2 miles / 24-ish
This was supposed to be 5 miles but I was pretty much miserable. It was 90 degrees and pure humidity.
Recently I was talking to someone about the 7-miler I ran about two weeks ago. They asked immediately how fast I completed the run. My face turned red. I felt a little uneasy. “Uh, about an hour… and 20 minutes.”
Then I quickly rebutted myself by saying “I’m really working on endurance first. The speed will come later. I run 5Ks faster.”
I realize what I said was completely true. But I couldn’t help but feel like an inadequate runner. I felt like my long run pace should have been faster. I felt like a running failure, at least in that moment. I know this isn’t true, but at times I can be my own worst critic, especially when it comes to my running performance.
But why did I feel the need to justify myself? It seems there is a stigma that you are less of a runner if your time is not up to par. You run 8-minute miles during your long run? Totally understandable, and respected. Twelve or 13-minute miles during your long run? Not so much.
My 5K time has improved. I have come quite a ways from the first time I ran three miles. But sustaining that same 9-ish minute mile pace over five, seven or more miles is not easy for me. Franky, I’m not sure it’s ever happened! But I do believe someday it will happen. I have been a firm believer in my training that the endurance comes first, then speed.
All of this talk and “knowing” what is true doesn’t make it any easier when I feel embarrassed by my long run speeds. But it’s comforting when I find other runners who experience the same thoughts, and also those who have overcome them.
I would (and I’m sure others too) love to hear your success stories.
How has your pace and speed improved during your running journey?