As I have mentioned in every post I am fairly new to running. I have been reading everything I can get my hands on including reading people’s personal stories, and how many lives have changed due to running.. it’s not only me that has found running to be almost magical. It really is cheap therapy. BUT, in saying that, I have noticed the term “PR” in so many posts- not knowing what it stood for originally, but seeing it everywhere I now know it means, personal record.
I see people blogging and putting themselves down for running a “SLOW” 5K at 37 minutes. I read from one woman that because she finished her 5K at 50 minutes she ran into the finish line only to see the race organizers putting away the gear, rolling up for the day and how there weren’t any banana’s left. I thought, this is ridiculous!
First of all, a 50 minute 5K …. lets break this down… Let’s just assume most people were kick ass first class athletes and finished at between 25 and 35 minutes. So, the race organizers were seriously wrapping things up within 15 minutes of that? I would bring that straight to the organizers attention. I understand if someone was taking 2 hours to finish a 5K. But, an extra 15 minutes? That is excessively rude, am I not right? They should’ve been there waving her in, cheering her on with support. To wrap up a measly 15 minutes within the bulk of the runners times , well, those type of organizers are not in it with the right intentions in my opinion. And, hearing people drone on about how slow they are at 37 minutes for a 5K, well that is pretty insulting to most runners. I think the majority of runners are actually in that time frame, and to finish in the 23-25 minute range, well, most won’t be. I am a new runner, but even I know the averages that people are running. And what is the median time. Everyone is different, and everyone’s personal best is different. I think the fact that anyone is even out there running is a personal best! So, many aren’t even doing that!
I honestly feel distance is so much more impressive. Who cares how long it takes a person to run 10 miles. The fact a person can run 10 miles is HUGE in itself. Why, almost negate actually completing the achievement with saying, “Well, the time sucked”.
I am not against personal goals at all. I am all for them. It’s good to set a goal time to complete a run in. I am trying to improve my speed as well. But, to make it actually more important than the run itself, or even complain about a 9 minute mile seems silly to me. I get some people are extremely competitive and a fast time is important to them. I really do! However, it seems too many runners out there are fixated on the time element to the point it seems very discouraging, almost condescending to many of us that are thrilled that we have accomplished our first half marathon, or first 10K, etc. I was reading many of the responses of people who were slower and I felt almost like something was being taken away from them.
I am happy to just run. I am ecstatic I have the endurance to run further than I ever thought possible. If I finish a 5K and someone rolls up the finish line banner before I have a chance to run past it, you can bet someone is hanging it back up until I do!
Bottom line, let’s not be too hard on ourselves or take it too seriously, unless it’s one of those races that actually calls for it, and we know which races those are, they’re not the local YMCA or FUN RUN 5K.