"I'm not real runner, I'm too slow."
"I could never run a race, I'd be the last one to finish!"
"I'd join a running group, but I'd just slow everyone down."

Chances are you've thought that too...or something similar.  I get it.  I've been there.  Well, let's be honest...I'm still there.  When I started running, I didn't really know anyone who ran, so I turned to social media for support.  I started an Instagram account just for running, and quickly learned a few things.  First, there are so many amazing, inspirational runners out there.  Seriously, they're awesome.  I follow many of them and I love to follow their training and races.  But I'll admit, sometimes it's hard to see their paces and not compare myself.  How can I call myself a runner when there are people like this out there?!  I eventually realized that since they've been running for a long time, and I'm just beginning, I can't compare myself.  
The second thing I've noticed, is there doesn't seem to be many people out there who are like me.  People who are relatively new to running (or any kind of fitness for that matter!) and tend to be "back of the pack" runners, people who might have a hard time finding there place in the running community because they slower.  Then I thought maybe they are out there somewhere!  Maybe they're like me and feeling insecure about their paces, not feeling like they can be seen as a "real runner".  So that's what started all of this.  I wanted my Instagram account to be that person who was missing.  The slow one.  The back of the pack runner.  The one who's running 15 minute miles and willing to admit it!  
I've since then realized one more thing: no one cares about your pace.  Seriously.  Every single person I've interacted with on social media has been nothing but encouraging.  Why?  Because they've been there.  They know the struggles, they know how hard it can be just to get out the front door, and they want to celebrate those victories with you.  It's a community.  It's a tribe.  And if you run, you're a part of it.  
I've started using #RunSlowJustGo on my photos, and I invite you to as well.  It doesn't matter how fast or how slow you go, just go!  

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