Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Bless Me Father ...

It occurred to me this morning that I need to get something off my chest to you, dear diary.

So here it is:
The blogs I really enjoy reading the most are the ones from runners who are slow. Not enjoy in a "thank-god-there's-someone-as-slow-as-me" kinda way, though I have to admit, since I'm in a confessional, that there is a bit of that in it.

No, mainly why I seek out blogs from slowpokes like me is because I want to be reassured that it's ok to be slow. And there are a few bloggers out there who are slow, but are totally ok with it. It's so not an issue. And friends (I mean Father), these days, that's what's really inspiring me. Because there's a goal I can embrace: my inner (well, and outer) slowness.

New runners who start out slow and then are soon flying up mountains in the desert are inspiring, too, just in a different way. The way Lance Armstrong is inspiring. Or Neil Armstrong, for that matter. Other-worldly inspiring. But just outta my league. And then after they inspire me, I start feeling bad, like I should be able to do that. And then I get jealous. And then I have to go to confession. Which sucks.

I can relate to slow runners. And the ones who are totally fine with it, are just, well, heroic.

Is this a bad thing? It's so un-American. I know I should be striving to get better, right? But does better always mean faster?

Eh, whatever.

In any case, this week on my two four-miler maintenance runs, I made a deliberate decision, after three weeks of successively running faster, to just slow down. To about a 11:35 minute mile.

And so far? No pain, no guilt. (Well, except I started this post as a confession, for god's sake. So I might be lying about the no guilt part.)

Amen.

14 comments:

Lara said...

No Catholic upbringing evident here! ;)

Being ok with being slow was initially a big struggle for me, and it got me injured. Now I've really come to appreciate the back of the pack, also with the help of alot of awesome bloggers!

Being slow doesn't mean you're not working hard enough, it doesn't mean you're lazy or complacent. Train smart, enjoy the run, enjoy the running and you'll find that there is so much more to it than speed.

jeanne said...

And you lara, are one of the inspiring ones! (not that you are slow!)
j

j said...

Ah, guilt. Self-doubt. This is starting to sound more like the jeanne I know!

jeanne said...

indeed.

a.maria said...

well, i'm with lara, it was a big struggle in the beginning to accept the fact that i will never be a fast runner, but with that acceptance came enjoyment of the sport... something which i never thought was possible. every now and again i get frustrated with my short stumpy slow little legs, but for the most part, like you, i've come to enjoy the back of the pack!
big fat high-five to the turtles out there... slow, but STEADY, gets the job done!!!! ;)

Stephanie said...

I know. I would LOVE to run a 4 hour marathon, but that is just not me. In fact, if I'm really honest with myself, my marathon really could be as long as 6 hours. And I'm going to have to get to be OK with that or else, I'm going to be sad when I see my time at the finish line. And the way I look at it, there is NO reason to be sad after you have run 26.2 miles!

Susan said...

I was getting injured, too, until I slowed down. But a funny thing happened when I slowed down--I started to speed up. Now I doubt I will *ever* be really speedy, and that *is* ok with me. But I am finding that nearly two years later, my body is getting used to running and it wants to keep up with my brain. The goal is to do what feels good and not compete with anyone but yourself!

David said...

You are doing so well just to run. If you want to beat the guilt then just beat yourself. Run a little longer than you have before. Run a little faster than your usual pace; but only when it feels right. Just as Susan puts it, don't compete with anyone but yourself.

jeanne said...

Thanks David! Ah the guilt is more about the guilty pleasure I get in reading about people like myself!!

And Susan: That's like exactly what the great Galloway says. GO slow to get fast. It's a mystery wrapped up in an enigma!

And Stephanie: IF I can do it in 6 hours, I'll be thrilled. Really really thrilled.

a.maria: See you in the BOP (back of the pack, which is actually the name of one of the groups in our local running clug here. If I ever run again A.M. (after-marathon), that's the group i'll be running with!

jeanne said...

Not clug CLUB. Running CLUB! Is there a way to edit comments???!

Riona said...

A little while ago I made the same decision - to slow down - and it was the best thing I ever did. Running is more fun, and I can go longer and feel better about it than I did when I was trying to keep up an unrealistic pace, and failing. Good for you.

jeanne said...

Riona: What can I say, great minds think alike! Can't wait to read your blog.

Flatman said...

Slow is good...

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