As the girls train for their 5K run, they are taught to run at their “Happy Pace.” This is a speed and stride combination that each girl finds comfortable for herself. Each girl has her own unique “Happy Pace,” and it’s acceptable to have a variety of paces.
What I like best about the “Happy Pace” concept is the ownership of one’s individuality. My “Happy Pace” is different from anyone else’s pace; it is something that belongs to only me.
The second best realization about the “Happy Pace” is that it is not static. The pace can change, and that change is acceptable, too. For these girls, training isn’t about pushing yourself to meet a time goal. Rather, training involves a multifaceted approach to strengthening body and mind. Changes are inevitable when a holistic approach to individual well-being takes place.
The second point is where I sometimes fall short. This winter, my pace has really slowed down. I get frustrated when it takes me longer than my “normal time” for a typical run. At times, I don’t enjoy my runs because I’m focusing on my time. Other times, I wonder if there is something wrong with me, like maybe I’m too old to be running.
What I fail to remember is that my happy pace can change, too. I forget that I’m running mostly inside during the winter, so those first runs outside are going to be different. Most importantly, I must remind myself that my happy pace is where I enjoy running. Any time devoted to doing something enjoyable is time well spent.
So if you are finding yourself bemoaning that your current running pace is slower than you’d like, just remember why you are doing this: so a girl you are helping can learn how to find her happy pace, too!