For the longest time, I always wanted to be faster. To have the ability to to be as fast and run with the pack running a 6 minute miles. But you know what? Since as long as I’ve been running, I havenʼt been able to achieve that dream pace – and thatʼs OK! Let me tell you why. I don’t consider the per mile time a requirement to be a called a runner. There is no magic number that must be met in pace or distance. The magic of the entire process is that it’s for me. That’s what makes me a runner. Yes, I’m a runner, you’re a runner and we are all amazing runners!

Everyone is unique. None of us are completely alike, even if our paces are. But the reality is, some of us are slower than others and thatʼs the beauty of this sport! It doesn’t matter how fast we run, the only thing that matters is that we finish. And we all have the exact same opportunity to achieve our goals. And if you’ve never thought about it this way, perhaps you should. The same mile that someone just ran at 6 minutes, guess what?!?! Itʼs the same mile that you just ran in 13 minutes. THE EXACT SAME MILE!

Don’t get me wrong. We all have the inner monologue that’s telling us, “It is different. You are slower. Why even bother.” But it’s overcoming those thoughts and having the mental fortitude to take the first step that makes each and everyone of us a runner. The moment we decide to lace up and go out the door, we become better versions of ourselves. We just beat the inner self that was stopping us! Telling us, “You’re too slow. You’ll never run like them.” But once we’ve conquered the challenge of the first step, we should be proud of our pace and most of all we should be proud of ourselves because weʼre better than yesterday. We just beat our own inner competition.

So get out there and keep doing just that! Keep crushing your goals. Keep nailing those workouts. And don’t pay any attention to the runners who are way ahead of you, because this is a race within and the only true opponent you have to beat is YOU!

I’ll leave you with one final thought, and a quote that really spoke to me. It helped me realize something very important, whether it’s on race or just in my daily life.

“You canʼt fake a marathon. The sad truth is that most runners cross the marathon finish line in a time thatʼs slower than what they hoped for. That happens for many reasons, but one of them is because runners often choose a time that they want to run, not a time that they can run. You have to be honest with yourself.”

I encourage all of you to do what you love. Be honest with yourself. And support each other in the community that surrounds us. We will all get to the finish line with those thoughts in mind.

Excerpt From: Karp, Jason. Running a Marathon For Dummies.

Blog written by #houmarathon Ambassador Marcelo