Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Hello There, It's Been Awhile

I realize that I haven’t posted here for awhile. For quite some time, I’ve just been running quietly in the background, reading along with my favorite running mommies. I haven’t had a whole lot of time for the training, but I run for the peace that it gives me. I run for the emotional and physical boost that it gives me. I run because it’s almost like my form of meditation…it’s my time. I’m posting these running affirmations mostly for me. Right now, as I prepare for an upcoming, idle bittle (but fun!) 5k, I needed a little reminder.

You see, I have a person in my life who creates a certain amount of negativity in my life. I’m doing better and better each day at not letting the negativity affect me, but I have my human moments where I falter and it gets to me. Bah humbug and all that. The only reason I’m bringing this up here is because this negativity has tarnished my love for running in a way.

I’m a slow runner. This doesn’t bother me because I know the more I stick with this running gig, I KNOW that I will improve in all areas. I was never a runner before a little over a year ago. No really, I HATED running before that. So I think that I can totally be okay with the slow running business because OH MY HECK! I’m running! I can even call myself a runner! That alone is amazing to me.

This negative person in my life has been a long-time runner. For as much running as this person does, it surprises me that they had never participated in any sort of event or race. At least not until I talked this person into it this summer. What can I say? This person often talks about wanting people to run with, and I thought this would be a nice thing…oh, and also because I’m totally a glutton for punishment. I must be! And here is where I have to lay it all out on the table. Don’t worry, I’ll be quick. (With the typing and story-telling, I mean.)

Where my running has always been just for me, this person has made me feel bad about how I run and, well, how slow I am. I am made to feel like I need a reason why I am so slow, etc. This person is all about being the best and fastest and “did you see what place I came in for my age bracket?” Yikes. That is not me. That is not my style. And this weekend, I will be running…and so will she. Taking a bit of wind out of my sails as she goes.

I know this doesn’t sound like something that is usually posted here, but I guess I just needed to hear from my favorite running mamas about how they keep running so special. What do you do when negativity rears it’s ugly head? This has always been so personal to me, how do I return it to that glory? Running is my “happy place” and I don’t want anyone to ever make me feel differently. What would the Marathon Mommies do?


Schmidt Family said...

Running is never for any one else. It is for you. And as a slow runner myself, I know that my slowness just gets me more me time. Remember that you are a person that you like and you will improve over time!

amydear said...

I love your candid attitude. You sound like a great person to meet and run with -- at any speed! Running is completely personal for me. I only want to beat my previous times, to make myself faster and stronger just for me. I ran a marathon to prove I could do it. It's hard not to be somewhat competitive, though, especially in racing, but I just remind myself why I run. For ME. We all have different bodies and abilities. I was lucky to have some friends at the same level as me, so we progressed together. But I had friends who were much slower and much faster. I always liked it when the speedy ladies slowed down for me, and I liked it when I slowed down to enjoy a run with a friend. I would say try and be happy for your faster "friend," but she may need a gentle reminder that you're not in it for speed, and that you're happy with the progress you've made. Good luck on the race! Be sure to post about it!

Anonymous said...

Cheers to you! for being out there and enjoying all the outdoors has to offer! I love running for me, I started a year ago and I am not fast either, I have gotten better but I am nowhere near the people I run with, I had to put my voice out there to say as long as I enjoy the run I am ok with that, and after I said those things to my friends they learned to back off and support my personal progress and now they stand at the finish line cheering me on! Keep going and having fun otherwise you will lose the love of running!

Janice said...

I rarely run with another person. Not just becuause i haven't found someone to run with, but also... I really love not worrying about someone else, weather I am slowing them down or them slowing me. I run for me and only me. I had someone once from my old town that was so competitive with our running that it really took the joy our of it for me.. I had to remind myself when I saw her, that I am who I am and I run the way I want to run, it was her problem not mine. I know none of this probally helped you, but just don't let her attitude affect your running.


Anonymous said...

I am a slow runner, too. I recently ran a race with a faster friend and she was at the finish line cheering me on, even though she had finished a long time earlier, and she was happy for me. I would say explain to your friend that you know she is faster than you, and you are happy for her, but that you like to run at a slower pace so you'll see her at the end. If she just can't accept the fact that you like to run slow, and she continues to make comments that make you feel bad, you should stop running with her. Since you enjoy running so much it is not worth it to be around someone who is negative and takes your joy away.


JP said...

You guys are gosh-darn awesome. AWESOME!

I guess I should have clarified...I almost always run alone. Mostly because it's MY time and also because I don't think I'd be a great running partner...yet!

The event this weekend I signed up for quite some time ago and just found out this weekend that she was participating as well. It's not someone I can just avoid. I guess I feel so bad because I really wish she wouldn't wait for me at the finish line.

Maybe I'll pretend I don't see her. (kidding...)

JP said...

um...that sounded really bad. Sorry!!

(and also? I'd love to run with you guys...good heavens that would be fantastic. The more I think about it, the more I wish at least one of ya lived close by!)

JP said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I have someone like this right up the street from me and totally unavoidable in our neighborhood circle! I even did a little venting post about her:

I am slow. I will probably be slow for a while as it has been less than a year since I took the plunge into running. I know exactly what you mean about not even wanting her at the finish line- it is what it is! Passive negativity is still negativity and not something you want to shadow your progress and love of running. If you aren't vested in her friendship and could cut things off, I would tell her point blank. Maybe she doesn't even realize she is making you feel bad about yourself? Either way, good luck running YOUR race this weekend! Make yourself proud :)

Everyday Gourmet said...

There will always be faster and slower runners out there. Try to remember that you are doing the best that YOU can do and that is most important! Running is your personal journey that gets you to the finish line. Do not let your friend take that away from you!

Kelly(M&M) said...

So many reasons why I just love you, JP! You epitomize why running is for everyone. It is such a personal thing. You gotta do it for you. You definitely have the right attitude. Get into your own zone and don't let her get to you. If she says anything about your speed, just kindly remind her that you do it because you enjoy it. I doubt she will have anything to say to that. We all can't wait to hear how your race goes. Thanks for reminding us why we run!

Robyn said...

This is such a great site. I love the comments that everyone made. It's so true- running is about YOU and no one else. It's great to run with friends, but they should be supportive and uplifting. I can see why you don't enjoy running with this person. I am sorry that it's affecting your running! I can imagine it's hard to ignore this person, but focusing on your own goals and accomplishments will help you feel better. You've come a long way and you're doing it at your own pace and there is nothing wrong with that. You shouldn't feel bad that you are slower than her. I hope you do great at your race and that you can somehow reconcile this issue with the so-called "friend".

Anonymous said...

I really love this post because it hits very close to home at the moment. I too am struggling with a negative person in my life that I have come to dread spending time with--even though this person is my friend. The reason is that when we work together, she runs over me with her much stronger, more blunt personality and I am often left feeling that my opinion doesn't matter. (I have confronted her about this, by the way; but nothing has changed. She considers it my problem and I suppose that's one wy of putting it!) I think there are some similarities between you and your runner friend, perhaps? Do you feel as though something very important/private/personal has been taken from you? If so, that's especially painful because it's why so many of us love running--it removes us from the workaday world and its stresses and frustrations, helping us gain a more balanced perspective on life. Can you still focus on running just for that, even though this person does it better (in her opinion)?

I really encourage you (and myself, in the process!) to remember that this person has no power to strip you of your love for running; you alone possess the motivation to run, the legs and heart and lungs that get you from point A to point B. Don't even let her overbearing attitude enter into that! Keep your friendship separate and be glad that you're not sinking to her level. I truly believe that if you practice this "rising above it all" attitude, one day you'll discover that it's become true; you don't care anymore.

Sorry to write so much about's a bit of a personal awakening and I'm feeling out my own emotions as I go. Best of luck, and thank you for your honesty!

Sarai said...

I am reading your post and all this comments people have left and suddenly I realize that I might be doing the same thing. I do not have a running buddy, but I like to, I guess "brag" about my timming and placing, wich is not great, but good, for me, at least. I'm always happy with myself and my performance, and I let people know. I hope I haven't bugged anyone, like your friend has bugged you. I think I will restrain from sharing with people. I see how not everyone would be interested in knowing or ticked about it. Hope you have a great race!

Ang said...

Hey JP!!! Forget that girl. I'm super proud of you for running still!! I pretty much didn't even run once in the month of Sep. We moved Aug. 1st and I haven't been in the groove ever since and am not sure how to even begin now. So, YOU GO GIRL!! You are awesome!

JP said...

Oh, Sarai...being proud of yourself and sharing in one thing! Making someone feel bad about their own times is totally something else. You keep on being proud of yourself and only be mindful of your friends.

To all of you who have commented: Thank you so much. Your words have meant so much to me and really helped me to focus on why I run (and why I continue to do so.) It is all so personal and it really is up to me to not let this person affect me. Or at least their negativity. They can keep that!

My goal is to be happy where I am in my running "career" and know that I WILL get where I want to be as a runner. But where I want to be...not anyone else.

I love how encouraging and wonderful all you Marathon Mommies are. I am so grateful for all of you. I love how different we all are...and how beautiful that really is.

Happy running everyone. I can't wait to hear about how everyone did this running filled weekend. :)