I love all of my bibs and medals!!
I've only been running for about 3 years now. I started at the urging of one of my best friends, who caught the bug. I did my first race, which was a relay where I earned a medal for a mere 3.2 mile run.
I was hooked! Running for a medal felt fantastic! I've since run countless races from 5k to 15k, and I have 5 half marathons under my belt (soon to be 6!!)
I don't consider myself fast at all. I run a half anywhere from a 10.9 to a 12.3. Sometimes on a half, I need to walk for a bit. I have issues with my feet, or I get overheated. For some reason, this - mixed with the fact that I have a slow pace makes me think I am not a "real" runner.
I recently offered to run a 5k with a coworker, who had never even walked a mile. She wanted to sign up for a half marathon and I encouraged her to start small. Sometimes you can have big dreams when you don't first take the small steps. I told her I would run with her at her pace, no pressure.
Before we hit the one mile mark, she asked if we had run a mile. I said no...so we had to walk. I coached her through trying to control her breathing, because she felt like she was too out of breath. I encouraged her to get out of her head because I knew her mind was telling her to quit, because I'd been there.
In the end she did her first 5k at 44 minutes, and there were about 40 people who finished after us.
She was so thankful that I encouraged her, and helped her be the best that she could be. It felt amazing.
And...she wants to do another race!
We have already found our next one, an 8k (just under 5 miles) and this one...has a MEDAL! She is going to actually train for this one!
I read an article recently that stated "there are no slow runners". I guess I am beginning to believe this. Just because I don't blow past everyone on a race doesn't mean I am still not doing my best. And I am the only one I am competing with in the end!
If you ever felt the urge to run a race, do it! No one cares how fast you run. And you just migh be amazed at all of the support you get along the way from fellow runners...from the ones you pass, to the ones that pass you! It's a really neat community to be involved in. You shouldn't be intimidated, because in the end we are all out there for our own personal reasons!
Most of all...because we kind of like it!!