Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Your Own Journey

During my first 20 miler run a few weeks ago, I was super lucky to have two of my Akron Relay team members, Chelsea and Jeff, join me for the last eight miles.

During those eight miles, Chelsea turned to me and said "I wish I looked that good at 13 miles!"

I answered with an emphatic, "I've been marathon training for nine weeks, I should look this good!"

As runners, we get so caught up in other people. News flash, all of us have our own journey. Most people would never be able to tell by looking at me that my running career was almost finished ten years ago by and IT Band issue, and it took me almost seven years to get back at it. 

Before I had run friends, I would also compare myself to other runners. At races, I would pick people out at the start of the race that I thought I should stay with or that I thought I could beat. Usually, I was wrong. I would get so mad that I was getting passed or things like that. 

When we all did the Liberty Mile together in August, I had never been so excited to see my friends do so well, even if they did do better than me! 

My journey right now is so much different than all of my other run friends. Mainly because I am the only one training for a fall AND winter marathon. I should be able to last for the longer distances, and have the shorter races take a back seat. 

When I see people speeding past me during a long run, I don't care anymore. I am focused on my journey, my task at hand. 

During the Lehigh Valley Half, I was passing people on the hills in the second half of the race. I really just wanted to let them know that I'm in marathon training and this should be easy for me. I know if I would have seen that during my goal race I would have been upset. Yet again, a completely different journey. 

It's one of those growing up kind of things. I am becoming completely comfortable with myself and my abilities which is really awesome! I'm learning to not sweat the small stuff. If I have to skip a shorter run during the week, I don't feel like I have to make it up. 

To me, this is the beautiful thing about running. The ability to figure things out for yourself and grow as a person is a beautiful thing. 

How do you define your journey? Do you have a problem separating your journey from others?


  1. Were you in my head yesterday, Steffany?!? HA! I posted about this very thing today, and I do have a problem separating my journey from others, at times...not all the time, but it does sneak up in my running every once in awhile. I often want to be at a level that I'm not ready for, which leads me to doing things that could get me hurt (like right now!), but I'm trying to remember (and thanks for the reminder!) that I have to do what's right for me. YOU ARE AWESOMESAUCE! Thanks for sharing; I needed to hear this!

  2. Oh my gosh, I think you, Tara & I are all on the same page today! I am usually confident that my journey is unique and that is what I love about it, but lately I have really struggled with training because I am comparing too much to other people's mileage, workouts, etc. Thanks for sharing this!

  3. Great post! And I love that last quote. It's so true but also hard sometimes to do. I need to remember this!

  4. Steffany Smith RubelSeptember 18, 2014 at 7:36 PM

    It really helps to say it out loud sometimes!!

  5. Steffany Smith RubelSeptember 18, 2014 at 7:36 PM

    Thank you! It makes me feel like I am not alone!!

  6. Steffany Smith RubelSeptember 18, 2014 at 7:37 PM

    Thanks Tara! I'm just in it to make myself proud right now and I think I'm doing an awesome job!

  7. I am the worst when it comes to comparing myself with others. I train (or at least start) with some pretty talented and FAST runners. I can only dream to run as good as them and at times it gets me down. But, I quickly refocus my attention on what I need to get done. I can say that they are very supportive and offer really good advice. Love your drive and attitude.

  8. Hi! :-) I found your blog through Kim's and just wanted to say what a great post this is!
    I'm a pretty slow runner, and when I see people blaze past me day after day (after day, after day) I get really down on myself and get very frustrated that I can't do that. BUT, I'm getting better. I find the more I encourage myself during a run and become my own biggest cheerleader, the better I perform.
    It's definitely a work in progress, but it's also comforting to know that other runners struggle with this as well (especially runners that I look up to)!

  9. Steffany Smith RubelSeptember 20, 2014 at 8:11 AM

    Thanks for stopping by! I think the biggest transformation in my running came when I started ignoring those people passing me and just started to enjoy the run! To only worry about myself makes it that much more rewarding! Keep up the great work!!

  10. Steffany Smith RubelSeptember 20, 2014 at 8:11 AM

    GET IT DONE! It's so hard to not compare, but I'm loving my "as long as it's done" attitude with this training!