We Are Stronger Than We Think

I’m learning to pace myself in my running.
I’m learning to be ok with being slower than my goal pace early on.
I’m learning that it takes longer for me to hit my stride.
And I’m learning to be ok with that too.

I’m now closer to 50 than I am to 40. And you know what that means? It means that I’m a far cry from 30. Being fast early just doesn’t happen for me anymore.

It takes me much longer to warm up than it did even just a year or two ago. But I’d like to think that in those intervening years that I became a smarter runner too. I’ve learned to be patient in my running. And I’ve learned to believe in myself more.

Like this morning when I fell behind my goal pace by 13 seconds in the opening 2 kilometres. I didn’t panic like I used to. Instead I let myself settle into my run. And I finished over 90 seconds ahead of my plan. Without that much effort really.

That isn’t to brag. That’s to remind me, to remind us all, to have faith, to trust our own selves.

We are all much stronger than we think.



  1. As we age, we slow down.

    Fast twitch muscle fibers (used for explosive bursts of speed which is not sustainable) are in high concentration in younger athletes and dwindle with age.

    Slow twitch muscle fibers (responsible for endurance) don’t go anywhere.

    This is why we compete against our own age group…and why BQ times change as we age.

    I have noticed a huge drop in speed. I know that I cannot compare myself fairly to my 2014 self. In 2014, I ran an Ironman…and did an insane amount of training. It was a passion (obsession) and I sacrificed a lot in the process. You can see that in my finish times. Almost all of my PR’s are from that season.

    But, comparing myself to my 2012 self (the year I started running), I am much slower. A long slow run (in the first couple of months of running…before I knew what I was doing) would comfortably be a 9:30-10:00 min/mile pace. Now, I struggle to keep an 11:30-12:00 min/mile pace. In 2012, I could not understand how anyone could run so slow. Now, I could picture myself being swept (well, maybe not that slow). True, the passion is not there anymore, but I had not found my passion in early 2012 either.

    So, the body slows. So does everybody else’s. It may be much harder to PR (and, at some point, those days will be behind you for good), but you can get stronger against your peers and be the best you that you can be.

    “Do not go gentle into that good night.
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light.”
    -Dylan Thomas

    1. Thanks Raymond! I actually haven’t slowed down much yet. What has slowed down is how quickly it takes me to warm up and hit my stride 😃

      1. Well, that’s cuz you’re still a youngling…

  2. Carl! So nice to hear from you! I’ve heard through the grapevine that you had a banner race season last year. Congratulations!

    I’m doing well thanks. No major race goals this year. I worked very hard to shatter an old PB in the half and now I’m “resting”. I run about 50kms a week and I really just listen to my body more than worrying about pace or mileage. If I want to push I’ll push but if not, that’s ok too, I’ll just run.

    I do feel I have another marathon (or two!) in me but that will come when the feeling returns. But ultras? Not sure about that quite yet.

    Happy New Year Carl! Thank you for reaching out. Hope you have a fantastic 2018. I’ll be at ATB this year running the front half of the 2person relay. Will you be there?

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