Running is my hobby, plain and simple. I will never win a race, and I’m cool with that. I don’t run to be the best, I run for me. Running is something I do for fun.
Then why do I feel so disappointed when I think about my first half marathon? This is absolutely ridiculous! I ran a freaking half marathon – that in itself is something to feel proud of. But I don’t, well I didn’t until now.
The thing is, is that I compare myself to other faster runners and feel dumb about my time. But then I remind myself that this is my hobby not my job. I don’t need to be perfect at this.
Not every run is fun, but some are. Not every run is fast, but some are. Running is something that doesn’t come easy to me, but for some reason I keep at it. It clears my mind, keeps me sane and releases any stress.
When I tell people that I ran a half marathon, I feel like they are more proud of me than I am. How sad is that? People are so impressed and congratulatory about this accomplishment, but it really doesn’t seem like that big of a deal to me. It just seems like buying a new purse or going to a new yoga class. Sure it was fun but it’s no biggy. Well actually it is a big deal. I trained for months for this race, whether it was consistent or not. I always had it in the back on my mind that it was coming up. Completing this was a big deal!
I need to feel proud of myself for even attempting this goal, and then more proud for actually completing the race.
The thing with hobbies is that you usually don’t start out being great at them. The reason you keep at them is to improve. For example, my sister knits – it is her hobby. When she started she was just learning, so she was likely not as good as she is now. But over time she just learns new things and applies them to her projects. The first time she ever knit a head band it is a learning experience. I would compare this to my first 5K. She learned things from this experience and moved on, challenging herself with something new and more complex, like a sweater aka my half marathon. She may not be 100% happy with the outcome but she is pretty stinkin’ proud that she made her own sweater! Same goes for me, I may not be 100% happy with my time but that doesn’t mean I should feel bad about myself because of a dumb number on a clock. I will learn from this race and move forward. (Side note: these are all assumptions about my sister, she is an amazing knitter but I am guessing it took time to get where she is now)
I didn’t come to this realization fully until today. I need to be happy with my accomplishments, and then learn from them and better myself and my hobby.
What did I learn from my first half? I learned that I need to train more for it and consistently stick to a training plan. I learned to appreciate what I can do physically and mentally. I need to compare myself to myself not anyone else. I need to think back to this time last year, where I could barely finish a 5K (CIBC Run for the Cure – 36 minutes), and now I am a half marathoner. That is pretty bad ass.