I am going away for the weekend (woohoo!) and I leave tomorrow. I had a long run on the calendar for Sunday, but knew the timing wasn’t going to work for me to get it in. Yesterday I messaged Michelle, my run coach, asking if I could move it to Saturday; then, I got the bright idea that I could fit it in this morning even easier. Michelle told me to do whatever worked best for my schedule.
I made up my mind that an early Thursday morning run was gonna be the best thing for me. It would help me get it over with before I left so it wasn’t hanging over my head. Of course, I decided this plan while I was in the middle of a leg workout at the gym. I knew my legs were going to be sore, but I also needed to get this run done!
This morning my alarm went off at 4:30 AM and I headed outside around 5. The weather was amazing and I definitely overdressed! From the very first step my glutes and quads were screaming at me. I knew it would be slow, but I also knew I was supposed to do it slow!
As I approached the first kilometre I found myself thinking about Strava.(I joined Strava last week so that I could do the Lululemon challenge and maybe score some free Lululemon gear out of it.) I headed toward kilometre 2 staring at my slow pace and thinking about how I was going to have to see it compared to everyone else’s paces on Strava. It consumed my thoughts for the next 45 minutes as I ran. I started thinking about where I used to be with my paces and how much slower I am now. How did I let myself get so slow? How are other people so fast? Why does it feel so hard for me? Don’t get me wrong– I love seeing my friends runs and I don’t feel judged by one single one of them for my paces. I am merely my own worst critic and seeing my paces beside so many others has been messing with my head.
As I walked up a long hill approaching kilometre 10, I gave myself permission to quit Strava. As I got to the top of the hill and turned the corner I immediately started running better than before. I stopped focusing on my speed and focused on my form, my fueling and getting more kilometres on my feet. Isn’t that what I was supposed to be doing anyhow?! (I realize this probably sounds ridiculous to most, but I bet there is at least one person out there who gets it.)
I finished my 21km run with an average of 8:29/km. I’m not ashamed of how slow I am right now or afraid of telling others. I am determined to keep focusing on hitting the paces I’m supposed to hit (I am a firm believer that running every run fast is a terrible idea!) and building back the base that I lost last year. But, I am not willing to let myself go down the comparison road whether it’s simply with the old me or with other runners. Strava was leading me down that path, so for now, I’m calling it quits. My 21 kilometres today won’t count toward the Lululemon challenge and that’s okay! They count toward what really matters–my health and race goals for the future!