The Parable of the 14 Minute Mile


I remember in elementary school when we would participate in the "President's Fitness Challenge" at school. You know the drill- push ups, pull ups, sit ups, sit and reach and the dreaded one mile run. I don't think in all those years I ever ran below a 10 minute mile, even in the best shape of my life.


So as I've started this journey to live a healthier lifestyle, I decided to run the same types of tests monthly. Instead of being stuck in the diet drama by continuing to weigh myself all the time, I decided to look for "non-scale victories." And a faster mile run would be a non-scale victory to me!

But I had to start somewhere. I kept putting it off, but one day I decided to do it. I was at the gym next to my husband running my heart out and gasping for breath. Every inch of my body hurt and was shaky. My husband lapped me. I kept going. I was out of breath but I kept running. And at 14:06 the treadmill showed the one mile mark.

I spent the rest of the evening being sad about it, I was upset I ran such a crappy mile. Couldn't I have pushed myself harder? I should've ran until I passed out. Or not gone so long without running a mile. The negative thoughts kept coming and coming. 

The next morning I realized something, I was PROUD of myself. I ran a whole mile as fast as I could! My leg muscles were sore where I didn't know there were muscles. What a great thing! I had pushed my body hard. And best of all, I ran this mile as a starting point. A beginning of a journey to a faster mile. 

I realized that sometimes the journey is hard. But it has to start somewhere. There has to be a time where you say, "I know I"m not where I want to be, but at least I'm on the right path." Start your journey today. A 14 minute mile is better than never running one. 


 photo jolley-sig_zps8e3a9f4d.jpg

31 comments:

Cailin Koy said...

Totally true, and totally inspiring. I think about this every morning when I don't feel like exercising (and really, who does?).... Doing something is better than doing nothing.

Charissa Merrill said...

This is awesome! I am dealing with the same problem and this is such a good idea! Thank you for your inspiration!

McKenzie said...

I love this!!! Inspiring:)
And I am the same way with running!

Life with Amberly said...

You are seriously so inspiring!!!!! I remember during summer gym between 8th and 9th grade (???), we ran every single morning at the beginning of class and every week we added a bit of length to our run. By the end we were running 2 miles every morning. (I still walked most of it), but at the end of it, I was able to run a mile in just over 9 minutes. The fastest I have ever and probably will run a mile.But I was super proud because I was able to run it in one go. I love you idea of gauging progress, I'm going to try it!

Mandy@ a sorta fairytale said...

I love where you said: "I know I"m not where I want to be, but at least I'm on the right path."

SO true!!

spiffykerms said...

Take your time - and like you said "A 14 minute mile is better than never running one" you are absolutely correct! Running is hard man, even years later I feel like I'm dying and can barely scrape in a 3 mile run.

Brooke @ Youre in Brookelynn said...

I know how you feel! I'm way behind on my running goals, so this definitely made me want to just get out there and start! :)

Taneja's Bride said...

When I was younger, I hated these tests!! I can NOW run an 11-minute mile and trying to finesse it day-by-day and learning to LOVE exercise instead of avoiding it. It's good for all of us in the long-haul! Great post! <3

Carly said...

Oh my, I totally remember the Presidential Fitness Challenge. I HATED it. That's a good idea to do those things now and gauge by if you accomplished them or not!

Neely said...

You should be proud! You did great :)

Hima Rajana said...

non-scale victories are the best kind! Kudos to you! :)

xo, Hima
Hima Hearts

Iris said...

Great post, and a very inspirational one too! I just might have to go for a run sometime... :)

Amby Felix said...

I have ditched the scale too! Congrats on your journey to better health! I am on that journey too! Always be proud of yourself. You deciding to do something positive for yourself then actually took the first steps on that journey is inspiring! ^_^

Tawny said...

Love this! Thanks for the inspiration.

Rebekah Clarke said...

I have to remind myself that when I'm doing pushups, I suck at pushups... but doing 5, or 10, is better than 0. Thanks for the reminder :)

Jessica Doll @ Team Wiking said...

Congrats! You will get there one day. :)

Ashley Griffith said...

Great post! This encourages me to get back to running even though I'm not that good at it :)

Lauren said...

Congrats! I know you pushed yourself hard, shaving 6 seconds off next time will be easy peasy :)

Betsy said...

hey...slow and steady wins the race! i'm a slow runner too....i was out for a run the other day, and averaged like 13 min miles. when i'm on the treadmill and doing a shorter distance, i can hang around a ten-min mile, but i'd always rather go longer and slower than shorter and faster! on monday, i was coming up on mile number five and ran past a construction worker who was sitting in his truck and asked me "is that what the slow run looks like?" i was so taken aback (especially since i pulled my headphone out of my ear to ask him to repeat what he said because i foolishly thought it might be important!), and i got discouraged by it...but then i remembered that i'd rather be able to look back and say that i went out and ran and burned the calories and made a good choice and did it than that i'm some sort of olympic sprinter!

Kailei Pew said...

Good for you!! I am glad that you realized that you should be proud of yourself! I think it's so easy to get down on yourself when you don't "measure up" to whatever society- or self-imposed standards we've created... but YOU rocked it and you have so much to be proud of!

Kailei Pew said...
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Sarah @ Sarah Cooks the Books said...

One of the greatest moments of my high school life was spraining my ankle a week before I had to run the mile and getting out of it! :)

Deidre Miller said...

Love this post. Love you! Keep it up missy!

Karissa Ancell said...

great post. Trying is what is important.

Karissa Ancell said...

what a great post. I agree trying is the important thing.

Alfa Sengupta said...

This is so true! I would always look at the other treadmills in the gym and in like 12 minutes, people would have easily done 1.5 to 2 miles where I was still struggling to complete 1!

Esther Ju*Lee said...

so true! I need to get back into doing this rather than checking my scale. :)

Mila said...

This is so inspiring! And there is nothing wrong with a 14 minute mile. It takes me 16 minutes to run a mile and I've been running for a long time. I just think it feels so much better to pace myself and really enjoy the run instead racing against the clock. I feel like I get a much better work out when I concentrate on my movements & pace instead of watching the treadmill. Hope that helps! Good luck with your future work outs.

Sarah Shermann said...

Trying is always the most important thing, good luck with it

Laura Elizabeth said...

Love this! When I go to the gym and do the elliptical, I always try to push myself to burn a few more calories than the last time - because I'd rather have more stamina than less pounds.

Cam said...

Thanks for the inspiration! I need to get back on my fitness routine. I've fallen off big time. I have to start somewhere though. :)