There can be a lot of uncertainty in running and multi-sport. Athletes doubt their training. Athletes doubt themselves. Athletes look at other athletes and ask themselves, am I doing too much? Am I doing too little? This person is always posting about how they are out there killing every workout, am I doing the ok here?
Social media can be great for bringing athletes together, around a shared race, experience, or talking about training. One thing to always bear in mind, so much so that I made it my #2 rule (#1 being no politics or religion on Facebook) is that “things are not always what they seem on social media.” A shiny, gleaming post with a bunch of fun hashtags does not always convey what exactly happened in any given workout or race. Thus it is counterproductive for athletes to compare what they are doing to someone else’s social media posts regarding training and racing.
Which bring me to my main point in writing this. Never apologize. I don’t care what your running pace is. We should all do a service to ourselves and throw out the words “fast” and “slow.” My zone 2, conversational runs feel the same as anyone else’s. My hard zone 4-5 efforts feel just as grueling as anyone else’s. We’re all out there, putting in the effort, working relative to ourselves. A social media post lamenting how “slow” you are only eats away at self-confidence and takes away from the wonderful, satisfying, hard work you are putting into your own training.
Never apologize for who you are. If you are in this to have fun and don’t care about your times, right on. If you are in this to crush every workout, analyze every metric and go after every podium, kudos to you! If you are someone in between, hitting some workouts, but taking the occasional red box, then you know what? You’re awesome. Running and multi-sport is what you make of it. You get in what you put out. And what you want to get out of it is up to you and only you. Every single one of us is doing just fine.
I’ve been told I think I’m a man. I’ve been questioned as to why I need a coach. “What do you think, you’re in the Olympics?” When turning down sheet cake, I’ve been hounded to eat it because “come on, its a party.” I’ve been called a “fasthole” (ouch! What does this even mean?). My diet has been criticized as “that can’t be good for you.” I’ve been mansplained to about pool etiquette by someone who was clearly wrong and rude. Not to mention the inner demons that sometimes sit on my shoulders and whisper “you’re old, you’re a stupid lady, you’re not worthy, etc.” To all of that, I say a resounding “NO” (to the naysayers, say NAY, right?). Each one of those experiences fuels a fire within that says, do not quit, do not give up. You are enough. You are doing just fine.
To everyone out there, I say the same. You’re doing fine. You are awesome, and you are worth it. Do what you are doing for you, and go forth with confidence.