Search

Running blog: why finishing your marathon is more important than your running speed

PUBLISHED: 15:00 16 July 2017

Steph Callen, from Diss and District Athletics Club. Picture: STEPH CALLEN

Steph Callen, from Diss and District Athletics Club. Picture: STEPH CALLEN

Archant

Once during a race, I spotted a spectator holding up a banner with the slogan: “Finish lines, not finish times!” It’s transformed the way I evaluate my race performances ever since.

I am not a fast long-distance runner. This sport does not come naturally to me but I do it because I enjoy the challenge of pushing myself to achieve something outside of my usual comfort zone.

While years of training have honed my stamina, I’ve come to the conclusion that my legs simply don’t want to go around as fast as others. I’ve also come to the conclusion that that’s perfectly ok.

Being in the bottom half of most results tables doesn’t make me any less of a runner. The only person I need to race against is myself, but who says I have to do that anyway? Sometimes I will stride out in the hope of a new personal best and sometimes I’ll decide to ditch the running watch and take in the atmosphere of an event at a more leisurely pace.

But how many times have you crossed a finish line and the first thing anyone wants to know is your time?

I used to prefix my answer with some sort of explanation through fear that my performance would be judged, never mind how gruelling the event was or whether the person asking me had even taken part!

My time for the London Marathon was much slower than those I knew who had previously completed the iconic race, but I was happy that I had done my best and raised a lot of money for charity in the process.

However, the constant enquiries about how fast I had run over the proceeding days, albeit asked with good intentions, felt like my achievement was slowly being chipped away at.

Seeing that banner that day changed my mindset. If, like me, you’re never going to challenge the front runners, it doesn’t matter.

From running your first mile race to completing a marathon, just getting out there and staring down that finish line is the real measure of achievement.

Steph Callen lives in Diss and is a member of Diss and District Athletics Club’s road running group. She enters events throughout the year.

Other news

16:17

Snow could be on its way to Norfolk on Sunday as the temperatures plummet to below freezing overnight.

Lanes on a busy roundabout will be closed overnight for three nights so that workmen can inspect drains on the road.

Popstar Ed Sheeran has announced his engagement to his long-term girlfriend.

A “beautiful” seven-year-old Husky dog is looking for someone to give her the permanent new home she deserves.

Most Read

Popstar Ed Sheeran has announced his engagement to his long-term girlfriend.

Read more

A driver failed a drugs test after being stopped for jumping a red traffic light.

Read more

A councillor has resigned after a town decided to levy a 13.6pc increase in council tax against its residents this week.

Read more
Graham Minshull
Thursday, June 1, 2017

Treat the kids to hours of fun on flumes, inflatables and wave machines at these cool pools across the county...

Read more
Wales
Yesterday, 11:00

It is one of the most historic buildings in Diss and the centrepiece of the town’s Heritage Triangle regeneration project.

Read more
St Mary's Church

Local Weather

Rain

Rain

max temp: 3°C

min temp: 0°C

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Diss Mercury e-edition today
E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter