I could have raced on July 4th in a local 5k. It was a small race on a flat and fast course. Who turns down an opportunity to race locally on a fast course? I did and now I’m more than a little disappointed in myself. My reasoning for not running? I’m not in peak shape and my time would have probably been quite a bit slower than typical. My thinking after I went on my run at 8:30 later that night? Hmmm, this probably wouldn’t have been as bad as I originally thought and even if it was slow, so what?
Last week, a friend of mine posted a photo of herself in her swimsuit and talked about body image and negative self-talk. She looks great, and by the way—her body has taken her through both a full and a half Ironman, among many other races. The moral of her post? You be you, because you is pretty awesome.
That same day, I met with a young lady who is a personal trainer at my health club. We talked about my training goals and I complained about how slow and sluggish I have been feeling lately and if I could just get back to racing weight, I could run as fast or faster than I did in my fastest 5K two years ago. She reminded me that I was comparing myself with myself from 2 years ago, and was that really healthy?
A few days earlier, I had also been complaining to my 26-year old daughter about how slow and unfit I have been feeling. She asked me where I got my warped sense of body and fitness, and was that really healthy?
I know better. I wouldn’t put this kind of pressure on any of my athletes. So why am I putting this kind of pressure on myself? I have run multiple ½ marathons, a full marathon last November and too many 5Ks to count. Many of those 5Ks resulted in podium placings for my age group and solid PRs. This body has also grown and birthed my beautiful daughter. It took 3 young, smart ladies with very healthy attitudes to remind me of just how capable this body of mine is.
And so Emily, I will be me. And Audra, from now on, the only comparisons I will be making will be the time from my first 5k of the season to the time from my goal race of that same season. And Cecilia, I will do my best to not have such a jaded view of this pretty damn athletic body. And to the two ladies who kindly cheered me on during my run the other night, thank you, thank you, thank you! Next time, I will just run the race, no second guessing, no qualms.
Commercial & editorial lifestyle & travel photographer, educator, competitive cyclist, track/cross country coach