A Few Things I’ve Learned About Myself as a Runner

May 26, 2010 § Leave a comment

I secretly liked being honked at when I run.
Well, I guess it’s not so secret anymore, but that’s ok. You’re probably thinking I’m vain or something, but it’s not that I think I’m super attractive when I run. Believe me, I’ve seen myself after a run and it’s not a pretty sight! The “attention” reminds me of running in races. It’s almost indescribable to tell you what it feels like to have perfect strangers cheering you on. They don’t know me, and yet they’re out there and they’re cheering me on just like they would if they were my best friend. There’s something about people recognizing that I’m out there sweating it out and pushing myself to finish a race that gives me a boost of energy and makes me want to race even stronger.

I have a fear of social running groups.
Technically, I’m not afraid of running groups, themselves – I now have a mental picture of me running away from a giant group of runners! I’m referring to my fear of joining one. I run by myself about 90% of the time. The other 10%, I’m with my husband, who I have no problems feeling comfortable running with. We chat while we run; we catch up on each other’s day; we even run in silence without feeling like we have to make conversation. I have no problem with that. On the flip side, give me an opportunity to hit the pavement with a running group or go running with a friend and I freak out. Why? I’m not completely sure. Maybe I’m afraid of not being as good of a runner and holding them back. Maybe I’m just uncomfortable with trying to fit in. I’m sure I have nothing to worry about, so why am I such a wuss? Step it up, Mandy and quit being such a pansy.

Deep down, I am envious of runners who are so much faster than I am.
Do you ever feel like you are trying your hardest at something, but can’t quite seem to make any progress on getting better? That’s how I feel about my running sometimes. I know there are many different levels of runners. I fit in somewhere in the middle, which I am pretty proud of. But when I hear about some other runners’ times that are way faster than I have ever run, my first reaction is to say Wow – they did awesome! But later, I can’t help to be a little jealous and I start going through my running routine to figure out what am I not doing to make some improvements in my speed, stamina, etc. Even later, I think about how much I already do in my life and convince myself (at least for the time being) that I’m pleased with the progress I’ve made and if I maintain what I’m doing and continue to enjoy it, I can just let it go and be happy with the runner that I am.

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