Okay, I am totally going to compare myself to you here.
    You are amazing and you are exactly right - this is for YOU and how YOU run. The people who you are running with only make you stronger.
    I don't think I have ever run 44 miles in one week and I was training for a marathon. Hell, I am happy when I run 50 miles in ONE MONTH. You did 44 miles in 7 days! AMAZING! Your times are so incredible. I was happy this summer when my 7 miler was 1 hour and 17 minutes - you ran 10 MILES, TEN, in that amount of time. That is amazing!!!!! Also, I have never ever run a mile in 7 min (okay, I lied in high school, but it was only one time). My pace is always between 9:40 - 11:00 minutes.
    Never ever doubt yourself. Own your run, own your pace. You are a runner and always will be. I can't wait to hear about your half this weekend! You will totally rock it! :)

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  4. I had to delete my comment but copy paste it back without the spelling mistakes I saw because I am a perfectionist... hahaha! And you are a teacher so I didn't want to get bad marks! ;) Here is my proofread comment... (Still possible to have grammatical errors but at least not as bad as before) This sounds crazy but no, I don't get caught up in thinking I'm not good enough or that if I don't do xy or z that I'm not a "real" runner. Now, if I had been part of the blogging community 7 years ago, I know 7 years ago me TOTALLY could have gotten caught into the comparison trap. But me now? I hate pressure. And I refuse to put pressure on myself. The number of miles I run a week does not make or NOT make me a runner. It will make me or NOT make me injured and unhappy- haha that is for sure! So I am with you- if I am healthy, happy, and running well, then what I am doing is working for ME. I am training for a 10k right now. I don't need to be doing super long runs. And I feel like if we push ourselves all. year. long. it is just too much and pretty soon our bodies are going to break down and refuse to build back up. I want to run forever and I want to be injured as little as possible. I don't see that happening if I'm running 50 miles week after week just BECAUSE I want to be considered a super awesome runner. To me that is just stupid. I genuinely look up to runners who train SMART and I am glad you have seen another perspective and don't put the pressure on yourself to be anything other than the runner you are- which is a very amazing, strong runner! Pressure is the worst thing ever and I just refuse to let myself get sucked into it. It's not worth it.

  5. I so understand this. When I have a crappy long run I think "I used to not even be able to run a mile!" It's funny how 8 miles begins to sound short. Sometimes we need a reality check!

  6. You are just awesome I'd all I have to say. It's easy to get caught up in the not feeling fast or not running long enough. Right now 8 miles seems crazy to me. ;)
    Ashley @

  7. Yes, 44 miles a week is hefty! Don't ever judge yourself based on're kick-ass. And on that same not... it's not "only" a half. It's 13 freaking miles that you're going to run as fast as possible!