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You’re good, girl.

September 28, 2016

“That I would be good, even if I got the thumbs down.” – Alanis Morissette

This morning, I headed out for an 8 mile run. I haven’t run for more than 4 since the half two weeks ago, but I wasn’t too concerned, since we (my husband and I) ran another 5k this past weekend and I wound up with a 26:46 which, although not a PR, was still better that the previous two 5Ks I just ran. I think it was because this one in particular was for a good cause too, so I had some extra motivation to really rock it – it was the CHOP Parkway Run to benefit pediatric cancer research. We’ve been running this one with friends for about four years now, and it’s always got such a great crowd and a great vibe – we’re all there together to support the cause, united and strong.

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good cause, good run, good friends.

Back to this morning. It was cool and partly cloudy, which makes for great running conditions. I was not planning on setting any records, I just wanted to get to eight, to help prepare me for my goal of 15 miles this Sunday, which would be the most I have ever run, consecutively. (Yes, I’m scared).

I felt good, physically, and I was doing ok with speed, but for some reason, I just felt really down and out. You would think that after the last 5k I would be in good running spirits, but in fact it was quite the opposite. I felt….like a bad runner, to put it simply. That I just wasn’t very good, and I wasn’t really sure why I continued to do it, knowing there were so many people who were so much better than me. And to top it off, a few of those people just so happened to be at the park at the same time as I was, and running in the same direction. One was a girl, probably about 15 years my junior, who was just flying. I don’t even think her feet were actually touching the ground, for real. I felt old, slow and foolish as she trotted past me, light as air. I tried to convince myself of what I ultimately know to be true – we all have different goals and it doesn’t matter if anyone is faster than me, as long as I’m out there doing it.

Well, today, it mattered.

As if that wasn’t enough, shortly after, a young man pushing not one, but TWO children in a double stroller passed right by me, like I was standing still. Really, Universe? Way to kick a girl when she’s down. I hung my head and continued to beat myself up. “You could never do that, you’re slower just pulling yourself along” and “you’re not getting any younger, you’ll never be a good runner.”

The one thing I didn’t do, was stop.

I kept going with my Negative Nancy self, and finally came to the last half mile of the 8. Still trying to convince myself unsuccessfully that I wasn’t that bad, and at least I was good at other things, I saw this older man walking towards me with an umbrella. He was strolling along, smiling. As we passed, he gave me a thumbs up:

“You’re good, girl.” he said.

Thank you, umbrella man. You’re right.

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