In every race I’ve run, my first mile is always the fastest. Sure, my legs are the freshest at this point, but it’s more about the adrenaline. And everyone else’s. We’re all here for something we’ve trained for. Many of us probably have a goal we’re trying to meet. It might be just to finish, but likely there is a certain time we want to beat or achieve. We start out like racehorses.

The problem is that the adrenaline wears off. The pack begins to thin out as everyone finds their pace. There is still excitement (I don’t have anyone along the road cheering and holding signs on my regular runs). But eventually I’m left with my body and my run. And if I ran too fast at the beginning, I find myself more tired than I expected to be.

I’ve run a lot of races.

Experience has taught me that I need to run my own race from the beginning. I usually start out towards the back because I’m not fast. I’m still surrounded by people – people who will still run too fast the first mile – but I have more space to run at my own pace. I’ve learned that if it is my practice to walk for a minute after each mile, I need to do the same in a race even if I don’t feel like I need to walk.

Experience has taught me I need to run my own race. #runwithperseverance #discipleship Click To Tweet

When I’m on my regular runs, my first mile often isn’t my fastest. It might be the second mile after I’ve warmed up a bit. Or it’s the last mile because I find I have more in reserve than I thought I did.

I also consider my circumstances and allow for them to affect my pace. Is it humid? I’m going to be slower. In the fall when the humidity declines and mornings are cool, I’m a rockstar. Did I just bike the day before? My legs will be a little more fatigued. On my normal route, I have a mile that is mostly downhill, which means a mile that is mostly uphill on the way back. I know both miles will be off my usual pace. All of this is OK.

Running teaches me a lot about life. It’s good to set goals but they can’t be based on what others are doing around me. It’s important to know myself and to understand my circumstances. Sometimes the season I’m in feels like a downhill run. I accomplish a lot. I feel good.

But sometimes it’s the uphill part. I need to realize this isn’t a sprint, and I might need to let some things go in order to run this part well. I need to take care of myself, because after I get up this hill, I still have running to do.

A lot about life is finding your pace. And just as importantly, knowing that there are times we will find ourselves off our pace by our circumstances. So, enjoy the downhills and give yourself some grace on the uphills. Pace yourself, for there is a lot of life yet to run.


Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us. – Hebrews 12:1 (NRSV)


Today’s Friday prompt is pace. You can read more Five-Minute-Friday free-writes here.

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3 Thoughts to “pace”

  1. Aha! A fellow runner. Well, I did before getting sick. I miss it.

    And, as I read this, I was listening to a song about my favourite running route, LSD in Chicago.

    So, if I may, in lieu of a sonnet, I’ll turn it over to Aliotta, Haynes and Jeremiah with my absolute favourite piece of music…

  2. Yes, pacing ourselves is important in life as well as in running, and we need to find our own pace rather than constantly trying to keep up with those around us.

  3. “So, enjoy the downhills and give yourself some grace on the uphills. Pace yourself, for there is a lot of life yet to run.”

    Love that last line! Great post.

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