Thursday, July 02, 2009

The F-Word

Take It and Run Thursday challenges us this week to write about something controversial in the running world. To that I say fine, but just remember it was your idea, because today, I'm going to use The F-Word, a word that running bloggers everywhere are afraid to use. In a few minutes, this post is going to be riddled with F-bombs. You have been warned. Here it is:


That's right, I said it: Fast.

It's just a little word, right? So why are so many of my fellow runners afraid to use it to describe themselves?

I have read many race reports about new PR's, the really great kind that smashed the previous best... without a single use of the F-Word. Descriptions of blistering track workouts, pounding out 400 meter repeats... without anyone so much as whispering F-A-S-T. I've even seen truly talented runners demur from using that word to describe races where they've placed or even won. The closest thing you'll hear is, "I finished with a really good time."

You didn't finish with a really good time, my friend. You were FAST! The fact of the matter is, there are a lot of runners out in the blogosphere who are extremely fast runners and just won't admit it. I read several race reports from the Boston Marathon in which the blogger noted that they'd never felt so middle of the pack as they did in Boston. Okay, so maybe you weren't in that lead pack in Boston, but if you were running the Boston Marathon at all? Let's face it: You. Are. Fast.

Is it modesty? It's true that runners are really nice and inclusive people. If I brag about how fast my 23:44 5K race was, I don't want to discount the accomplishment of a fellow runner who worked just as hard to finish in 30:00. Or, are we comparing ourselves to elite runners? Tirunesh Dibaba of Ethiopia is the fastest woman to run a 5K, and her time of 14:11:15 makes my 23:44 look like walking. Can I really call myself fast compared to her?

Yes. I am fast. And so is Tirunesh Dibaba, so are the Boston qualifiers, and so is my fellow runner who worked her butt of to score that 30:00 5K.

We all have our own Fast. Fast happens for all of us when everything clicks together just right, when we feel like we're flying, when our lungs are burning, and when we look at the time on the clock (or just the feeling in our hearts) and it is good.

I challenge you, my fellow runners, to own your Fast. To embrace the F-Word. And to shout from the rooftops when you have an amazing workout, run a strong race, or get a PR these words:

I am fast.


onelittletrigirl said...

"We all have our own fast"

I love it!

Roisin said...

Ditto on the above! My "fast" is currently 9:15, but it used to be 10:00!

newsjunkie said...

I agree, runners who are fast should shout it from the rooftops.

This particular F-word is not one you will ever hear escape from my lips in regards to my own running, however. And I am perfectly fine with that. :)

kara said...

My new mantra - "We all have our own fast."

Tom@RunnersLounge said...

Great post, Betsy! You're right on about "We all have our own fast."

I assume you'll find the right time and reason do drop your other F bombs.

Nitmos said...

I'm never to proud to brag. You're right, everyone should do it.

Teamarcia said...

Yes you are fast! And I am too . . .er . . .maybe sometimes:)

joyRuN said...

Excellent post :)

I'm not to the point where I'd use the F-word to describe myself, but it's all relative, isn't it?

bill carter said...

This is such a great post. Really. I think the reason you never hear the word "fast" from anybody who runs is that there is always someone faster. In my favorite event (the marathon of course) unless your name is Haile or Paula, there is always someone faster than you. I would also agree that by our nature, runners are more humble than just about any other athlete.

Again, great post and have a great summer!

Candice @ I Have Run said...

Great post!! I might have to quote you on my blog!

HEATHER said...

AWESOME post!!

Julia said...

thoughtful post. I never use the word fast, now that you mention it. I really enjoyed reading!