This blog post has been brewing a little while and came to me again while completing ‘Run for the kids‘ this weekend. I never post my race times on my blog. This was very much a conscious decision early in my blogging adventures but it’s something I’ve really started to think about recently – why did I choose not to? And are those reasons actually valid?
If I’m being honest, I didn’t post my run times because many would consider them slow (or very slow or barely more than a walk) and I wasn’t confident enough to share them because of that. I already was my own harshest critic, telling myself I wasn’t a ‘real runner’ (whatever that is!) and felt like, if the world knew my times, they’d reinforce that idea.
While on the bus to the start of the Bellarine Sunset Run, I was in a discussion with a fellow runner and he asked my 5km PB. So I told him – 37.12. His reply – ‘Wow, that IS slow!’. I think that’s the first comment I’ve had from anyone about my times not being those that are considered good enough to be a ‘real runner’ and it was interesting that, other than wanting to call him very rude names about his insensitivity and general lack of tact, I really didn’t care. I guess that shows how far I’ve come. I AM a real runner because I run. I train 3-4 days a week (most weeks) and enter 8-10 events a year plus parkrun every Saturday. I train at the top of my personal limit, as other real runners do. As John Bingham said, you don’t need a licence to run and there is no test to pass. You’re a runner if you run, end of story.
Another reason I’ve come back to this is that I want to be a positive role model. While I’m passionate about running, I’m also passionate about teaching and spend my working hours with a fabulous bunch of Grade 4 students. I talk to them a lot about my running, particularly when we talk about setting and achieving goals. And I tell them about how I’ve come last at events and sometimes can’t enter certain events because I’m not fast enough. I also tell them how much I love it and how I never give up, regardless how fast or slow I am compared to others. I want them to see that adults don’t only do things they’re good at. And that my self esteem is not dependent on how I compare to others.
So, for all these reasons, I shall no longer be hiding my times or referring to myself as ‘slow’. It doesn’t mean I’ll be posting them regularly, just that I will share ones I’m proud of and not fear being shunned by the running community in doing so.