What If vs. So What

A few months ago I signed up to run a 5k at the end of April. Running a 5k is something I've wanted to accomplish for the past few years, but I would always find a million reasons to stop running so I never signed up for a race. This year I thought I would propel myself out of my comfort zone and sign up for a race before I was ready to run. I'm not a fan of the treadmill--I continually crash into the bar because I always want to run faster than the speed I'm going, but I don't like going too fast- I know, it makes no sense. I wasn't too worried because I had about four months to get into shape.



When spring finally kind of appeared I was so excited to start running outside-- so that first day I decided I would just run as far as I could without stopping to see how far I could go.

For a little more context I have never run for more than 2 miles without stopping-- last May I did 2 miles in just over 21 minutes & that was my best ever fun and the furthest I've run! 

I was able to do a mile without stopping-- and then did another mile mainly walking with a little bit of jogging in-between. I felt pretty good about it, considering it was my first running attempt since October. My optimism faded pretty quickly as the runs that followed that first day seemed to get worse and worse. There were tears and mini meltdowns and a million times I thought I should transfer my 5k registration to someone else because there was no way I would be able to run 3 miles. 

What if I'm the last person to finish?
What if I don't even finish?
What if I'm too slow & have to leave the course? 

The more I thought about it, the more I started to think so what? Maybe I will be the last person to finish, or unable to finish at all, but if I don't try I won't ever get better. Why are we so quick to let the fear of failure rule over us? Failure is disappointing and difficult and heartbreaking at times- but it doesn't define who we are. Life will still go on the next day.

So here I am a little less than a month away from the race. I'm still struggling, but still trying. My pipe dream is to run the entire thing without stopping. Actually my pipe dream is to run the entire thing super fast-- I'll be happy if I can run the entire thing without stopping. 

Maybe this whole thing is about running a 5k. Or maybe it's just about life in general-- and not letting fear hold you back from everything you want to accomplish. 

linking up with tracy & alyssa
for training for tuesday

24 comments

  1. That is absolutely the way to think about this!! You might not be first, but it doesn't matter because you'll get out there and do it! xo, Biana -BlovedBoston

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  2. Yes! Girl I love your change in attitude and know that no matter how the race goes you'll feel so accomplished when you've finished. Super proud of you for continuing on.

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  3. good for you girl! i completely quit a half marathon (and regret it every day) because i could only train up to 7 miles (which now i could never do) and then come to find out, half the people walked most of the race anyway if they felt like it. being a non runner now, i find those races daunting but i am proud of you for sticking it out! even if you cannot finish it - you will have tried your best and that is all that matters!

    xoxo cheshire kat

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  4. I felt the same way the first time that I signed up for a 5K! But then a friend (who was a really good runner) told me this: nobody running with you or watching you run cares how fast you're going. They're just happy that you're out there doing it!

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  5. You got this girl! For awhile I was running around my neighborhood (which is the best and worst idea lol) and I just kept pushing myself to go one more lap. You're going to rock the race!! <3, Pamela Sequins & Sea Breezes

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  6. You are going to do great... race days holds so much 'unknown' so dont put the pressure on yourself. Just go & ENJOY it. Know you are doing something AMAZING by crossing the finish line - however it looks. Cant wait to hear all about it

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  7. So what is right - so what if you don't run the whole time, so what if you don't feel 100% ready? You are going to do it and you're going to be great because being great is the actual doing - not necessarily HOW you're doing it or how long it takes or any of the other things that might plague you. The act itself is excellence.

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  8. Love this! You've got this gurlie! I'm so not a runner, and I signed up for my first 5k last year. It was a lot of hard work to train for it, but I'm so glad I did it. Such a fun experience! Can't wait to hear how you do next month <3
    Green Fashionista

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  9. I love everything that this post stands for - you can do it, lady! I agree with your attitude about "so what?" All that matters is that you set a goal and are out to accomplish it for yourself and nobody else.

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  10. Yes! So what? I've never been to a 5K where people didn't walk. When I ran my first ever longer races - a 5-miler, then a 10-miler, than a half, I kept thinking, "Oh man, what if I have to walk?" But every single one of those races had people walking from the get go. Running the whole thing is nice, but getting out there and doing it is what really counts. So go get 'em!

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  11. You've got this! I'm so proud of you (as I won't even run if at a crosswalk and a car is coming lol). You'll do great! xx

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  12. I love this so much. As I was reading I was thinking I would tell you that no you almost definitely would not be the last to finish, but then when I got to your "so what," I liked that attitude even more. So what if you're the last to finish a race? I'd rather be the last to cross the finish line than never even cross the start line. You CAN do this. It may not look exactly like what you thought it would come race day, but it's a start. Your first race doesn't have to define you as a runner—you can always try again if you don't get the race day you want. The important thing is: Do you want to do it? Then there's no reason not to try your best. I know you will!

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  13. A 5k is a big thing to achieve with a short amount of training so go as far as you can and I'm sure you will crush it more than you know!

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  14. If you want it and you work for it, then it is very possible. It may not seem like it, but even though you don't have a lot of time, if you keep running you will get stronger. I ran a 5k one time! I did walk once. I didn't train, but I also wasn't as motivated as you to care if I walked at all!

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  15. You've got this, lady. The fact that you're trying speaks volumes! Can't wait to hear how it goes!

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  16. Oh Carly, I love this so, so very much. For what it's worth, I am 99.99% confident you will not be last or too slow to finish or anything like that, but even if you are...so what? What Chesson said is totally right - no one is watching you or cares how fast or slow you go, except for you and maybe whoever is at the finish line with you. It's your race and no one else's. You are going to do great and I'm already so proud of you! (And for what it's worth I couldn't run the whole way in my first 5k either...I ran the first two miles and then mostly walked the last one!)

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  17. I love your outlook on this. I think the fact that you're getting out there and giving it your all is huge. You've got this!
    Evelina @ Fortunate House

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  18. you are going to rock this, no doubt. excellent motivation for those of us still on the couch!!

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  19. YES. running is the best metaphor for life haha but seriously YES.
    'but if I don't try I won't ever get better.' yes yes yes. seriously. i am 100% confident in you. you'll be amazing, and even if you aren't the best, whatever. so what. i have a half marathon in exactly 1 month and i am 0% prepared. i want to bail and not do it, but who cares if i don't do it well? i have been scared to sign up for shorter races lately because i'm afraid of how slow i am or how much i run vs walk but whatever. i am 100% confident in you, and me, that we can at least get out there and do it. who cares if we are not the best that we can be ever, we'll be the best we can be right now, and then we'll get better. high five girl. you've got this!!

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  20. You can do it!! I am trying to push myself to sign up for some 5ks that are LITERALLY right outside my door step. I did one last Spring and almost died but got the best time I've ever done, which I think was 34 minutes or something like that. I think having a supportive partner is great. I ran it with my boyfriend who could definitely go way faster than me but kept with me the entire time and it was the first time I've done a 5k without stopping. Let me know if you want to borrow him! hahah

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  21. Running can seriously be so tough some times. I can run pretty far now, but when I first started it was really hard to break through the mental barrier. My trick is to not check the time when I run and just try to get myself out of my head!

    Kenzie
    SimplyJandK.Com

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  22. I totally feel you! The getting back into running can be very tough! We signed up for a 5K at the beginning of June and I'm a little worried about not being able to complete it without stopping, but hopefully we can just run slower and not stop running!

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  23. You can do it! Find a 5k training plan if you feel like you're stuck and aren't making progress. And if it makes you feel any better, a lot of people sign up for 5ks to walk them so you won't finish last and you won't get kicked off the course!

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