Every RunJunkEe has been there at some point, whether it was when they were in middle school on their cross country team or like me, 32 years old and overweight, everyone was once a newbie. Some have found the first steps in their journey fairly easy, personally I still am struggling every run. I understand the intimidation some feel when they see others posting fast, high mileage runs, when I myself struggle breaking 15 min miles regularly. The best words of advice I can give if you are feeling that way is to give it a little time, that intimidation will fizzle out and if you let those "crazy fast" JunkEes in, they will be your biggest cheerleaders in your journey.
I used to be embarrassed of posting my runs in the group, of posting my overweight pictures and "lame" times and low miles. Then something magical happened. I started getting hundreds of likes and "way to go's", I started getting friend requests from some of the "intimidating" people and I stopped comparing my journey to theirs. RunJunkEes has become an extension of my local friends and some have become as close as family. When I stopped comparing myself to them, I was able to celebrate their victories, and genuinely be happy when they do something I feel is completely unattainable. When I stopped feeling like I was never going to do better, I found I did get a little faster and able to go a little further. When I found myself sidelined because of an injury or because life got in the way, I found that my runner friends were the ones who understood and helped me through some of the tough times.
I am 3 weeks away from my first half marathon, I will be heading there with some of my local running team, but I will also be there with someone I met throughout RunJunkEes who has run a sub 3 hour marathon. I think that when I cross that finish line, he will be as excited as I am, if not more. I tell you this because at one point he was one of the people who's running intimidated me the most, but I know that when race day comes, he won't see me as a turtle and I won't see him as Speedy Gonzalez, but instead we will both just be runners, and RunJunkEes at that.
Crawl, Walk or Run, Just move forward.
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