I am a member to the Team Disney Facebook page, and last night there was a debacle about the newly announced Virtual RunDisney 5K events. This post has more to do with new runners/5Ks in general and not so much about RunDisney. However, the issue was brought to my attention, that other runners may or may not be dismissing 5Ks, or new runners goals altogether. I personally have only met encouraging people out in the running community, but after reading the Team Disney post it made me wonder if new runners feel like they aren’t a ‘real runner yet’, or feel their goals aren’t good enough.
A family member of mine just recently got back into running, and we were talking about it. I had mentioned how happy I was for her that she is now a runner. Immediately she responded that she didn’t feel she was a runner. For any of you newbies out there, I’m here to tell you if you are out there busting your butt off, you are a runner. In 2015, I got back into running, preparing for my first 5K (it’s the photo in the post lol). Even those months before my race I didn’t have an issue saying I was a runner. I kept it simple: I was running, hence I was a runner. I didn’t feel guilty calling myself one either. Identifying yourself as a runner doesn’t need to be based on how many miles a week you run, your pace, or what races you’ve completed. Please don’t let seasoned runners make you feel intimidated, because I’m sure if you talked to them, they would be very excited for you! Being a runner is simply your love and enjoyment of running. 😍
One Team Disney member stated that she has felt many other seasoned runners have the attitude ‘Oh! You are doing just a 5K?’ Most of the running community is very welcoming to new runners. But if you do feel others are trying to squash your accomplishments in running, do not listen. Everyone is on their own running journey. I did an internship in the fall at The Villages Health Community Center, implementing the Couch to 5K Training Program for older adults. I had a great group of 65-85 year olds, who all started as beginner walkers. Throughout the 9-week program, many of the participants struggled with walking/light jogging 1 mile. When they met their goal of 1 mile, 2 miles, or 3 miles, who was I to say ‘oh that’s all you walked?’ No! I was ecstatic for each of my participants when they made their goals each week. That sort of encouragement from me, and their peers helped push them to challenge theirself even more. We all go at different paces, and we all have different goals. No running goal is lesser than another. For those of you out there, and are new to the running community, I want to tell you I am rooting for you! You’ve got this!
Running a 5k is no joke for me or any new runners. I have run half marathons before, and 15Ks, but let me tell you, I feel just as exhausted completing a 5K. A 5K comes with its own set of challenges. During a 5K usually you are going for speed, and that’s hard stuff. Gosh, the heat Florida also never makes 5Ks easy. I am the runner that feels running 10 miles at a slow, steady pace is easier than running a speedy 5K. Like I Said everyone has their own running journey. Ignore negativity, and believe in yourself. 😄