May 3 2018
Jenn Wilson shares the triumphant story of her first sub-30-minute 5K, a personal race goal she set 3.5 years ago.
I know this is terrifying. Running is something that is hard to start doing. It feels like you are only able to run a few hundred feet before your body is tired and ready to give up. Your mind is telling you that this was a terrible idea and you should just give up. Your breathing is all over the place, and you feel like a sweaty tomato. But you keep pushing forward, knowing that this is something you have always wanted to do.
Know that you are not alone. Each and every runner started exactly where you are right now, with a strong desire to put one foot in front of the other. We all learn to push through the pain and discomfort, even out our breathing and retrain the voice in our head to encourage us to keep going instead of yelling at us to stop.
Always know that you are strong, worthy, enough and capable. Do not let the haters get you down or ruin what you are doing. You took the bold step to try—and that in and of itself should be celebrated. Take time to be thankful for what you are doing and how your body is supporting you. Each day you lace up your shoes, remind yourself that you do not need to compete with anyone—not even yourself. Just give today the best effort you can, regardless of the outcome.
Celebrate each and every milestone. From running your farthest distance to running a mile nonstop or even to completing your first race, make sure you celebrate your accomplishments. Though it may seem like no big deal, it is the biggest of deals, because you took the time to try and work towards those accomplishments.
Don’t be afraid to be seen or to join a running group. Speed is relative, and you are not slow. I repeat: you are not slow! Make friends with people who know what it means to show up each day and give their best effort. Run with someone and learn the power of a running community. Run around your neighborhood in broad daylight. Run in shorts. Run in a sports bra. Run in what makes you feel strong.
And when you see fellow runners give you a nod, thumbs up, smile or high five, know its because we remember. We remember exactly what it feels like. And we also know what it feels like to reach the runners high. To be so proud of your accomplishments that no one can get you down. We know that you are going to get to a point where you love the discomfort and will push towards so many great goals.
We believe in you. And we can’t wait to see you succeed.