Saturday, November 29, 2014

Runners! STOP DOING THIS! Two Words to Banish From Your Running Vocabulary



I was trying to finish the Cox Running Club Thanksgiving Day 5K (aka the Turkey Trot) in under 30 minutes. Actually, I didn't give too much thought to what my finishing time would be at first. Then hubby put it in my head that I should shoot for finishing in under 30. I told him I wasn't sure I could do that these days. While 30 minutes is slower than my 5K personal record, my training runs usually put me at about 31-32 minutes at the 5K mark. He said if I didn't run it in under 30 then Thanksgiving would be cancelled this year. How's that for motivation? lol

Cox Racing Club Thanksgiving Day 5K at Trinity park in Fort Worth.

I missed the mark by just under 4 seconds. In my defense I spent at least 4 seconds in the beginning getting around the walkers. It's OK though, my eventual success will be that much sweeter. I am working to get stronger and faster every day and soon I will be back! I am considering registering for the Christmas Day Run and the New Years Eve run for my comeback 5K races.

I always do a double take when it says age 40. What? Oh yeah, that's my age now.

This got me thinking about something runners do, and I am as guilty as any.

"I ran a 5K but I was slow."

"I only ran 3 miles today."

"I know my pace isn't as fast as some others, but I feel good that I ran a 10 minute mile."

"I know I don't run as far as other runners, but I ran 6 miles for the first time today."

"I'm not a real runner."

Why do we do this? It's like we have to put out the disclaimer before we share our accomplishments, maybe we say it because we are afraid someone one will say it first.

"Oh Lea, you finished your 5K in 30:03? That's pretty slow." It's like I have to tell you I know I am slow before you tell me first. But the truth is no one cares as much as I do about how fast I run, how far I run, or how many miles I put in each week. Besides, the running community is largely a supportive, inclusive community. I see very little negativity. There is no need to undermine our successes. I am proud of my finishing time.

I got up early on Thanksgiving morning and ran a 5K. I ran it faster than most of my training runs. YAY ME.

We should know better. It is not like anyone is judging us based on our pace or milage. There is no good pace or bad pace. It is your pace, your level, your ability. If you run a 7 minute mile or a 12 minute mile, there will likely be someone faster and someone slower. The key is to compare yourself to you and work to improve based on your own personal best, not someone else's.

I say STOP IT RIGHT NOW. Stop undermining your successes with "But" and "Only" and make this your 2015 New Year's resolution. Repeat after me.

"I will be proud of my accomplishments and not undermine them. I will not compare myself to other runners. I will banish "But" and "Only" from my running vocabulary. I run, therefore I am a runner."

And if you were wondering where Ollie was at the Turkey Trot, you obviously missed the disaster (aka misadventure) that happened last year. 

Hubby granted me a Thanksgiving pardon for my four second shortcoming and Thanksgiving dinner went off without a hitch.

Will you join me in banishing BUT and ONLY from your running vocabulary? I hope you're enjoying your weekend, friends. I gotta run. I only have to run 10 miles today to train for the Dallas half marathon.

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Keep Running,


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  1. Amen!!! I love that medal and your turkey looks faaaaaaabulous!! I'm about to lick my screen ;)

  2. I love having only in vocabulary though. Now I'm to the point where I can only run a marathon. 26.2 miles is a quarter of what I'm training for. My mantra when I get to 10 miles left in any race is, I can run 10 miles in my sleep. I do love believing in yourself and using the word only is one of the easy ways I do that. However, I do need to stop using the word but. I know I could be faster but I like to powerlift. I know I could be a bit less weight, but I don't like looking skinny. There is no excuse needed there. I am as fast as I need to be at this moment and that should be good enough.
    -Alex from

    1. OK! Fair enough. We can use "only" as long as it's used in a positive connotation! WOW! 26.2 is a 1/4? you pretty much rock!!!!

  3. I agree with you in theory, but it is so hard, especially when I know so many people who do run so much further/faster.

    1. I know it is hard, but remember all those people who are running further/faster were at one time, exactly where you are.... and there are people that look at you and say, I wish I could do that!

  4. Thank you for this post! I say all of those things on a daily basis! I also got up and ran on Thanksgiving morning and should be proud and happy with myself. I run farther and more than most of my friends, but I still tend to point out how slow or when I don't run more than I point out what I have accomplished! But you are right, it stops! I am printing off your "oath" and it will be incorporated into my running resolution this year. BTW - the last 2 years I've made running resolutions and they are the ONLY ones I've ever kept! Yeah Me!

    1. YES! YAY YOU! we should be proud of our accomplishments!

  5. So true! But and only are very self destructive words!

  6. Yes!! I so do this to myself and need to stop!

  7. Great post! I'm really more at peace with my running and my times compared to others and such now than I was in years past, but I still find myself going there every so often. Running should be enjoyed and celebrated, we have too much to worry about in the rest of our lives for worry/stress/disappointment to spill over into our fun activities.

  8. It is amazing how those two words can make a difference in our attitude as runners. Every time you hit the pavement for one mile or 50, it is important to you and should not be discounted., Glad that you were pardoned for the 4 seconds and great job on your turkey trot! Congrats!


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