Back-of-the-packers deserve love too.
In my mind, I am a runner – one of those elegant gazelles that effortlessly breezes into a 1:40 finish in a half marathon. In reality, I’m an overweight, middle aged, white chick, with athletic ability comparable to a loaf of bread. And with these knockers, I look like I’m juggling kittens under my shirt the whole time (ouch, BTW). Yet, I’m hoping all this translates into a half time finish of 2:45.
Please don’t mock my goal time. Yes, I am running the entire way. Mostly because the blood pools in my legs when I stop, and I fall on my face, but that’s another story. It’s just that my running style is more like grandma shuffling down the stairs in her slippers aiming for that first cup of coffee and less like Joan Benoit Samuelson sprinting towards the finish chute. I like to call it “efficient”.
I’ve put a lot of training and effort into running this race. Believe it or not, I’m actually working on slowing my pace. Why? Because races are invigorating, and early in the race, it is easy to get caught up in the excitement and take off too fast trying to keep up with the rabbits, using up energy stores best reserved for higher digit miles. I do it every time. Splits don’t lie. I’m afraid I will bonk somewhere in the last 3 miles and suffer another humiliating finish like my current PR of 3:11. Yup, I rolled in so late almost everyone had already left.
So runners, please don’t keep telling me that a 2:45 finish is embarrassingly slow. Trust me, it’s not. Some of us are just not gifted in this field. We run because it is hard, not just because we can. To finish is to win. I’ll even get the same medal as you.
One day, I too hope to be fast. Fast being a relative term meaning “under 10 minutes a mile”. When this happens I want to be able to say to everyone “good job!” regardless of their goal. If you are running, you are a runner.
Good job, ya’ll – and happy running!