Run your OWN pace…

This morning I went to visit an old friend. A friend who has been there for me always. A friend who doesn’t hold it against me when I’ve gone to long without visiting (it’s been some months) but at the same time doesn’t make it easy on me. A friend who is consistently supportive and never bends under whatever weight I bring to them when I come…My friend…Lake Montebello. When I got out of my truck, I did the usual stretches and pulled out my phone to pull up my running playlist (think The Weeknd, Musiq Soulchild, Mint Condition, Floetry, Brian McKnight, etc. Listen, I need music that starts out just as slow as I do when I run.) The sun was shining, the wind was slightly blowing off of the water and as I took in a deep breath of fresh air, I thought about the runs that almost seem like fairy tale runs. It’s a run that as soon as you start out, you realize that it’s perfect running weather, the sun is shining in that not to hot type of way, but just enough to let you know it is there, your mind is clear and has connected to your brain which tells your knees, “I got you. No pain today,” as your knees tell your calves, “we’ll hold you up, it’s all good,” and your calves tell your feet, “go on and take us somewhere, we got enough muscle to help you through however many miles.” And you realize your entire body is in sync and as the wind is at your back pushing you through your journey of miles, you can’t help but smile, because this is gonna be easy. And as I stepped onto the track, in a slow jog, one foot in front of the other starting out with mile one with The Weeknd in my ears singing to me that I ” earned it”, my brain told my knees, who told my calves, who told my feet, “Taria, you ain’t in Never Never land today…this run is gonna be hard! And I’m just running, the sun shining…in my eyes so it’s hard for me to see, running in the direction OF the wind so it felt like it was pushing me backward with every step I tried to take forward and that same wind all of a sudden had a chill to it that made me want to stop and turn around and go back to the truck. I mean in my mind, none of those things did I have control over, so why try to keep running forward against elements that kept making it hard for me. But I kept running. And as I slowly ease into 1.5 miles, I think I may have found my groove, slightly. I’m breathing through my nose, my posture is correct and I allow my mind to just coast (which, those of you who know me, you know that’s not an easy thing for my mind to do. And for those of you that are just getting to know me, that is not an easy thing for me to do.) And I’m doing pretty good on my run, still moving forward at the speed I’m meant to go, then all of a sudden I feel someone coming up on my rear on the right hand side. Immediately, I speed up and then look back and as I am looking back, a woman with a big dog is passing me. I almost get OFF the track because I have a fear of dogs. Shoot.. let the dog have the track! But I stayed on. But I continue to watch the woman run ahead of me and get further and further away. I mean to me it looks like she is slower than me and therefore, she should still be behind me. I mean how was she able to come up from behind me holding onto a big dog that is heavy enough that it should be slowing her down (in my eyes) and I didn’t see her anywhere near the track when I started, and yet she came up from behind me and passed me!!!! I was so focused on her passing me when I was on that track BEFORE her, that it took me a minute to realize that I had slowed down and lost my rhythm and my posture was off which was causing my back to hurt, my breathing had become labored and I was starting to get cramps on my right side because I was breathing with my mouth open and taking in air, instead of through my nose and pushing out air. This continued on for a short while until it dawned on me that I was using so much energy to figure how she passed me, that I was getting ready to sabotage my own progress in moving forward…And I realized, that is how we can get messed up in life sometimes. There we are, traveling along on the paths to our goals feeling like we can do whatever it is we set out to do. And then along comes someone who has the same goal as you, and looks to be on the same journey as you, and then,they pass you. They get the promotion when you had been diligently working towards it, they get picked to lead a solo when you had been practicing for weeks and didn’t even know they were on the track with you. They get the proposal first when GOD knows you have been patiently waiting.They get selected to preach a sermon when they just graduated seminary and you’ve been ordained for years. And before you know it, you’ve gotten off track from working toward the thing you were gifted and born to. You’ve started regressing all because you were focused on someone else that was progressing. And the thing is, that person who you think has come out of nowhere to pass you, you don’t know what they have gone through to get to where they are going to.

So here I am at Lake Montebello, having an epiphany. I realized, I had to run MY pace and not let someone else’s pace throw me off track. I realized, it didn’t matter if I got to the “finish line” after the woman who passed me because in actuality, there was no finish line…It wasn’t a competition, it was two woman, who both liked to run and just happened to be out on the track at the same time. We still had to run our OWN race at our OWN pace…

I want to encourage anyone who feels like they are behind on what it is they are supposed to be doing and so you want to quit…keep running. If you feel like you have been working towards something for so long, and all of a sudden someone comes out of nowhere and passes you…keep running. If you feel like there are things beyond your control that are trying to force you backwards when you KNOW you are supposed to be moving forward, change your posture, to one of prayer…then get up… and keep running!

I love you guys! Thank you for reading…

Hebrews 12 vs. 1-2 NIV “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on JESUS.”

P.S. I ended up meeting my goal…3 mile run nonstop. :):):)


163 thoughts on “Run your OWN pace…

  1. Joanne Grant says:

    Love this analogy and it helped me to out it into perspective if my own life. It gave me pause which is a good thing. Oddly enough it also reminded me of the peace and time to think that running okay jogging, no seriously wogging hmmm, let’s just leave it at exercising, gives me. Thank you

    • Taria Shondell says:

      Joanne :):):):) wogging! Funny I had a conversation with my daughter today and she said she runs and jogs… I said well then I have been jogging! I am glad you could relate to it. That is truly my goal with every post! Thank your for your support!

    • Julie Syl Kalungi says:

      I am in agreement with Joanne. Wow what a Post Taria!

      I needed this post today seriously I have been asking my self all kinds if questions and really getting up close and personal with “Comparitis” a not so good friend…Yes we cant compare our race with anyone else’ for we don’t know how far or close they have come, or the resources they have at their beck to run a better race. Or even how hard they have worked to get better and faster. I love the Scripture encouragement too. Superb, keep em coming!

      • Taria Shondell says:

        Hi Julie! Thank you so much for reading and thank you for the encouragement! I like the word “Comparitis!” When I tempted to do it I will say to myself, “I have to stop so I don’t catch the itis!” Lol

  2. Tammey Holley says:

    Wow!! I enjoyed the details of this entry. You are an EXCELLENT writer!
    Congratulations on your successful run!

  3. Tammey Holley says:

    There are several things I find myself feeling behind on. Finishing my PsyD program, raising toodlers at 40+ years old when the majority of my friends have teenage and college kids. But then I remind myself that what God has for me IS for me so I’ve got to keep running instead of letting frustration be my own hinderance.
    Good word! Thank you for the encouragement!

  4. Cassandra says:

    Beautifully written and very encouraging. Not just for running but for life. Great analogy. It has reminded me to never give up and to focus on my leg of the race, not everyone else’s. Thank you for that.

  5. emberlivingblog says:

    Great advice to keep running – both figuratively and literally! It’s easy to get discouraged when we see people who are doing better than us or who seem to be. Good to be reminded that God will get us to where He wants us to be in our own time.

  6. Amy says:

    I need to remember this more! I too fail to realize that my runs are for ME and nobody else cares. I should compete with only myself to get better but not Jo Runner on the street next to me lol

  7. alison says:

    You are awesome! I identified so much with you when I was running every day and it is so hard until you get your rhythm and then it all seems to work. I love how you brought together how we are all on our own track. It is so true and easy to forget.

    • Taria Shondell says:

      Thank you so much Alison! As hot as it is right now, at this very moment, your comment makes me want to go and run right now!
      Thank you, thank you, thank you for getting what I was trying to convey through words.

  8. Nancy says:

    I have the tendency to also feel like I have to compete and I have to admit it makes me crazy. Especially because I know it’s just me being weird and insecure about my level of fitness.

    Also, rock on with those running tunes!

    • Taria Shondell says:

      Hi Royaltyinreality! First, that is AWESOME that you are going for it! You WILL get to where you need to be… At your pace. I pray that you stay encouraged through your journey! You GOT this!

    • Taria Shondell says:

      Hi Raya! Thank you so much! That day, I felt a writing blank… And as I was getting ready to run, I just said, “GOD, you gotta give me something” and I started running! And it all came about like I said, when I was running.

  9. Monique Starks says:

    This was a great read and much needed! We all do things at our own pace. Something I’ve started doing is seeing other’s success as motivation. When I watch someone pass me I think “Good for her/him. I’ll be there one day.” πŸ™‚

  10. The Pink Caboodle says:

    I feel like this post was written for me! Not only am I physically trying to run, but also in other areas of my life, where I feel like I’m lagging behind. This is the perfect reminder to just go at my own pace, and the rest will follow!

  11. Imperfect Superwoman says:

    Congrats on reaching your goal! I am still working on jogging. I have so many health issues that I have to take it so slow, my mind and heart know I can do it but my body gives out. . .I feel an idea for a blog post coming on.

    • Taria Shondell says:

      Hi Imperfect Superwoman! I love that name by the way! Yes…I think it is in the taking it slow that produces the results! And I am heading over to your site… To wait so I can read the blog post you are going to write!!!!

  12. annalisanuttall says:

    I don’t want to be a pain here and I mean this nicely but I couldn’t read it without my eyes going funny. I’m doing this on my tablet and it was impossible to read. I’m really sorry – maybe try and space out your post instead of all one big block. This only my advice and I hope you don’t take offense as I really don’t mean it, just trying to help you out. xx πŸ™‚

    • Taria Shondell says:

      Hi Anna! Thank you for your feedback! Not offended at all… I’m just not sure how to do that. I didn’t know it could be spaced differently. I will look into it.
      Thank you again!

  13. milenabarrett says:

    I just began running. It’s hard not to pace yourself when you are running with someone. Beautiful post! Keep at your own pace!

  14. Jenn says:

    I really love this. It relates to my life in so many ways. It can be easy to try to compete with others and not work on your own rhythm.

  15. Beth Shankle Anderson says:

    Great article! Staying at your own pace breeds so many more rewards than competition especially when it comes to things like exercise. I try to stay at my own pace so that I don’t get injured. I think it’s our body’s way of regulating us.

  16. The Plagued Parent says:

    I have been having such a hard time running lately, my knees really do not enjoy it. I started today thinking I’d run, then I started thinking well maybe I’ll just walk. You inspired I’m going to run, at my own pace, even if it is slow! Thanks!

    • Taria Shondell says:

      Hi and thank you so much for reading! I went out today and was really slow, but I was out there… You go out there and like you said, run your own pace because the feeling you get after you are done will be so awesome! So go get running! Lol

    • Taria Shondell says:

      Hi Anamika! First, thank you so much for reading! Yes, running is the only thing that lets my mind just wander…. Keep up the running and thank you for your encouraging comment!

  17. Regina says:

    Beautifully written and awesome analogy! I had to take a break from writing when I found myself burned out trying to “run at everyone else’s pace”. Failing to consider how long they’ve been at it, their history, etc I ended up comparing myself to them wondering why were THEY doing so well and I’m begging people to read my stuff? Lol. So I definitely get it! Thank you for sharing.

    • Taria Shondell says:

      Hi Regina! Thank you for reading! You are so right. I decided that I could not do that anymore. And at the same time, I would not allow anyone else to make me feel bad about my pace also.

  18. BS says:

    I hate running. So this really resonated with me because I usually find the treadmill that’s farthest away from everyone & do intervals. But this is so spot on. Why should I be worried about keeping up with the lady that’s running her tail off next to me? Thanks for the post!

  19. Hilary Jones says:

    This is such a lovely post. I ran a marathon a little over a year ago, and I can’t tell you how much I grew from that experience. With running long distance there is so much time for thinking and you realize so much about yourself.

  20. anniebobs85 says:

    This is such a great analogy. There’s absolutely no need to make someone elses successes your own failures. At least you were on the track!

  21. aimz says:

    You know what they say “Go Slow but Go”. It’s so true specially when you’re working from home because then you get easily distracted by other people’s successes. It’s so hard to keep on track.

  22. Dia All The Things I DO says:

    Brain McKnight FTW! Yeah we really do have to go at our own pace, if you spend too much time looking at what someone else is do you might trip on your own feet.

  23. Stephanie says:

    Such an inspiring piece. I often struggle myself when it comes to running. I sometimes find it hard to stay motivated for longer runs. I’ve found running with my pups has increased the length of time I can run. But staying positive and running for yourself is the most important part!

    Adventures in Aussieland

  24. deansandrazmm says:

    Love this post. So often we measure our own worth against someone else’s race. We each need to run at our own pace, beautiful words!

  25. Mihaela Echols says:

    So true everyone is different so therefore they have their own walks with Christ. But we are all fighting the good fight and keeping each other on track. Everyone progresses differently and thats ok as long as we are tying to seek Christ.

  26. Steve Goodwin says:

    What a great epiphany. There is so much competition and jealousy in this country, it’s so normal to hear that kind of talk in the beginning. I’m glad you were able to learn from it and not compare where you were at to another person’s middle. We all have this big journey set out in front of us and some of us will be ahead or behind at certain times! Thanks for the encouragement and the reminder!

  27. DrJessicaMcCleese (@DrMcCleese) says:

    What a great illustration! I actually ran a few races with friends last year. I hate running, but was encouraged to continue (especially the 10K) when I was allowed to break from the group and do my own thing. In life, its definitely good to give yourself the freedom to run at your own pace. πŸ™‚

  28. janella2016 says:

    Great words! that is my biggest downfall especially in blogging I am always trying to get ahead to stay at the same pace as them. What i have learned is that slow and steady wins the race.

  29. Ana Ojha says:

    Very inspiring post! It reminded me of Shakespeare quote that the world is a stage and everyone has to play their own part. Therefore we shouldn’t bother about anyone or anything but do things at our own pace!

  30. Kristi says:

    As a runner, I love racing analogies. And being competitive, it is truly difficult to not start comparing ourselves to others. We must run our own race. No one else can run ours and we cannot run someone elses. Encouraging each other along this race of life will definitely help us all get there no matter our pace.

    • Taria Shondell says:

      Hi Kristi! Thank you so much for reading! You wrote such a powerful statement…”Encouraging each other along this race of life will definitely help us all get there no matter our pace.” That is so true! I need to make sure I continue to strive to do so.

  31. gobeyondbounds says:

    Loved the way you have put it up. Everyone has their own race, with their own limits and strengths everyone will reach their goals someday

    • Taria Shondell says:

      Hi Nicolas! Thank you! And thank you for reading!
      Yes my older blog posts are like that. Someone else mentioned that to me, and I told them I had no clue how to do the spacing seeing as how I am not really good with WordPress… to bad they didn’t offer their wisdom on how to do it πŸ˜‚

  32. Keith Haney says:

    I thought about picking up running once. But it was not for me. I enjoyed cycling more. But I get that vibe of connecting with nature and your body in this magical sort of way.

  33. Dreammerin says:

    Everyone is different… each person can have a different point of view. Such an important message! Thanks for posting!

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