I post my completed runs on Facebook and Twitter. On Twitter the other runners offer me encouragement. Most of my Facebook friends are not runners. But this week, one of those friends who does a lot of walking decided to add some running to see if he could be faster than me.
He did it. Of course I tell myself that on average men can be faster than women and I am just returning from not really running for 4 months. Plus he is about 5 years younger than I am. I must put that in perspective for him. The qualifying times for a man his age for the Boston Marathon is 3 hours 15 minutes. For a woman my age, 3:50. That means that he needs to run every kilometer about 1 minute faster than I do. I also think that I will challenge him to run farther than I have run. My longest distance is 22km, I think he should tackle that training!
I can be very competitive. I’m competitive with myself let alone other people. Last June I set my mind to think that every time I ran my block, I needed to be faster than the time before. That led to an injured hamstring. That hamstring took months to heal completely. I was up to running 8km but had to head back to running 2km. Now with my friend “competing” with me I have to be careful not to let it get to me. I have to run with goals that work for my body and not anything detract me from those goals.
Today, I ran my 5.43km block in 36:36. It felt great and the best part is that the run was what I wanted it to be. It was for me and me alone (well, not entirely, my worship music brought me much comfort). I was not competing. I have decided that if my friend wants to post his times on my wall so that I can encourage him then that is okay, if he is doing to show me up, then it needs to stop. This is not why I run.