My husband, CJ, is definitely a "front of the pack" runner and I love cheering him on! Our fireplace mantle is full of his running awards and I am so proud of all he has achieved. Because he is a fairly fast runner, many of our friends are fast "front of the pack" runners as well.
However, I tend to be more of a "middle of the pack" runner.
It is in this "middle of the pack" where I am joined by so many. And with a lot of hard work, I am improving. Honestly, I don't think I'll ever be a "front of the pack" runner even if I dedicated my whole life to the sport. But I have slowly been learning to embrace who I am gifted to be.
This is a picture of me crossing the finish line in the 2013 Denver Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon at 2:15:30 where I qualified for the Ascent.
A Few Lessons...
Here are just a few of the lessons I've learned along my journey as a "middle of the pack" runner.
1) Always, always, always remember to have FUN!
If you lose the fun of running; then in the end, you lose. Make sure to keep some fun in your running.
2) Celebrate every time you are out there running.
No matter how fast or slow you are, celebrate every time you get out the door for a run. I have to often remind myself of the truth of this quote...
"No matter how slow you go, you are still lapping everyone on the couch."
3) Express gratitude for your health.
Be thankful you are healthy enough to be out there running...no matter what speed you run.
Each run is a gift.
My dad had a traumatic brain injury in 2009 and sometimes he struggles to walk normally, let alone run. He is working with a trainer and is improving everyday. However, he is a great reminder to me to be thankful for my health and my ability to run. If I start to get down about my running ability, I simply turn it around to gratitude...gratitude that I CAN still run. I never,ever want to take my health for granted.
4) Comparison is the thief of joy.
This is true in all of life, really. When we start obsessively comparing ourselves to others, we will never measure up. I have to remind myself of this all the time with running. It is so easy to fall into the trap of wishing I was someone else (usually someone faster), instead of embracing who I am. I have learned to race against myself instead of everyone else. When I can achieve a new PR or accomplish a goal I set for myself, I celebrate...even when I don't place in my age group or win a medal. ;)
The BEST news?
"Middle of the pack" runners can still qualify for and be chosen for the PikesPeakSports.us Triple Crown Runners! How do I know this? Well, I am thrilled to announce that I was chosen (yes, me...a "middle of the pack" runner) to be part of the 2014 PikesPeakSports.us Triple Crown Runners team.
I'm excited, honored, and also a little apprehensive!! This is going to be one of the toughest things I have ever done, but I am up for the challenge!!
What kind of runner are you? Are you a in the "front of the pack" or "middle of the pack"? What lessons have you learned along the way? Share them in the comments below!