It’s no secret around here that I tend to be a slower runner. My middle-to-back of the pack pace usually doesn’t bother me– after all, I’m dealing with a pretty crazy amount of heat and humidity throughout the summer, and during the fall I can knock out a fairly respectable sub-30 minute 5k… and I’m really only out there racing against myself anyways.
To me, running has never been about how fast I am. Of course, I have occasionally set time goals for myself, I enjoy participating in speed work– but my over all focus doesn’t generally tend to be on getting faster. For me, to focus completely on time and pace is to sacrifice joy; so it’s no wonder that I continue to be slow and steady, enjoying my surroundings and the other runners around me.
Tonight though, that little voice crept in.
“Why do you keep running this trail course if you do it so slowly EVERY time?”
Nearly every week I make it to about the halfway mark and 100% start to believe that I am going to die, that there’s absolutely no chance that I will make it back to the starting point on my own two feet, and that if I’m ever going to be seen again a medi-flight will probably have to come and lift me out of the woods. But I keep going, step after step, up the hills and through the slippery mud.
I always make it back. I always beat that little voice in my head that says I can’t do it.
That’s why I keep running trails on Tuesday. Even if it’s done at a turtle’s face, It makes me stronger. And every time I make it back alive it feels like an accomplishment– no matter how long it took me.