“I could never do that!” “That’s amazing!” “I wish I could run but my boobs/legs/feet are too big/old/slow”
These are a few of the lovely things people said to me when I was preparing to run the Dublin Women’s Mini Marathon earlier this month. It is one of the biggest sporting events in Ireland and everyone on the country has either done it, is related to someone who has done it or wants to do it. It is a major success in making running and activity accessible to everyone.
I don’t really talk about my running to many people, just my nearest and dearest on a need-to-know basis. The Mini Marathon was different though because I was raising money for charity so I had to not just tell people I was doing it “yes, really, running it. Yes I know I don’t look like a runner. Yes I have trained for it. No, I don’t think I’ll just walk it on the day” but also ask them for their hard earned money.
One of the consequences of this public acknowledgement of being a runner is that other people have obviously looked at me and thought “well, if she can run 10k, so can I” . I have even been told, to my face, that I am an inspiration! 🙂
Two of my closest friends have decided that they would like to run the Mini Marathon with me next year. They each have their own, very different motivations and I am delighted to have them join me.
What happens if they are better than me?
No seriously, one of them is a very fast walker and already does a lot of jog/walking intervals. And I mean fast! She is also considerably more competitive than me.
There is a very good chance she could come in faster than me. We are doing a local 10k together in the next 2 weeks and while it will be lovely to have some company at the start line, what do I do if she crosses the finish first? Now, of course, the adult in me knows I should be delighted for my very good friend sharing with me something that makes me happy (I am really) and is so good for her. I also know that a little competition and chasing a faster runner would be good for my running. And I am an adult. But I think being an inspiration may have bitten me in my slightly podgy, lycra-clad backside.
Have you every been outperformed by someone you inspired to take up running?