Are you running fast enough?

My interest in distance running started when I was in junior high, it was how me and my stepmom, Jane, bonded. The Lilac Bloomsday 12k run in Spokane, Washington became a family event, and I (briefly) took up track and field. I wasn’t very fast, but damn some days I felt like I could run forever.

As an adult, I’ve tried revisiting my love for running, but it’s been hard to stay accountable.  Jane was my running partner, and I loved how we always shared great conversation during our runs.

Yes, you heard me correctly. We ran AND talked AT THE SAME TIME. I honestly preferred it over listening to music because it was a great distraction and I always learned a lot.

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I’ve set goals to run my first half marathon this July (woot woot!) and compete in my first marathon in 2019. (Yes, I am using this post for accountability as well haha). A recent conversation with two close friends who are distance runners brought something interesting to my attention:

“Meghan, if you’re able to carry a conversation while running, you aren’t running fast enough!”

I felt like this was the BIGGEST. FACEPALM. IN THE WORLD. I’ve never really known how to set a pace running outside of pushing buttons on a treadmill, but no doubt this would be an easy measure.

As of this week, I’ve started running outside again and WOW Chicago in the summer is BEAUTIFUL! Why didn’t anyone tell me this?! Kidding…

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I’ve been having a particularly rough week, mostly due to a vacation hangover, but also a loss of direction with my writing and new business. Running the last few days has started to clear my head, and during my run tonight I had a bit of a revelation:

If I can easily have a conversation while running, it means I’m not pushing myself hard enough…

JUST LIKE when things in life starts coming too easily, it means we’ve stopped growing, we’re no longer being challenged!

Resistance and challenge and difficulties mean you are growing. It’s when things start to get too easy that we’ve plateaued and we are no longer improving. When you are running slow enough to be able to carry on a conversation, it means you aren’t pushing yourself.

So ask yourself: are YOU running fast enough?

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