In August, the early days of my seemingly never-ending hip injury, I signed up for most of my usual 5ks, two in November and one on New Year’s Day, thinking I would certainly be well enough to train for them. Long story short, I wasn’t ready to race. I was well enough, however, to participate. I ran. I did not race. Here were my times (last year/this year).
- Vicki Soto – 21:19 / 26:47
- Turkey Trot – 20:38 / 24:33
- Chilly Chili Run – 22:11 / 24:59
I ran these races without any concern about time. My only goal for them was to run comfortably. At no time would I push myself to my limit like I normally would in a race. I succeeded. I comfortably ran each race. I didn’t win an age-group medal, but I won. I gained an appreciation for other runners.
When you’re hurt, you’re not the same runner you were, and it gives you an opportunity to look at running differently.
I wasn’t running fast. Or was I?
I was in a whole new pack. I enjoyed seeing these runners working hard. I saw people running with their kids, sometimes pacing them, others trying to keep up! Racers from 12-60, maybe older, were getting it done. I heard grunts and mantras. I saw people kick toward the finish. These are runners. These are my people. They were working hard! This was their fast. This was my easy. This is not a brag. This is a realization, an appreciation.
Their fast is my easy. Their easy is someone’s fast. I am certain that my fast is easily someone else’s easy.
Of course, this isn’t true for every runner. Jordan Hasay’s fast is no one’s easy. Eliud Kipchoge’s fast is the world’s fast. For the rest of us, we have to be humble. We run each run, each race, where we are at that time in our lives. We make our own fast.
Right now I am happy that I was able to run in those races at all, even if they weren’t my fast.