Your Toughest Critic

It’s Wednesday Word link up time!

Deb Runs

This link up is hosted by Debbie. Each week she provides us with a word prompt to write about. Be sure to click on the button above to join in and see who else is linking up. This week’s word is judgemental.

I think we are often our toughest critics, and we judge ourselves more harshly than others judge us. This past weekend at my race, I kept hearing people saying “I’m just running the 50K.” Wait, what? When did 50K become a ‘just’ and why are you diminishing the challenge you are about to take on? I realize there was also a 50 miler going on, but I think it’s important not to take away from your accomplishments just because there’s someone doing something better.

Last year when Barry and I ran the New River Trail 25K there was also a 50K distance associated with the race. When we were talking to the owner/operator at the campground about the race, he said “oh, you’re just doing the 25K.” And that didn’t feel very good. When you don’t give credit to the things you are doing on that day (i.e. I am running the 25K versus I am just running the 25K) others follow suit.


Mostly unrelated photo of the NRT 25K start/finish next to the river.

Even if you’ve run 100 marathons in the past and you’re ‘just‘ doing the half today, own it. For one, you may make others around you feel bad. And two, it’s still 13.1 miles and there are probably a lot of people who would like to be able to complete half that distance. So it’s not just. If you think about it, anything you do could be a ‘just’, because there’s always someone running longer, running faster, or doing bigger things.

We are our harshest critics, and most of us would do well to cut ourselves some slack.

Are you judgemental of yourself or others?


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  1. I am -ridiculously- hard on myself. I still stew over the first case I lost, and races where I went off-plan and didn’t have a good run. The Teddy Roosevelt “Comparison is the thief of Joy” quote is something I ought to tattoo on my hand! Great post and reminder to enjoy what abilities we have, and also that we GET to do this stuff. So many people can’t.

    1. It’s a good quote and very true! Also, it’s always good to give ourselves a reality check and remember that we are lucky to be out there in the first place.

  2. I totally agree with this. Everyone it seems is running ultras, and I’m putting my foot down. The one with PF that says no more miles! Yep, I’m “only” running marathons… It wasn’t so long ago that running a half was a big deal!
    Wendy@Taking the Long Way Home recently posted…You Be The Judge: Trading Bibs and an Invisible FinisherMy Profile

    1. I hope your ‘only’ marathon goes well today!!! I’m torn between a road marathon versus a trail 50K. They are both hard, but in different ways.

  3. I totally agree. I think that we are all so hard on ourselves, which causes us to stress out. I think we have to start giving ourselves a little self love and realize that we can only do so much, and be proud of what we have accomplish. It’s all about the self love 😉

    1. I have enough stress in my life without running become another source of it!

  4. This is a really good point. I know I have said “just” when talking about certain races, usually with regards to my pace. I know I can be pretty hard on myself as a runner, so this was a really great message to remember!
    Janelle @ Run With No Regrets recently posted…Love Run Half Marathon Relay Race RecapMy Profile

  5. Completely agree! I’m just running two marathons this year…lol. It never ends.
    Sonia recently posted…ImpossibleMy Profile

  6. I was in the locker room at our gym one day (over at GMU), talking to a colleague who works in university communications and also a woman who was pretty clearly a student. My colleague and I were talking about her work (which is art, which is cool), and I explained to the student that Marcia is the university’s illustrator. The student said, “I’m just a student.” JUST!?! She’s the reason we’re here!

    There’s no “just.” For someone’s “just a 5K” there is someone else sitting on the couch. Or who can’t run at all, in fact. 🙂

  7. I’d like to think I wasn’t judgemental of others, but I know I am sometimes.

    And oh yes, guilty as charged, always saying I’m only half crazy . . .
    Judy @ Chocolaterunsjudy recently posted…Good judgement comes from experienceMy Profile

  8. So true! I feel like I’m always saying that I *only* run halves. If someone says they’re running a 10k instead of the half I don’t think they’re lazy, but I don’t feel like it’s reciprocated when I’m talking to some ultramarathoners or marathoners. Instagramers also has a way of down-playing “shorter” distances (anything under 26.2). Weird!
    Elizabeth recently posted…Race Recap: ORRRC Half MarathonMy Profile

  9. When I ran the Disney Marathon, I found myself saying “just”. Everyone was walking around with their Goofy and Dopey challenge medals and I felt like I didn’t measure up. But a sweet younger woman who had done the Dopey challenge (4 races) set me straight. She said “never say the word just in the same sentence with the word marathon”. I’ll always remember that.
    HoHo Runs recently posted…Dear Body:My Profile

    1. It’s definitely tough in a situation like that. You go in feeling like you are doing this big thing only to see others doing such bigger things. I like what that lady said to you! She is so right.

  10. I am guilty of saying “just a half… it really is a long run!
    I really think I am much kinder to others than myself. I am trying to fix that as I notice myself doing that self negative talk, but it is a life long process.

    1. Negative self talk is the hardest habit to break!

  11. I am definitely hard on myself and minimize stuff all the time….I need to take the word “just” out of my vocabulary!!
    Lauren recently posted…Judgmental RunningMy Profile

    1. I think we would all do well to take that word out of our vocabularies.

  12. Yes, we should all cut ourselves some slack !
    Karen @ Fit in France recently posted…2016 goal update : Run Faster !My Profile

    1. Definitely! The world is mean enough without us being mean to ourselves.

  13. “We are our harshest critics, and most of us would do well to cut ourselves some slack.” Well said!!! I know I’ve been guilty since my injury of saying that I “just” run halves and shorter these days. I need to constantly remind myself that I’m lucky I can still run! 🙂

    Thanks so much for linking up!
    Debbie @ Deb Runs recently posted…Making The Energizer Bunny ProudMy Profile

    1. It’s always good to remember to be thankful for what we do have and what we are able to do.

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