So I've been reading some running blogs and "The Competitive Runner's Handbook," which routinely talk about running sub-8:00 and sub-7:00 miles on 10k and longer races, and I got a bit deflated.
I ran just under 9 minutes a mile (albeit hung-over and sleep-deprived) in the Veteran's Day 10k a few weeks ago, and my 5-mile race on Thanksgiving was a good but not exactly blistering 8:36-mile pace. Don't get me wrong; these are very good times if you're running just for fun.
But being the Type A sado-masochist that I am, I want to get better, good enough to fly through races. And right now, I cannot fathom running faster for miles on end. I am in awe of you speedsters.
Then I gave myself a reality check. I only started running in late August/early September. I entered my first race the following month - the Army 10-miler on October 24th. Since then, I've run in two more races (10k and 5-miler). I jumped into this running thang feet first (forgive the pun) on a lark, never realizing that I would get hooked.
Absolute beginner: I mean, I'm still trying to figure out the lingo, i.e. fartlek, tempo runs, etc. And I haven't even yet built up my running base: If I'm lucky, I run 15-20 miles a week, but running books say you should run 20 to 45 miles a week if you want to be competitive on any level.
So I really shouldn't compare myself to more experienced runners. I've got to put in a lot more time and log more miles before I can think of even keeping up with the Speedy Gonzales of the local running world.
Patience, I tell myself, patience.