I want to talk about competition. Maybe you’re in the middle of a solo training run, or a group fun run, or even a race…and you notice that people are…passing you. Something inside of you moves…it’s a little tinge of…something vaguely familiar. Perhaps it’s a little bit of fear, maybe a little bit of sadness, but whatever it is you’re feeling, there’s a strong desire to go chase after those folks who just passed you so easily. To catch up to them and perhaps pass THEM, as if doing so will somehow signify your supremacy and running prowess.
I’ve had those moments. Moments where I became my own worst enemy as I so longed to speed up and catch up with the runners that ‘dared to pass me.’ Moments where I would regard myself as a slow runner, not necessarily certain that I would be able to hang with the masses of seemingly more fit and experienced runners. Moments where I became my own worst enemy because I forgot one very important fact.
When I began running, it was to run for one person…ME.
Regardless of how fast or slow those around me are moving, the whole point of me getting out there in the first place was to reach my own personal goal. That goal, was quite simply to finish what I started. The more I reminded myself of this, the less I started to care about what others might be doing around me. When I’m out on the road I’m out there for me and the goal is to beat only one person…myself. I’m learning to become my own BEST enemy. I compete against myself, pushing myself harder and farther than I ‘think’ I can go. Trying my best when I get out there so that I can BE my best and top what my best used to be.
Yesterday I ran in the GW Birthday Classic 10k. This was a race I’d run last year and I returned this year with one objective in mind…to leave my old self in the dust. In true form, the race started and I fell towards the back. But I was determined…determined to beat my time and to best myself. I envisioned myself from last year running…imagined that this ‘projection’ of myself was running ahead of me…or at times was only a hair’s breath behind me. So I had to keep moving…keep pushing myself forward, because I didn’t want the ‘old me’ to catch this ‘new me.’ I gave all I had during that race. And you know what that got me?
|GW Birthday Classic 10k|
Yes, some SIGNIFICANT improvement from last year! I was almost a minute faster in terms of pace and shaved over 5 minute off of my total time. *sigh* I was completely floored with my performance. It showed me that, once again, I can do much better than I ‘think’ I can and that competing against myself is, in the end, far more rewarding than competing against anyone else. So…when’s the last time you were your own Worst & Best enemy? How’d that work out for you?
And now I leave you with a song that I think is kinda fitting…great song, and great video