Tomorrow I am heading to Bethlehem, Pennsylvania for the Runner’s Wold Half Marathon and Festival!
When I was first invited to run at the festival I was scared! And I mean freak out scared. Did they realize I wasn’t a typical runner? Did they realize I wouldn’t be able to run all three races (5K, 10K, and half marathon) in one weekend like many of the other runners? Did they realize that I’m a size 16, weight 220 pounds, and run my races on a 2:1 run/walk ratio?
The truth is, I hope they did realize it. I got over my fears of running at the Runner’s World Festival the moment I realized that it was my chance to show men and women of all shapes and sizes that you don’t have to fit a particular mold to be a runner. Although I have always admired women who are lean and run miles with ease, I am not that woman.
I say all of this because I want you to realize that it doesn’t matter what you look like, what size you are, or how you run, YOU can be a runner. Every person’s path to running will be different but if you have the desire to run you can do it!
Now does all this mean I’ve tackled my fears of the upcoming weekend? No way, but I have to remember why I’m doing this and who I’m doing this for. I’m doing it for myself and for all of you who want to run or just need a little motivation to get out there.
One thing I’m really, really nervous about is the “easy 3 mile shakeout run” Friday morning. You see, I don’t really do 3 mile shakeout runs… I’m more of a 20 minute 1.5 mile shakeout jog/walk kind of girl. So the thought of seeing a group of athlete gather to run 3 miles (just to loosen the muscles before the weekend of races) scares the crap out of me. As I train for all of my races with run/walk what am I suppose to do, start walking 2 minutes into our 3 mile warm up? The answer is yes! You see, I’m scared of what others are going to think about my pace, my speed, and my technique. I am letting my fear of others get to me but the only person it is affecting is ME.
Running can be scary, especially if you do not feel like you fit the runner mold, but we have such a fantastic opportunity to break that mold! The first step is recognizing what scares you and what’s stopping you. For some it may be time, for others it might be insecurities about their body, and for others it might be not being able to meet the expectations in their head. No matter what they are, take some time to think about how you can break the mold and step into running.
I know you can do it!