Lungs searing, legs aching for relief, she lunges forward finding the finish line respite, where she can finally stop hands on knees heaving with fatigue and accomplishment. She didn’t make the podium and the sweeper van wasn’t clipping her heels, in fact she’s quickly shuffled to the side as hundreds of others come sailing in for their own moment of glory.
The majority of us fall squarely in the middle of the pack.
We don’t make the news or viral videos.
We don’t get special accolades.
We don’t leave others in awe.
Maybe we’re closer to the front, closer to the back or the perfect bell curve average runner. Today, I celebrate you middle of the pack runner (and me too). I hope you’ll celebrate with me!
Dear middle of the packer,
It’s time to celebrate your avergeness. Did you know you can exhibit manliness, graciousness, awkwardness, cheerfulness or even weakness, but averageness is simply not a word.
Why don’t we celebrate those in the middle?
After all, who’s really judging your run?
That inner voice whispering it’s not good enough?
The horrific timed mile of childhood that made you feel ashamed of moving too slow? The softball coach who mocked your awkward stride as you grew?
Or is the judge you?
When you look at runners you admire on Instagram, how does it make you feel?
Do you despair at the gap between the current numbers on your Garmin and how you’d like to run?Spending too much time fretting about your pace? Learn to embrace your averageness #runchat Click To Tweet
That inner voice nagging “you’re not good enough” might tag along for the entire journey or with some grace and luck, running might actually help you to leave her behind. In fact, during those miles you might begin to see she’s popping up as a defense mechanism. A bad one mind you, but perhaps she wants to protect you—from rejection, from failure, from disappointment.
When your inner Simon Cowell begins to rear his ugly head again, it’s time to redirect. Running is a mental sport and this is the moment, where you choose to become a stronger runner even if that never means subtracting a single second from your race time. It’s the moment where you realize showing up, trying, enjoying the run, laughing with friends, all of that matters just as much.
As Epicurus so profoundly said,
“Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.”
We’re squarely in the middle.
Embrace the way that it makes you part of something larger and more alike than different from your running peers.
And what is average?
According to all the data Strava has from 2016, the average female runner does 4.6 miles at 9:55 pace.
Too many of us are unhappy with our running.
We fret. We despair. And we compare.
Stop letting the voice of others or your own internal Simon stop you from loving our chosen sport.
If you want to run, run.
As sprinters, joggers, runners, and endurance fiends, we take charge of our own training goals. If we’re unhappy with our current pace, we make it a priority to improve. So, join a club, hire a running coach coach, or read a great blog filled with tips. Then go for a run and enjoy every step you’re able to take.
How do you feel about being average?
Do you get frustrated with being overlooked?
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