When do you stop keeping up and just move forward?

I received notification that my blog has turned 4 years old. Wow! 4 wonderful years of sharing my running ups and downs, my race stories, my work stresses, the joys of my weekends and sometimes, my inner most thoughts.

Reading my very first blog post made me quite teary-eyed. I started a blog to share my frustrations with being such a slow runner. The more I hated my slow pace, the more I loved blogging about it. With each and every race, I was learning more and more about myself. My running forced me to step back and look at what it all meant to me and what was important in life.

But looking back and reminiscing about some of my favourite blog posts, something has started to niggle me…

Two Oceans half marathon 2008

This was me crossing the finish line at the 2008 Two Oceans 8km fun run.

During the 4 years of blogging so much has changed, not only in my life but with my running too. In fact, my running has improved. Dramatically.

What started out as being a frustration and the source of many (many, many) blog posts, I’m not that slow runner anymore. I can confidentially say that I can now run a half marathon in under 3 hours. Comfortably. In fact, my next goal is to run it in under 2:40.

Sarens half marathon Tanya Kovarsky

Running with Comrades green number runner Tanya Kovarsky at this year’s Sarens half marathon. My time: 2:44

So then what’s been niggling at me you ask? Well, it’s what I say about my running. It’s how I talk about my blog. And it’s how I introduce myself on the various social media profiles.

I use words like “slow” and “trying to run faster than 8 minutes per km”. I keep saying I’m a 3 hour half marathon runner. Really? I keep holding onto something that I’ve grown out of and it’s holding me back. “I am what I speak” and I need to stop harping on about my so-called slow pace. I need to change the way I speak, because I’m most certainly not acting like that anymore. And if I’m going to achieve my next goal, I need to speak it into being.

I need to start telling people that I’m —“this close”— to running a half marathon in under 2:40. Because I am. I can feel it, it will happen. Soon!

I will never move forward and reach my goals if I continue to hang out in my past with all my failures.

I love the name of my blog and won’t change it. Keeping up with the Walkers and managing the stresses of life is still very much part of me. And no matter what my pace is, running continues to teach me so much about just that! But I need to listen to my gut and start being proud of my achievements. I am a great runner and yes, I can run in under 8 mins/km!

I haven’t updated any bio’s just yet. Watch this space.

It’s been a good run so far…

Regular readers of my blog know that as much as I enjoy running, I tend to moan and complain about it way too often which is evident by a couple of ‘pity me’ posts. But having run x4 half marathons, x2 10kms and one 5km race since January, I must admit, I’ve fallen in love with my running again.

Here’s why:

  • There’s no pressure. With KK & DSM focusing on their Two Oceans & Comrades training this year, all the attention and focus has shifted to their running schedules. Their half marathons have turned into full marathons which they run in 4 hours or less. So for a change, I wait for them to finish a race, compared to them waiting for me to come in. It allows me to stroll back to the car after my race, get cleaned up & relax in the sun without feeling like everyone is sitting around waiting for me to finish.
  • I haven’t stopped. I try run often, even if it’s a 5km run on the treadmill at gym. I make sure that I make the time to run.
  • I run far. I’ve pushed myself this year to run as many half marathons as I can. The first one I ran was Johnson Crane which hurt like hell. I even popped two myprodols after the race because my body ached so badly and I wobbled around for the next two days. But two weeks later, I ran another half. I’ve kept at it. The wobbling has stopped.
  • I’ve stopped over-analysing what time I finish a race. I realised that this was making me miserable. The fact that I run races surrounded by walkers and those considered “slow” is not what matters. We all cross that finish line and we all get a medal for the same distance. If I have a good day and do well, great. But sometimes it’s okay if I feel like doing a slow run too. I remind myself of this fact often.

Dead last

  • I celebrate small victories. I managed to run a 10km race in 74 minutes. I was over the moon! I also managed to run the dreaded Deloitte half marathon in under 3 hours. Yay! And more recently, I ran Sarens half in 2:54. Go me!

It’s only a few more months until KK takes on Comrades and I’m sure a lot more races ahead. I’m looking forward to them and might even consider running through Winter. OMG! What am I saying? Let me not run ahead of myself! *you see what I did there* 🙂