Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Define FAST | Is It The Same for Every Runner?

A few days ago I posted this photo on my FB page (and also on DailyMile)

It generated some great conversations (off and online) about the word “fast”

Most of you know my story – I started running in May 2010 as a challenge from my then 9 yr old son to run a mile.  I couldn’t.  I wasn’t obese or overweight, but I was not fit.  I saw the disappointment in his face, as it took us 25 minutes to walk/run that mile.  I promised myself I would never let that happen again.  At that time, my one and only goal was to run a mile without stopping.  

A month later, I ran that first mile in 15 minutes

A month after that I ran 4 miles in 1 hour

Each time, I felt like I was blazing fast.  I was.  For my current fitness level.

At the Vegas 2010 (my first ever long distance race) I finished 13.1 in 2:11:54

The thrill of that race wasn’t in my finish time – but knowing where I was 7 months prior.

11 months later my 13.1 PR was set at 1:44:19

Define the word, fast?

Every person will have a different definition. To some it is a 5 min/mile, to other’s it is a 10 min/mile.  

I am going to bet that you look at your finish times and compare them to more seasoned and experienced racers.  We ALL do that.  I am no exception. 

However, did you ever stop to think that someone is comparing their time to YOUR time?  That you are the racer they want to become?

Fast is in the eye of the beholder.  

When you cross that finish line – take a look at who crosses after you.  Not to judge or criticize, but to see how far you have come in your running journey.  Chances are, there will always be someone behind you.  

And if you happen to finish in last place – then relish the FINISH.  Regardless of your time, on that race day – you have accomplished 100% more than anyone who didn’t.

Celebrate your personal FAST.    

That is exactly who and where you are right now.

How as your perception of fast changed over the past year?

(c) C. Ragsdale 2011-12
Run F.A.B.,

Charlene L. Ragsdale - Las Vegas, NV
Running Coach, Certified Sports Nutritionist & Public Speaker
~My Facebook Fan Page ~Follow Me on Twitter


  1. Great post!

    One thing I'm struggling with now as I end year 2 of my journey... my "fast" is close to a plateu. Yes, I could increase it with more training/effort/pain/injury risk/etc. but I am finding much more enjoyment in expanding my race experiences (such as triathlon, ultra distances, enjoying the locations more than the running, etc.) than in simply getting faster.

    There are some back-of-the-packers who are content to stay there. Pursuing more and more PRs is definitely one challenge to pursue, but not the only one! The important thing is to identify your goals, whether they be more speed, longer distance, fewer injuries, or even a better running costume... then pursue those goals with passion!

  2. I couldn't agree more, Dan. When we find our passion and pursue that passion (with passion) then speed becomes a bi-product, not the focus.

    Even Elite athletes speak of the passion, expanding their horizons and enjoying the sport more. While we see the end result (the race) we don't see what they do in training to get there.

    What frustrates me is when I see an experienced runner insist to a less experienced runner that the ONLY thing they need to focus on is speed. What about enjoyment? What about form? What about...lots of things!

    Our running careers is ever evolving. I ran for a year and half never wanting to run a Full. When I was ready, I finally registered.

    You are a great as racing smart and seeking other experiences.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.