As I started planning this harebrained idea of mine, I had several people contact me. Often they ask me to come to where they are to run races. But they also often include something about how they'll run, but they can't possibly keep up with me. This is really strange.
I'm not a fast runner. I never have been. My fastest 5K is a 23:22 and my fastest half marathon was a 1:52:19. That half marathon PR was a LOT longer ago than I like to admit. Since then, I have a knee that makes me spend a lot of time with a foam roller, and a lazy attitude that has shortened and slowed my runs. My usual half marathon now is over 2 hours. My training runs are usually 10 minute miles. For most of these half marathons, I will be aiming for a 9:30 mile. If I CAN work up better speed, I would love to break 1:50:00 in the half marathon, but I won't beat myself up if I don't.
It's not particularly slow, sure. But it's not Ryan Hall fast either. I wish I were faster, but, well, running is running. No matter what pace we run, we get the job done. I think people are just as impressive running slow as when they are running fast. Often, slower runners are more impressive. After all, they have to keep at it for LONGER.
No matter what, people who are running (or, equally impressively, swimming or biking or walking or hiking or skiing or yogaing or lifting, or any other form of exercise) are impressive. They are getting out there, getting active, and doing something that, often, hurts and sucks until you are done. Anyone who gets out there and does more than they would normally do, in pursuit of health, accomplishment, or just feeling good is impressive in my book. And if we keep doing it, we must like it somehow, right?
I wonder where people got this idea that I was a fast runner. It is because I talk about running? Is it because I am doing the half marathon challenge at all? Neither of those are indicators. Talking about something often is no indication that you are in fact an expert (though now I wonder if there's a psychological phenomenon where if people see you talk about something often, they assume that you are an expert).
Why am I doing this? Not because I'm fast. Some people have told me I am doing this because I like to set attainable goals, or because I am awesome. Nope.
I'm doing this for cheese. I love cheese. And running half marathons means I can eat as much cheese as I want for the next year. I'd probably eat the cheese anyway, but I'd feel a vague sense of guilt. Now that sense is gone. Bring on the cheese.
(I will take four of each, please. Source)
Who knows. Maybe this project will make me faster. Maybe it won't. But in the end, pace doesn't matter. This train runs on cheese.