I’m totally guilty of getting obsessed with how much slower I run than my “fast” friends. Sometimes when I tell people my marathon PR I feel like I have to qualify it with the statement, “it was fast for me,” as if I don’t really have the right to be that proud of it. That is why I love this piece by Jeff Gaudette on Competitor.com. I think it is a great reminder that whatever pace we run, we’ve got to run our own race. This is one of my favorite points Gaudette makes:
There is no difference between the runner who breaks 30 minutes for the 5K for the first time and the one that breaks 16 minutes. Both worked hard, sacrificed to achieve their goal, and experienced the same challenges.
That means all runners can relate to each other, no matter their speed.
This is so true! When someone tells me that they PRed, I often don’t even ask what their overall time was, because PRing is just awesome. So, why should I spend so much time comparing my times to everyone else’s and worrying if someone thinks my time is slow – and who exactly do i think is judging my times?
If you race a lot, not every race can be a PR and not every training run is going to feel awesome. I’ve been trying to keep the attitude that each run has something to learn from no matter how good or bad it went. If my race was slow, was there something about my training or nutrition that I can improve? If my run felt like hell, but I still finished my miles, isn’t that I sign that I’m getting tougher and stronger mentally? If a race is perfect and I hit my goals, isn’t my accomplishment just as awesome as the person who finished 15 minutes faster than me and the person who finished 30 minutes before them? I’m going to try to take Mr. Gaudette’s words to heart and be less concerned about how my pace compares to everyone else and more focused on enjoying my runs and achieving my own personal goals.