I read a post online recently where the person referred to himself/herself as being fast. Since it always intrigues me who thinks they are fast, I looked at the races this person ran and their times. Without going into details, after looking at their race times, I realized that fast is a relative term.
My definition of fast is most likely different from yours, unless you run paces similar to mine. Even if that is the case, we might disagree on what "fast" means. In my personal running journey, starting with my first half marathon in 2006, my definition of fast has changed and evolved, just like my running. I am faster now that I ever thought I could be back then. However, I've worked hard to reach my current fitness level. I've put in countless hours running, cross-training, lifting weights, all in order be become better and faster.
As I mentioned, I went to a speed work practice on Tuesday. On that day, I was not that fast compared to the other runners completing the workout. As a matter of fact, I was rather slow. However, that is the funny thing. What is fast to one person could be slow to another. It all depends on your mindset and fitness level. I also believe your goals play into your definition of fast. As noted multiple times on my blog, one of my current goals is to break into the 1:30s for the half marathon. I haven't achieved that...yet. Does that mean I am slow? No, it means that I have room for improvement.
I feel like I'm a pretty average runner. I'm getting better, and hope to continue to get even better in the future. I can remember in college learning that a runner peaks when they are in their late 20s/early 30s. According to that theory, I'm about ready to enter my peaking years. As I recently told my friend, this year is my warm-up for a phenomenal year next year. But that does not mean this year won't be fabulous as well, because every day I can run is a great day.