I by no means am a fountain of information or know everything about running but these are a few of the things I wish I had been told when I first started running.
Since the RunThisTown 5K Training group is nearing their 5K (7 days!) I’ve been getting asked a lot lately about how to deal with negative thoughts or worrying about other people and their pace. That’s something I dealt with myself a lot when I started running, I still do now on occasion too. I’ve thought about it and the most important thing I can say are HAVE FUN. Ok, you got me! I have more than just 2 words for you, when don’t I?
Don’t worry about your pace-it’s easy to get into the mind frame of “that person is faster than I am” but it doesn’t matter. I know that’s easier said than done but this race is for YOU. It’s not for someone else’s time or even for someone else. It’s for you to have fun and to say “I did it!” You’re out there running, you’re beating yourself from before you started running and you’re faster than you were when you started! Everyone starts somewhere and everyone’s fast pace and slow pace is different. Just like not every run will be your perfect run. It’s important to remember that just because a run today wasn’t your best, doesn’t mean you should give up. Every runner (or marathoners and record holders!) have a bad race or run. If pace is important to you, just think about how far you’ll come between now and next year’s 5K. Or even how you can improve your pace between this 5K and your next one. There’s always another race when you can go faster or go further.
Most importantly, have fun! You’ll never run your first 5K again! Take it all in-remember what it’s like to just finish a run when you don’t know if you can, that feeling is 1000 times better when you cross the finish line with everyone cheering for you, even strangers! And sometimes, it’s those strangers or that volunteer at the water stop that says “you’re doing great” that is better than hearing it from someone you know.
Let me tell you a little story…I started running July 2012. I never ran in high school, if you told the high school me I’d love running today I would have laughed at you. I ran my first 5K September 30th 2012. Did I run like I wanted to? Not at all! I wasn’t nervous before the race which should have been a warning sign, I went out of the gate too fast and was hurting before the 1st mile. I finished it slower than I wanted to, at 40:37, but I still finished and crossed the finish line. But even after all that, I was still thinking “when can I run another 5K?” Not to necessarily improve my time but because I was hooked. The feeling of crossing the finish line is like nothing else!
Am I the fastest runner out there? No. I know I won’t be but I also know I love running and I won’t stop just because I won’t even place in my race.
So, just remind yourself why you’re getting out there and running. Enjoy the run for yourself not anyone else.
What are your words of wisdom or things you wish you had known before you started running?
Your GBRC-Hingham manager that can’t wait to go running again now,