No Way wrote:
Immediately after college, I trained for, and ran a 2:24 marathon, which I was incredibly proud of. I trained hard the following winter, and ran some near PR 1500m races indoors. Come spring, I entered a fairly small college invitational and ran a 3:58.96 mile, which was about a 5 second PR.
I'm unable describe the feeling during the race when I realized that I was going to break 4 minutes. This was something out of a dream, a lifetime goal. I hadn't expected it at all really, I would have been thrilled to run a PR. Doing it in front of former teammates and my former coach just made it all the better. I really can't even describe the feeling.
Unfortunately, it was about 6 years before I ran another step. Running that race put me in a weird place. I wasn't good enough to make money and having achieved a goal like that sort of left me without any motivation, like I had nothing else to accomplish.
I eventually started running again because I was terribly out of shape. I ran a Ragnar Relay where I dropped a few 9 minute miles. This year, at age 29, I ran a 4:17 marathon, and you know what? I don't care. I'm happy with it.
Despite all of the talk on these message boards, most people can't even run 4:17. If you're not running under 2:40 or 15 minutes, or whatever arbitrary standard these morons come up with, you're labelled a hobbyjogger as if that's something bad.
While I wish that I had stayed in slightly better shape in the 6 years I didn't run, I am incredibly glad that I didn't spend those years chasing faster times. Instead I started a career, got married, and lived my life. I would have intensely regretted slaving away to running for those years.
I get such a kick out of posts on letsrun that condemn people for not being able to run an 18 minute 5k, or for slogging through a 3:30 marathon. I have no idea why someone would care how fast someone they don't know is, or feel the need to judge them. When I was getting back into things, I ran a 24:22 5k. I mentioned this in a post on here and of course got ripped for being a hobby jogger and was asked why I even bothered running. I hadn't described my PRs or background, just the time. I had mentioned it in support of someone who had just started running. I couldn't believe that a message board full of runners who fancy ourselves to be inclusive, and mock cyclists for not being inclusive, would berate a new runner in that way.
I thought about writing a response in that thread, telling the story about my sub 4, but decided not to. I have absolutely nothing to prove with my running. There are very few, if any, people here who have done what I did. I run now because I enjoy it. Not for a particular time goal, and certainly not to prove to anyone that I'm a serious runner.
I hope Bob is able to keep that inner peace and learn to enjoy running again.
How can anyone argue with this?