“I’m only running the 5k”. I think we need to stop shaming ourselves for picking the shortest distance at an event. I, for one, am guilty of doing this. I see someone I know at a local race, strike up a conversation, and next thing I know I am feeling embarrassed that I chose a shorter distance than they did.
Let me say this. 5k and 10k races are HARD. They hurt…a lot. As the legendary Dave Rutherford once said in a social media post, “you red-line and then hang on”. For me, there is no comfort in shorter races. There is no time for me to reflect, use the washroom, dig around in my pack for a snack, or pose for photo. Besides the pain, it takes an incredible amount of physical and mental skill to pace yourself that uncomfortably. I dread shorter races more than longer ones. I feel as though its more a test of my fitness. There is also little room for error. You need to be smart and tactical right from the start. In a longer race, I can blame my upset stomach, the course conditions as they deteriorate over the day, or my lack of nutrition for having a bad race.
I have said this for years - I strongly believe that every race is hard. If the terrain is more forgiving, you run it faster. If the distance is shorter, you run it harder. Anyway you spin it, by the time you reach the finish line, there is nothing left…and there’s pride in that.
There’s pride in stepping up to commit to running anything, at any pace, in any distance, at any time. One distance doesn’t make us more worthy than another. We are all part of the journey in running the best we can.
Be proud of any distance…it’s all running.
Happy Trails -