12 minutes -- that's the amount of time shaved off from my finish at last year's Eugene Half Marathon.
13 - that's number of half marathons I have done.
36 - the number of races I have done.
Fastest - that was my fastest finish time so far!
Slowest - that's where I "rank" among everybody from here that ran the race.
Slowest - that's where I "rank" among my Friends that ran the race.
Equal - that's how my friends yesterday made me feel. Never could I keep up with a 3:04 MARATHON time, a prior Boston runner, a sub-2 hour half marathon. BUT you know what?? Those friends that are far superior to me never once made me feel any less. I really appreciate that! I still feel the support from them. When we part I never feel I'll be made fun of for being a slower runner. I leave their presence and feel excited! I'm excited for them and their success. I'm excited to be a runner. I'm excited about the friendships I have formed all from a common bond. I feel inspired to keep trying to improve. I look forward to seeing them again.
The joke - that's how I am made to feel every single day in this environment where people are openly mocked here for not being able to keep up with faster runners. I am slower than the one openly laughed at. While I should be happy today over my personal victory I am just sad. I've never been embarrassed or ashamed of my running until the daily dynamic changed. It's like I'm the token chubby slow girl that has to be patronized. You know what I mean? The fake support. I fell in love with the running community because of the shared support. In my first 10K race I was injured and under-prepared, but I still went and gave it my all. When I was paused to the side of the road, hurting, thinking I was going to be sick and just really wanting my mom, did the really fast people (the 20K runners) mock me? No. They actually cheered me on and urged me to keep going. I think those of us that support each other and don't judge are the majority. So why is that the minority is what I have to see every day? I notice that attitude is infectious to the point where non-runners are even judging me and looking down on me for "only" doing half marathons. Apparently you aren't "good" or working hard enough or worthy until you do a full. Okay, so what if I do a full? Do you then say I have to do a 50 miler? 100? Am I only acceptable to you if I make the Olympic Team?
I shouldn't let it get to me. I'm probably just really tired. I know I am. And what is venting going to change? I can't change the world. I'm not some Whitney Houston song. Some will never accept me, and frankly I don't even want them to. I guess I just wish the mean attitudes didn't exist. I might have my bitchy moments, but I can't think of a time where I ever mocked someone just because they don't run an 8 minute mile. I think we all try. We all put out an effort. We all have different reasons for running and different goals. I am not competitive. I never have been. I don't have to be the best. But just because I'm different, I don't think I'm any less.
Faster. Slower. Sprinter. Runner/Walker. Long. Short. Skinny. Fat. We are all runners. Plain and simple.
I just wish I could fairly be accepted as one. In the end, my hobby that I am so passionate about - I hardly even speak of it anymore. It's like I'm shoving the biggest part of my life into a closet just so I can stop being mocked. I'm almost to the point where I pretend I DON'T run anymore. I shouldn't have to do that. I shouldn't do it.
Someone just send this to me: Just know that you have people that know you, and are very proud of how you did yesterday. You are awesome.
Well said. I will focus on that!!
Thank you to all of You! You the supportive, genuine friends - even if we haven't met in person yet, I still consider you to be my friends and you never know when we were end up meeting at some race in some place near or far!