I started this blog several months ago for a couple of reasons ... to exchange thoughts and ideas with other runners, and to have a record of my running for my family and friends. However ... IT IS IN NO WAY INTENDED AS A COMPARISON!!! When I post a race or training time, it's for me. It's just a point of reference. Simply a dot on a graph to chart my personal progress. As a reader I sincerely hope you never feel that we are competing against each other, if you do - it's one sided my friend and I wish you well.
Now don't get me wrong ... I'm a fierce competitor! Plain and simple I love measuring myself in almost everything I do. These days though, pretty much my only opponent is myself. But when I was younger, personal insecurity made it so I always HAD to win. If I lost in something as simple as Checkers it would ruin my day. Kinda silly I know. But over time and maturity, I started realizing that I didn't enjoy the victories as much as I hated losing ... and that didn't seem right.
That's why I love running ... it's the ultimate competition with me! I love setting a goal and then working to achieve it. It challenges me. It's what gets me out of bed at 4am in the morning to log ab work, push ups, and miles. It's the plain and simple objective of trying to improve my last time. Will I ever be a great runner ... HECK NO! Realistically ... unless you live in the Goucher, Hall, or Karnazes household, none of us will be. 99.9% of us are "middle of the packers" ... some a little closer to the front, some wedged in near the back ... but all middle of the pack to be sure.
Occasionally, I'll read a condescending post in the blog world condemning people who are consumed with race times. (Unfortunately, I think their words are probably aimed at people like me.) I'm sure the "self-righteous" tone of these posts probably comes from a sincere place and are meant only to make the running world a more enjoyable community for all. But it seems like they miss the mark a little, and probably hint of some hypocrisy. I mean seriously, do these runners NEVER check their time after a race? Or NEVER wear a watch? Or NEVER check the watch while running? Or NEVER push themselves to keep running? Or NEVER wear a timing chip? Or NEVER attempt to run faster? Please.
Tracking race times is all about beating me! When we line up together at the starting line, I couldn't care less if you smoke me by 10 minutes, or I finish ahead of you by a few seconds. When we're standing at the water cooler comparing recent race times, if yours is much "more impressive" than mine, it means nothing to me other than to congratulate you for a job well done. Your race times are simply not my target. And if I do by chance finish before you, you will NEVER hear me utter one word of bragging, trash talk, or self-congratulations because I was a little faster that day ... YOU are just not what it's about for me!
That being said, if we could never pace ourselves again, or there was no way to measure our elapsed time race improvement ... I WOULD STILL RUN!!! Running has added so much more to my life than a few ticks on the clock, or a gift certificate for being 2nd in my age group. I'm healthier, happier, and stronger than ever. I've loved every step of the journey and I will always run ... just to run! And this blog has been a great way to chronicle the experience.
So at my next race, will you see me with a focused look on my face with several glances at my Garmin ... heck yeah! That's just how I roll. But even if I don't make my goal time will I enjoy the experience ... without a doubt! And hopefully, regardless of how you finish, who you beat, or what your time is ... you do to!
... be great today!