Embracing Who I Am

I wrote this post before reading Christie’s post about negative chatter and Barb’s post about celebrating fitness and what our bodies can do.  Apparently, all of our great minds are in the same place- GREATLAND!!!  Join us.

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The only folks I pass on the running trail are the ones walking……and I am running.

When I first started running three years ago (eek- it’s been three years already!!!!), I was slower than slow and I was so caught up in the comparison game, as in, comparing myself to all of my new runner friends and their own individual paces.  Needless to say, I always felt *behind the eight ball*.  While I was proud of what I was doing, I wasn’t celebrating it.  I was too busy comparing, comparing, and comparing some more and coming up short every single time. Why do we do that?

Fast forward to today (way before today, actually).

I am done with comparing myself to others.  My pace is faster than when I started but it’s still not in the 9 or 10 minute range and it may never be.  I see others whine and complain about their *quicker than me* paces and I think- why can’t they just revel in what their bodies CAN do?  I would love to have that pace or that pace or win a race but it’s not currently in the cards.

That is OK.

You know why? Because I am a runner.

I used to think there was a certain criteria that I had to possess in order to call myself a runner.  If someone dared call me a runner back in the beginning, I had all kinds of excuses of why I wasn’t a runner.

*I’m not fast enough
*I’m not skinny enough
*My foot strikes are heavy
*My running skirts rides up my butt
*I sweat too much
*I gasp for breathe sometimes
*My heart rate is too high
*I have to work too hard to go so slow
*I carry every runner gadget known to man

Blah  blah blah.  I would correct that person’s runner status of me and respond that I was a run/walker, jogger, or wogger (depending on the day).  Why oh why?  I know why- because I didn’t believe in myself and I was too hung up on my pre-conceived notion of what I thought a runner SHOULD be.

Runners come in all shapes and sizes.  Runners have a variety of paces.  Runners have good days and bad days.  Some days we love running, some days we don’t.

Hi, my name is Lisa.  I am 40 years old.  I have three kids.  I am 5’6″ and weigh 175 lbs.  My pace hovers around 12 min/miles during the Summer (11 min/miles during the Winter).  I use the Jeff Galloway method of running.  I only run 3 days a week when training for a half marathon (I have done four!).  I do not glide like a gazelle when I run but I don’t freaking care anymore.  I start sweating immediately, I carry a fuel belt on every run, and running in the heat is my arch enemy. I love running with friends and I have finally stopped apologizing for slowing them down- boo yah!

I have given up all pre-conceived notions of what I think a runner should look like or be or do.  I embrace and encourage and absolutely adore women who get up off the couch and try something new, like running.  I love helping them realize that they can do something they thought they could never do.  I love showing them that the biggest barrier is the one in their mind.

I fully embrace who and what I am and what I am is a runner, 100%, through and through.

Have you?

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  • Patty Thomas

    Great post! I feel the same way. I am constantly comparing my slow pace to what others post on their blog and daily mile. My pace is also hovering around 12 minute miles and I am starting to come to grips with the fact I will never be a fast runner, and that is ok. Even when I was in the best shape of my life (in college rowing) I still could barely brake a 10 minute mile and was always one of the last to finish. It never bothered me then, now if I could just get that mindset back.

    • http://twitter.com/MommyMo Mommy Mo

      Let’s run together- we can talk the whole way : ).

  • http://jiggles.airynothing.com/ barb_at_jiggles

    It took me about 3 years before I considered myself a “real” biker. Somehow I decided that I could finally buy biking clothes only after I’d done a 20-mile ride — I don’t know why that number was in my head, and I was kind of mad at myself afterwards because the biking clothes were so comfy.

    I’ve been able to call myself a runner much faster. I’m slow, I can’t go terribly far, but it doesn’t matter. I run. Period.

  • ItsMeVsMe

    I still struggle with this, the idea of I’ll be a real runner when… I’m trying to be better.

  • Laurie Buzz

    I started really running regularly a little over a year ago. My daughter wanted to do the Goofy Challenge in January. She wasn’t a runner really either. So my husband, daughter & I decided to go for it. I really was scared to death. I was 51 years old thinking of running a 1/2 marathon and then a full marathon the next day. How nuts is that!!!! Well, I bought Jeff Galloway’s book and we started training for it. We had so much fun together. My husband did the math and figured at our pace, we could walk 2 minutes and run 1 and be able to finish in plenty of time and enjoy the experience. That’s what we did. We only ran 3 days a week. Our goal was to train and finish uninjured and we did it. We are signed up to do it again this coming January. We have done quite a few races since then. My husband & I have been able to do all kinds of races with every one of our children. This includes triathlons. Who would have thought. Even with all that I’ve been able to accomplish, those negative thoughts sneak in. I’m not fast enough, I’m not skinny enough, I’m to old and am going to hurt myself etc. But you know what….this grandma can keep up with her grandkids. I can climb a rope ladder with them. I can run the Disneyland 1/2 and still spend the rest of the day at Disneyland going on rides with them. I can run and chase them and they can cheer for me when I cross that finish line!

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  • Libby

    This is very inspiring for me to read that running and being a runner it’s a “perfectionist” sport. I am however at times a perfectionist and have been putting off getting into the running rituals and making it a habit bc I feel I look like I have no idea what I am doing and possibly wearing myself out to quickly to really make a difference. I sometimes like to think of the “Friends” episode where Phoebe runs around Central Park like a crazy woman with her hands flailing in the air and tells Rachel it’s O.K. bc you’re running by so quickly it’s not like you are ever going to see them again. Yet, in the episode Rachel does run into some she knows. Haha! I think about doing this as I chug along around the parks near me since I am not a consistent regular at times.
    I have started to just let myself know “Hey at least I am moving around and getting out of the house, instead of watching all the seasons of “Friends”… again.
    Thanks again!

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