Thursday, May 4, 2017

10 Reasons Why It's Okay to Be a Mediocre Runner

I got the idea for this post after reading an article entitled, "What If All I Want Is a Mediocre Life?"
This got me to thinking that maybe I (we) do the same thing with running.

There is so much commotion these days around the act of running - races to sign up for, social media accounts to update, running groups to join, training plans to conquer. But, what if we are okay with being an average Joe or Josephine runner? What if we don't care about all of that noise and we just want to run without all the bells and whistles, with no time or pace goals in mind? After all, there is nothing wrong with being content where you are. In fact, it could bring us a ton of peace.

If you're feeling it's all gotten to be too much - you're sick of comparing yourself or putting pressure on yourself,  read on...

1. What if I don't post any of my workouts on social media because I'm not the type to want external motivation or appreciation? Maybe I don't care about the number of likes I get or what anyone else is doing. My runs are for me and I don't really want to share them. This doesn't make me any less of a runner.

Great article about running motivation
NOOOOOO!! Boycott!

2. What if I'll never have a "runner's body?" but I've got legs so strong they can carry me many miles, stretch marks as a reminder of they glory of giving birth and big old breasts that fed my kids and entertain my husband?

3. What if I never run a half marathon, marathon or any race because I don't like to have set goals for my running and I don't want to pay to run. Perhaps I don't like the craziness of race courses with their crowds and bands and ringing cowbells. Maybe I hate porta potties and how gross they are. Running's supposed to bring me peace away from the at time obnoxious busy-ness and over stimulation of life. Races stress me out!

Image result for crowded marathon

4. What if I'm injured and can't run for awhile, but I view that as I way to spend more time with my family, or to try a new activity (bowling anyone?) or simply take a break? Not every injury is a reason to panic. Our bodies try to teach us things and we should listen.

5. What if I don't run every day or even every week, but I run when I feel like it and that's when I have my best runs.

6. What if I don't belong to a running group or have tons of running friends but I enjoy the solitude of running so much and I come home from my runs refreshed and ready to take on the world. Just because I don't run with friends doesn't mean I don't have friends.

7. What if I don't have the cutest running clothes but I've got these old shorts that never chafe and fit me just right and an ancient sports bra that can hold my ladies properly in place?

8. What if I don't subscribe to any running magazines and don't really care about the "five tips to get faster" or the "7 ways to strengthen your glutes?"  Maybe not everything has to be researched to death and written about. Maybe not everything has to be improved on all of the time. Maybe it can just be enjoyed for what it is.

Image result for grandma magazine
Now, this one might just be worth subscribing to

9. What if I never qualify for Boston, but in my mind I'm qualified already as a strong runner and I don't care about the numbers all that much.

10. What if I have no desire to wear a GPS watch because I like running based on effort and I enjoy going as far and as long as I want without the pressure. Plus, those babies are expensive and I really want new Aviators.

Give yourself permission to let all the "shoulds" go and just say "f&ck it!"

The bottom line is, that here is no "right" way to go about running. What matters to you is what is important. If that makes you a so-called mediocre runner, so be it. You just may be infinitely more content than people out there killing themselves to reach certain goals or wear certain clothes. Run on friends!


PS: If you really want to make running all about fun, think about signing up for Camp Runabout (see details HERE). Use code BETH2017 for $25 off.


  1. Not sure I can agree with #7 because it's mostly exclusive to all the rest. You can always try to look good with a nice outfit from Shoes & Brews. I will say I enjoy running, racing too, even when I'm fat and slow.

  2. I love this post. I run for my sanity. I will never be on the podium, but running has given me many things that can't be quantified with a medal. I am proud to be mediocre. #mediocrerunnersrock

  3. I dream of being an average runner. Mid-pack would be a dream come true. Even if I don't need an ancient old sports bra. Number three is getting stronger all the time. Seems like when I sign up for a race I start stressing about "training", and I usually work too hard and then end up suffering through the race. Screw that.

  4. Yay! This!

    As my pastor once said, "Don't 'should' all over. Don't 'should' on the people you love, and don't 'should' on yourself. Being is enough."

  5. I'm definitely going for mediocrity this year! I'm embracing those walk breaks. Who knew?

  6. Less pressure is always good.

    Hey, I've been wondering how you are liking your TomTom watch? You said it quit on you in your last marathon. What happened? Are you still loving it? I was thinking of getting one this summer after I read your review. An update would be great. I am still loving my good ol' Garmin 305, but music on my watch would be awesome!

    1. I'm glad you asked this. I still love the watch and use it every day. But...what I found when doing the marathon was that the battery life when you are using GPS, heart rate and music is only 5 hours. That is a huge bummer, IMO. Mostly b/c you lose both music and the watch at that point. If you are not using music, it is much longer - 9 hours for GPS and HR, 11 hours for just GPS. So, if you are not relying on it for music (or you have another music source or you will be less than 5 hours) I think it is still an amazing watch.

    2. That's good to know. Most of my runs are 1-2 hours, so not a problem most days. I am looking forward to trying one out! Thanks for the update!

  7. The ad on the bottom of this page advertises, "Achieve Better Run Times with Nitric Acid". How ironic is that! lol

  8. I agree whole-heartedly with this post except for using the terms 'mediocre' and 'complacent' (but I get why you did, the original article used them); if you are out there doing what you need to do, the way you need to do it, and doing it for yourself, then that's the gold standard. The guidelines for being a runner are different for each person; if you don't train for races, use a GPS, etc, it doesn't make you mediocre :)

  9. Have been enjoying running for 46 years. I don't post my workouts, races, successes or failures much less talk about running to anyone at work. After 46 years of getting up and out the door in the dark before work, I am just another old lady out there doing what I love to do. No one else needs to know about it!

  10. I work for a computer company that tracks and quantifies everything I do. I'm sure they know how long its takes me to piss. I run to get away from this. I truly baffles me how people can take a truly enjoyable thing (aka running) and turn it into a stressful task as work.

    1. Very good point!!! BTW, how long does it take you to piss?

  11. This is me. 9 races in over 20 years of running. But, running has gotten me through some very stressful times and I'll take that over medals any day.

  12. Being a mediocre runner is FAR better than not being a runner at all. I've pretty much lost the ability to run due to back injuries, and I'd gladly take being a mediocre or lousy or crappy runner over a non-runner any day!

    1. Agreed. Sorry about your back injury :(

  13. I love being mediocre. It means running is about ME & what I want to get out of it. No one really cares about my running apart from me. If I stopped tomorrow no one would beg me to go just one more time. My point is run for you & you alone. I notice lots of people post their runs on FB - someone asked other day, "do you still run?" Yep I just don't feel the need to tell the world! Running is SOMETHING I do but it's not the ONLY thing I do! It wouldn't be much fun then!

  14. I love this post! I miss running right now, but oh how this resonated with me. You nailed this one!

  15. I'm a 60-year old person who runs and enjoys it immensely. Someone called me a runner yesterday, and after all this time I still felt the need to qualify that statement with a "But I'm really slow blah blah blah". Whatever. I love this post, Beth. It's a good reminder to me to stop qualifying my running. I run simply because I love being outdoors, I love movement and I love my running community.

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  17. Thank you for your analysis. It is new and different aspects I know before. Looking forward to reading more of your posts

  18. Yeesss! I am completely a mediocre runner but it doesn't stop me. If I just run I am happy. If I start timing myself for this or that or comparing myself to others it takes away the joy of it. I have enjoyed reading about your running and it has kept me motivated to continue. Even if I only run a few miles a day and never am able to do a marathon. I hope to be running when I am 70. Ten everyone will say "look at that fast old lady" even though I ran the same slow speed at 46 ��

  19. Yes! I needed this! For the last two years, I've hated running because of all the outside pressure to become faster and faster. It seems that's all everyone talks about. I do have a Strava account but I only allow my sister to see my activity and that's because she gives me kudos :) . My motto these days is "don't subscribe to the bullshit". It has worked for me and I'm starting to enjoy running again. Thanks again for writing this.

  20. I love being a mediocre runner. For me running is a Saturday morning therapy session with my running partner. What is said on the run stays on the run! Sometimes we do races...but just to do them. We don't care about time and will never be on the podium. For me, running offers stress relief, clarity and time in the outdoors. It's an escape. I plan to be a mediocre runner for the rest of my life!

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