I am running for almost a decade now and whenever people learn about it some of them assume I am an elite runner. Fortunately, I am not.
Don’t get me wrong, I admire a few elite athletes, especially in endurance sports. The discipline, hard work, dedication, and love these people put into the heart of their training inspire me to get out that door and run even on the days when I shouldn’t. However, when I first started running, I didn’t dream to become part of the running elite.
I just wanted to run.
I know that if I were to meet someone who is as crazy into running as I am, I would also assume that they are faster than the average runners or they are lunatic idiots on the loose just like me. It would be common if they entertain the same thoughts when they meet me, but the truth is I am slower than almost every runner I am surrounded myself with nowadays.
In my training, I never think about speed but it doesn’t mean I never train to become faster than I used to be. In fact, I do but getting faster is not why I run. I pay more attention to how far I could go in 30 minutes, in an hour, or in five hours, but I think mostly about who the next mileage is dedicated to, and what cause to run for next. In my official runs, I race only with myself.
I used to worry about having my teammates, who are podium finishers and PR breakers, wait for me. The last thing I want to happen is to get them hungry while waiting for me to cross the finish line. Good thing that these days I finish the race even before the awarding starts. My finish time in recent years is really a huge improvement. In the past, I experienced crossing the finish line without the arch anymore, and only the organizers and some friends were among the remaining crowd.
Reaching your personal best, pushing for your maximum potential, reaching your running goals, and winning in your races are still possible even if you do not belong in the elite wave. You can still do better than your last run. You can still conquer yourself.
Expose your body to gentle yet consistent runs and develop your foundation on a regular basis. That’s what I am doing, too. You can gradually run faster and farther, and you can push for some hard running if you wish to. Trust me, your mind and body can do amazing things you never thought you could.
In running, at least from my raramuri soul’s perspective, you can be both a tortoise and a hare and you can have a little bit of both worlds. No matter how slow, fast, and far you can outdo yourself, just run and run with your heart.