My process in getting used to slow running reminds of the 5 stages of grief:
Denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.
On today’s run I saw a lot of runners that are still in denial, running around with red faces, clearly hating every second – this was me years ago.
The weekend warriors that crossed my path, appeared to be in the anger phase. They only have TODAY to get ALL the exercise in for the whole week. I think what they do is speed work … to me it looks like they try to get a heart attack (this was me before moving to Ireland). I think I did spot a bargaining runner, while I was slowly running down the seafront. The runner overtook me, ran 100 meters ahead and then stopped suddenly to do some stretches. Quite clever actually … I never came up with that idea.
Then comes depression. Sometimes this is still me now. Not in a literal sense, but there are moments when I just feel so stupid if I have a bad day and a walking person overtakes me … and I feel bad for a bit. I do bounce back quickly though.
Despite this, I feel I’ve reached the acceptance stage or am there most of the time. In the end it is about me and that I can continue to run and have amazing experiences. That I have to run slow to be able to run for 2 hours is something I have gotten used to and accepted. I noticed this, when at the end of my run, another runner clearly tried to “race” me on MY beach. This would usually have been an unacceptable situation, but I just let him go, enjoying the soft sand and looking forward to cooling down in the sea after I was done. It was even kind of amusing to see that he looked over his shoulder multiple times. Maybe I even made his day, since he was so fast!?
I suppose this is mostly because of summer and more people exercising outdoors or get started new? Usually I only meet iron man like athletes that breeze up those hills – no sweat visible.