Yesterday I saw a memory on Facebook of a post I shared after a new Marathon PR. All I posted was this picture of my watch showing a time of 3:55 and the short caption – NEW MARATHON PR!!
At the time I was blogging everyday (sometimes more than once a day) all about half & full marathon training, diet, races and life. So, most people realized all the time, effort, tears and miles I put in to get there. And if you didn’t realize – my recaps linked back to previous posts that helped explain the story.
Now a big part of our community spends more time on Instagram. Instead of reading 20 blogs you may be following 200 runners. And the most eye catching photos get pushed to the top of your feed – so it’s hard to remember everyone’s journey that got them to that picture.
I can’t link back to training runs or race recaps that show the highs and lows of working towards a goal. The captions are shorter and have to be funny for people to stop scrolling and read (this is called microblogging).
I LOVE Instagram and think there are so many great things about it – especially for the running community (um… follow me @RunEatRepeat)! We’re able to connect with other runners training for the same race or with similar goals all around the world. It helps with accountability and motivation – two things that are key to running better, stronger and faster!
But, the things that make IG great (like gorgeous, fun or dramatic progress photos) keep us from seeing all the things that go into training for a half marathon or full marathon PR. Yes, you can share post-race training pics, blisters, set-backs – but those lessons are often overshadowed by the victory photos.
I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. I like a ‘bullet points’ version of everything. Just give me the facts or the best parts!
I’m just sharing this because that photo with my new PR was a BIG WIN for me at the time. But, I want you to know that before that win I failed. I attempted to run a sub-4 hour full marathon twice and FAILED before I finally (and barely) hit that goal.
I didn’t go from couch to sub-4 hour marathon runner.
It wasn’t easy. My Before and After photos didn’t happen overnight or in 30 days or over the course of one training cycle.
I really doubted myself after failing. Running is hard. Running for a time goal is harder. And doing that when you think you’re SLOW, FAT or CAN’T – is hardest. You have to stay positive and believe in yourself. Make sure the things you’re thinking, watching, listening to help you.
Don’t compare yourself to anyone. You don’t know anyone’s entire journey, thoughts, motivation and mindset – except your own.
Set your goals based on YOU. What do YOU want? What’s important to YOU? Where’s YOUR current fitness?
Follow other runners. Cheer for other runners. But cheer for yourself the loudest.
You can read the race recaps for the races I mentioned here: