An open letter
To Any Runner Who Thinks She's "Too Slow,"
You might have noticed that a favorite habit of your fellow runners is to take a quick shot of their watches post-workout. Their results show up in your feed in all their glory: Time spent running and, of course, pace. A morning scroll through so many Garmin faces could encourage you to hit the track—or possibly, discourage you from getting #upandout. Because, of course, your speed might not exactly match theirs.
So then you start to overthink your runs. Maybe everyone is looking at you and clocking your speed. Maybe you don't feel comfortable showing off your pace. Is there a way to Photoshop your mile time out of your picture? But there's no reason to worry about whether you're notching Olympian-level splits, and I'm going to tell you why:
You own the road.
No one's watching (really). Everyone else who is running is trying to hit their individual paces, and if they're walking, well, they're probably thinking about what they're making for dinner or why that guy or girl didn't text them back or how late they're going to be to their morning meeting. Let me repeat: No. One. Is. Watching.
You can create a community.
You are not too slow to run side-by-side with your friends in a blanket of fog or bone-pricking cold or crushing humidity and laugh about what show you streamed last night or get serious and deep-dive into your hopes for the future. You are not too slow to appreciate your surroundings and tick off the street lamps you pass or press repeat on your favorite running song. You are not too slow to enjoy the still silence of the early mornings, before the sun is up, before the rest of the world is up. You are not too slow to spot another solo runner and say "Good morning!" or "Nice neon!" and barely make out each other's smiles in the dark. You are not too slow to watch the sun rise.
Finish reading my story on SHAPE.