I will be the first person to admit that I am not a fast runner. I’m solidly middle-of-the-pack, and perfectly happy with that. Yeah, I’d like to be faster, but I’m not willing to put in too much time and effort to get there, so there you have it.
Of course, I often feel self-conscious about my paces, as I’m sure many of my fellow runners do, but I try not to let it get to me too much. Historically, I been very open with posting my training paces, either here on the blog in my Manic Monday training recaps, or on various forms of social media.
You may have noticed, though, that during this training cycle, I’ve mostly been posting times OR distances, but not both, or not including paces. And it’s because I’ve been running “slow” times. I put slow in quotation marks because speed is such a relative term. But I’ve been running slower-than-normal paces for me. And I was feeling self-conscious about posting my times. ESPECIALLY when I started browsing through old blog posts from last year or the year before (when I was mostly running shorter, faster distances) and comparing to what I’m running now.
Logically, I know that when running longer distances, one must slow down. When increasing your base during marathon training and putting in longer distances, it’s actually kind of important to slow the eff down. Coach Suz has crafted a plan based on her training and knowledge and my own personal history as a runner, previous paces included. At first, I was really bummed out by the paces she had me running. Even though in my head I accepted the need to slow down, I still didn’t want to share those paces. I was ashamed.
I’ve finally decided that that’s dumb. I hate how easy it is on the internet to only present your best self: only posting pictures of the healthy meals, only blogging about good things, or ONLY POSTING PACES WHEN IT’S “FAST.” I was committing one of my own biggest social media pet peeves. I was being a hypocrite, and that sucks.
I’ve written before about how it can be difficult to keep the “easy” in easy runs, and how much I struggle with that. But this training cycle is genuinely forcing me to slow down and honor easy. I don’t have to worry if every run isn’t right around my 5k pace, which is truly what I was doing before. Seriously, almost every run ended up at 5k pace. There were no easy runs. No recovery runs. I just went out and tried to run as fast as possible every time, fooling myself into thinking that was “easy.”
Now, after an (actual) easy run, instead of huffing and puffing and feeling like I’m going to puke, I feel happy, energized, and like I could keep running if I really had to. Sure, I’m not going to set any 5k PRs running the paces I am, but I will reach the end of my training cycle with a solid base, healthy, uninjured, and ready to complete my first marathon. And that’s what it’s all about. So from now on, I won’t be hiding my paces. I will proudly share what I’m accomplishing, whether it’s my fastest 10 miler ever or my slowest.
Do you share your paces on social media? Why or why not?