I feel like I should state first that this post isn't my normal type of post nor am I complaining or being negative in any way. This is me...real, raw and emotional on a specific issue that has bothered me as of late. I've touched a little on this topic before so it's really nothing new. However, it's gotten a little more personal for me lately and I feel like putting it here in my little space will help me completely get my feelings out.
I love to run. I love to race. I love competition.
The first two are a given. The third well it may not be well known about me. My husband knows, my coach knows and I know. But when it comes to competition YOU are not it.
Is you a person? Maybe.
I've been running for 5 years now. I started out not even really running because as I look back on where I was then and where I am now and compare my 15 minute mile to my now 8-9 min racing miles there's quite a difference. There is nothing wrong with a 15 min mile, let me say that. If you run a 15 minute mile you are a runner just like the 8 minute mile runner. And when I line up at the start of the race I am not judging you by your pace. In fact, at the end of the race I am not judging you by your finish time.
I don't set foot at the start line of any race and scope out the competition. It's not my game.
When I sign up for a race I sign up for me. I sign up for my goal, for my run, for myself. And maybe lately I sign up because my coach says to or because my girlfriends all did and it will be a fun addition to an all day girls day/night out. (that may or may not be a true story that I may or may not soon share..haha)
I know going into a race that most of the women my age are going to be considerably faster than me. It's just how it is. But again, when I line up with these women I do not even consider them my competition.
I run/train with many women in my age group on a regular basis. We do not compete. It's not how we are. It is not the dynamic of our relationships. We're friends. We're running buddies. We are a support system to each other in a sport we all love and happen to compete in.
So where am I going with all this?
There seems to always be that one person in a group or an acquaintance, just someone.. that has to try to bring you down. Someone that takes the term "friendly competition" to another level. Someone that thinks their random inquiries about your racing schedule or training are just friendly conversation when in reality it comes across as being overly competitive before a race even starts.
I may not be making any sense. I seem to always be able to write posts in my head so much better than I can on the screen.
My point is... you are not my competition.
When I line up for a race I am competing against one person and one person only.
I'm happy for you that you are there. I'm happy for you that you have a goal. I'm happy for you when you reach your PR. I'm happy for you no matter the reason you run.
But know that as a runner I want the same thing in return. I don't want your competition, friendly or not.
Let me run my race and I'll let you run yours. I am not your competition. I am MY competition.