Real Talk Tuesdays: On Running, Training and Staying in Your Own Lane.

Hey there! So I thought we’d start a little series that I would like to call ‘Real Talk Tuesdays’. Well, for me every day is a real talk kind of day, since this is my little space to rant and talk about training and such. But I always have a few thoughts rolling around in my head that I’d like to share with the blogosphere. So here it goes.

I’ve seen this term come up a few times on social media and it’s just kind of my favorite saying in general. Frankly it is how I like to live my life, and how I prefer to run and train for races. Stay in your own lane.

But what does that mean, really? I think runners are always pretty hard and critical of themselves. I say this because I was once that overly critical and self judgmental person when it came to my own training. I would constantly compare myself – my pace, my weekly mileage etc. to other people’s. Nothing was ever good enough. Every time I DID NOT set a personal record in whatever racing distance, it would JACK with me emotionally. Really, my entire well being was linked to running. This, in my opinion, is not how someone should live their life.

Running is supposed to bring you joy, it is supposed to enhance the amazing life you already have. When I run nowadays, I compare it to like being a child. I go PLAY, and I enjoy my playtime. Some days, I run fast. I do speedwork, strides or what have you. I push my body. Some days I run for hours and hours on end. Because it FEELS GOOD to me – to work hard. Even if sometimes I have a bad run. It is not the end of the world. I don’t log on to social media and complain about it. I chalk it up to exactly what it is, a bad run. Tomorrow’s run will be better.

And as far as the social media world goes, I STAY in my own lane. Meaning, I train my ass off and I keep my head down and try not to compare myself to other runners. When I see that others are successful, I am proud of them and their accomplishments. When I see my fellow run buddies are down or hurting – I do whatever I can do lift them up. Because I see myself in a lot of these people. I’ve been injured. I know how shitty it feels to not be running. It can truly take a toll on you. But sometimes all you need is that encouragement, that things will get better. The storm doesn’t stick around forever. It will pass, you will be healthy and you will run again. Believe it.

But really, I love running for ME. I love staying in my own lane. Doing me, enjoying running – and remembering why I started this journey in the first place. Running has brought joy, blessings, wonderful friendships – and has healed me in more ways than one. And the races, the medals, the amazing ultra WINS – those are just the icing on the cake.

Stay in your lane. In the end you’ll be glad you did.

Thank you, Kanye.

How’s your training going? Do you tend to play the comparison game when it comes to your running or do you stay in your own lane?

Published by thedancingrunner

Marathon runner & group fitness instructor at 24 Hour Fitness. Passionate about family, friends, traveling. Loves destination races. Loves dining out, cooking in, being around down to earth people, writing, sunrises.

21 thoughts on “Real Talk Tuesdays: On Running, Training and Staying in Your Own Lane.

  1. I love this post! I can totally relate. Thanks for being honest about your struggles and how important it is to let go and enjoy this life. We are more than runners 🙂

  2. This is such a great post. Back in the day, there was no social media, heck there was no high tech GPS watch or app. If you wanted to run the distance you had to take your car around to measure the route or pay attention to mile markers on the trail.

    We have been way to attached to the numbers, how far we went, how fast, instead of measuring by how our body performed or how we felt.

    I see monthly mileage post all of social media, and that’s great!! I myself post them during marathon training to update everyone on how my monthly training went… But I was chatting with a running buddy who is training for her first marathon… as of now she has put 100% into all of her training runs, but she is feeling tired burned our and was unsure if skipping one run would mess up her training. I told her rest and recovery is just as important as getting every single run in…. sometimes less is more, and that it’s about the quality of the runs not the quantity.

    Everyone is different and we need to customize our running journey to our unique selves.

  3. Thank you! Your words hit home this morning. In most aspects of my life, I am different enough that I don’t compare myself to others, but for some reason, not so with running. I’ll definitely be running to play more:)

  4. Yes! And not only is it hard not to compare yourself to others, it’s also hard not to compare yourself to yourself. I would get so frustrated when I was coming back from an injury because I had to slow down a lot and build up my mileage again. It’s hard not to just jump back into where you were pre-injury!

  5. Well put, social media, pressure, comparisons, hell who cares, its about us, me, you the individuals, that does the drug called running for our own personal satisfaction.

  6. There’s the equivalent saying for yoga and some other practices; “Stay on your own mat” which I also really like. I try to check Strava less often if I’m not in a great headspace about my own mileage or speed.

  7. I just love your attitude. You’re right, it’s supposed to be fun. I get so lost in training plans it becomes stressful and the opposite of fun. I’m finally getting back in a mental space which is welcoming the thought of running again. I really need to keep your words in the front of my mind and remember why I run — fun! Thanks!

  8. I love this post! I’ve kind of stalled out in my training. I love to run, but I’ve been a little bummed and haven’t run the last couple weeks. I need to get back at it, but I’ve been so tired I just haven’t done it. I don’t compare my running to others as much as I compare to myself. For example, it bums me out when I run a mile slower than I ran the week before when I’m working on speed. I can be pretty hard on myself and that does make it harder to enjoy the run. I didn’t really realize it until I read this post, though. Thanks for the aha moment 🙂

    1. I understand 100% how mentally it can jack with you when you’re training and you’re not as fast or whatever as you want to be. I used to be that kind of runner. 🙂 It’s common among all of us, we are perfectionists! Just keep at it and try not to be obsessive and overthink things. We all have our highs and lows. Stay consistent and be patient with yourself love. Happy training to you!!

  9. I do me!! I cannot play the comparison game, I am my own runner and do what keeps running fun for ME!!

    I didn’t get to run the Chicago Marathon due to medical reasons and to see all the posts of runners being disappointed in there run. I know there are the die hards out there, but some of the things I was reading really made me feel inadequate as a ‘runner’. Do I even deserve to call myself a runner, am I a runner?? But I backed it up and reminded myself that I run for me and ONLY ME!!

    Thanks for the post Chelsea!! I am not a lane changer, at least with out my blinker!! I stay in my lane!!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: