While Matt and I were running along the greenway in Athens early the other morning, we passed a young lady walking on the way out and then again on the way back. We were moving along pretty good, probably about a 7:30 pace and chatting. As we passed on the way back, she said, "Y'all are making me look bad!" To which we both replied, "You're doing great! Keep up the good work!" I was as sincere as I could be.
After most races, I congratulate folks much slower than I am. I've been asked if that praise can be sincere. How can that be? How can I congratulate someone for a 45+ minute 5k when I just ran a sub-20:00 5k? Do I really mean it?
I most certainly do. And, when someone who just ran a 15 or 16 minute 5k congratulates me at the finish, I don't doubt their sincerity. You see, I'm not as fast as I'm going to be. You're not as fast as you're going to be. I haven't done all the work I'm going to do. I assume you haven't done all the work you're going to do.
The young lady on the track... I admire the discipline that it took to be out there alone before 7:00 AM in sub-freezing weather. I don't really care that we were moving faster than she was. I admire the courage that it takes to toe the starting line of a 5k or any race. I admire the desire for improvement that caused you to train to be ready for that race.
You see, it's better to walk one mile than it is to think about running 20. A 16 minute mile is better than 16 minutes on the couch. If you're training and not making excuses, YOU'RE DOING GREAT!
Thanks for tolerating my rambling. I wanted to say that. This week, I'll give that bit of philosophy instead of boring you with the details of my recovery runs and too slow long runs.