On Pace Bashers and Negative Running Talk

(I’m in the green top and white hat)  No Tuesday Tip today guys because I want to talk about something that I’ve been thinking about for a while now.

After thinking about it even more, this topic is two-fold.  I’ll talk about the second half in another post.

Part I:

There is one thing that I sometimes see when reading other blogs whether it’s a straight up running blog or a foodie/running blog, and that is pace bashing.  This negative talk when someone completes a run and is disappointed in their pace.

I will tell you right now that I HATE THIS and it makes me cringe and not want to come back when I read someone doing it.

Pace bashing and negative talk is when someone says something like, “I ran 8 miles today at a 9:30 pace and that is so freaking slow! I know I can run faster than that.  UGH! How could I run so slow.  What a crap run.”

Have you seen that before because I see it all the darn time.

Talk like this may or may not make me want to kick you in the shin.

I get having a crappy run.  It happens to all runners.  And I get maybe having a goal pace in mind and not really reaching that during the run.  It’s good to have goals.  I can also understanding knowing that you are capable of running faster and being a bit frustrated when it doesn’t happen. I don’t get beating yourself up about a pace.

When I started running my pace was over 11min/mile.  When I ran my first half my pace was 12:30min/mile.  Yes I was dealing with two injuries but it would have been around there anyway.  I tend to run a bit slower during a new-to-me route. Whatever. When I’m running a big distance like that, my focus is on my run and not stressing about pace.  Eventually as I started losing weight my pace got a bit faster.  That’s a pretty natural evolution with running.

I am not a speed demon.  I’m not running an 8min/mile or even close.

Recently, as in last week, I realized that I ran my first sub 10min/mile pace.  I was ecstatic! Like bouncing off the walls happy because holy crap that is freaking fast.  FAST!

Then I read a blog where some chick was bashing herself for running that same pace for 8 miles.  She thought it was too slow and she can totally do better than that.

Way to kill my buzz girlie.

I’m a good runner and I’m confident in my abilities but I’m also human, and yes I can sort of be deflated easily for a minute when I see someone complain like that.  It’s like, “Jeeze if they think that is slow, then my normal pace must be like crawling to them.”

Then I got over it quickly because I’m not going to let some Negative Nancy kill my day.

I sort of want to shake them and say, “Did you forget that you just ran X number of miles? That is awesome! The majority of people don’t even do close to that in a day.  So hooray for you!”

I have been guilty of bashing my pace before and that was early on in my running career.  I stopped doing it once I realized that by writing out such thoughts and negativity, I was putting that out for everyone to see.  It had the possibility of affecting someone else in a negative way and I do not want that.  I am a supporter.  I want people to feel good about running and exercise and their accomplishments.  I do not want them to feel deflated for what they just did.

Because the truth is, we have no idea who reads our blogs.  Sure stats and whatever might give you a rough impression but the majority of people don’t comment.  What if someone is reading your blog for inspiration and then sees you bashing yourself over a stinkin’ pace?  What if they won’t go for a run because if they don’t meet your pace, they might feel like a failure?

Wouldn’t you rather support someone to get out there and do something and be a positive force as opposed to being negative and possibly discouraging another?

Why put out that kind of negative energy as a response to completing something very positive? You’re not only affecting yourself but also others that you might not even be aware of.

Stop the pace bashing and the negative running talk!

17 thoughts on “On Pace Bashers and Negative Running Talk

  1. Heidi says:

    Awesome post! I totally agree with this. I am a fairly new runner (less than a year). It’s discouraging to hear others dissing a particular pace (especially one that’s a few minutes faster than I run). Kudos to you for focusing on supporting others instead!

    • Hi Heidi and welcome to OHC! :D I agree with you totally! When someone’s running a faster pace and they talk smack about it, I don’t think they realize how that can come across to others who might not be at that same pace.
      Alli, I won’t kick you in the shins! :) We’ve all done it but it’s just time to put a stop to it!
      Heather, Ditto. I know my limits and what I can and cannot do. Seeing someone bash or even call a 8min/mile run, their “easy run” makes me cringe just a bit.
      Linzi, We are our toughest critics! Negative talk is going to happen but keeping it in check and not putting that out to others is the important part!
      Lynn, It’s amazing how others can influence us, isn’t it?
      Monica, Toxic people are outties! I don’t like being around that either!
      Diana, Yup! People do it all the time or they seriously downplay their achievements. Everyone should be proud of what they can do!
      Sarah, Exactly! Everyone has a different pace and a different way of accomplishing a task. We’re all friends so we should all support one another!
      Erin, Yes yes! We all have hard runs where we’re tired, or not feeling it, or can’t get a groove going and I fully understand that. That’s the reality of running or working out and I think it’s okay to share that aspect of it but not to the point where we bash ourselves for getting out there and doing!

      You all are awesome! Great discussion, thanks so much for your comments! :D

  2. Darling – this is why I love you. You are SO RIGHT! So right! I get so upset with my 13 minute miles (and part of my “bashing” is just me and my damn self deprecating nature – and maybe because Mike teases me about “walking”) – but in reality – I need to be happy with the fact that my body can even run! :)

    Thanks for straightening me out – and please don’t kick me in the shins! :) LOL :)

  3. Heather says:

    I’m a slooooowwww runner and I have to say it ticks me off when someone bashes a pace that I will likely never reach in a million years as disgustingly slow. Gee thanks. I know they don’t really mean anything by it but it still irks me. And I read it a lot since it’s all over that running board I’m on. I Just ignore it.

  4. You said it perfectly! I know we all have probably done this a time or two, (we are so hard on ourselves) but I agree that it can discourage others. I love to read about people’s race recaps and run times becauase it motivates me. But I too am still working on getting my times to a place where I feel comfortable. I actually had to re-read my run recap from sunday to see if I was bashing my times… not to bad. I do however want to focus on the good not the negative, so this is a great reminder of that.

  5. My rant for the day … I hate hate toxic people.
    Any pace that you get off your butt and move is a good pace. My doctor says any exercise is better than none.
    I am so proud of you and your eating and running habits. You inspire me.
    Run Andi Run!!

  6. Yes, I agree so much. I’m not a runner so it doesn’t really affect me that much but it still upsets me when I see people that do AMAZING things complain about something like that. It’s like “Seriously?”. And it’s not even with just running. This happens with a lot of things and that perfeccionism can be so negative.

  7. Great post Andrea! I agree with you completely, although I am sometimes guilty of this myself, usually only on shorter runs. Though, I have been making an effort not to focus on time so much, who am I trying to beat? Ha ha.

    I also like to discourage others who are slower than me from comparing themselves to me, whether it be pace or mileage. We each go our own pace in our own time and the fact that we are out there running is amazing in itself. Thanks for reminding me of that!

  8. I admit that I do this sometimes. Thank you for posting this because it really has made me think about it from another perspective. In fact, I was running last night and the run was really hard and I wasn’t going as fast as I would have liked. But then I remembered that you had alluded to this topic earlier and I told myself “you are running. It doesn’t matter that the rest of the running group is so far ahead of you. You’re still moving and that’s what counts!”

  9. i completely agree with you! i’ve recently become prone to running injuries, and i keep getting more and more out of shape due to not being able to run. it depresses me now to read about someone’s run with 8 minute miles. (i don’t mind that ppl post their paces, it’s just been making me jealous lately!) i haven’t seen any pace bashing yet, but that’s annoying and unnecessary. people should be happy that they are healthy and in shape and able to run!

  10. Awesome post, my friend. It’s why I get so excited when I realize that the majority of the runners I read are NOT trying to win any race. They just do it for the joy of competing. They are thrilled to finish – but don’t care that they didn’t win.

    Negativity breeds negativity. I’m glad you’re not a part of that.

  11. Very well said! I know that I’ve been guilty of negativity when reviewing some of my own races/training runs on my blog. I’ll certainly keep your words in mind, as I absolutely agree with your point. Thanks for the great post!

  12. As a new runner, I struggle between the need to make excuses for my pace around more experienced runners rather than being ecstatic that I added another tenth of a mile or a another minute to my run. I’m leaning toward the ecstasy of each new accomplishment. My latest update in Daily Mile simply expressed confidence in pushing myself a little further and harder in my next run – an expression that I was feeling good about my run that day.

    I’ve noticed several experienced runners giving me encouragement for what I’m almost embarrassed to call a run. I’m finding this encouragement to be valuable.

    Very early on, I received two important words of encouragement from experienced, accomplished runners.

    First, run your own run.

    Second, go for time, not distance.

    Setting my goal for time rather than distance allowed me to feel good about being active. As my Boston-qualifying cousin advised me, speed and distance will come.

  13. I am definitely guilty of this. I think a lot of it comes from me being nervous about what other people will say to me when they read that I run a 13:00 min pace (on a good day!) I think it’s important for us to remember to be proud of our accomplishments, so glad you posted this! a year ago, I couldn’t run at all. Progress is progress!

  14. Interesting. I never feel like that when someone says their pace and comments that it was slow and I know I do it too. I think it’s such a personal thing and I am not thinking I am better than someone because my slow pace is their regular pace, so it doesn’t bother me if others who are much faster than me do it.

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