Other half of the Duo here today! 🙂
Why isn’t a good thing ever enough?
Chatting with a friend before a race recently, I realized something about runners. We’re almost never satisfied. For example my friend was nervous that she would not PR this race and she felt that this was a sign that, despite all her training, she wasn’t improving. I pointed out that conditions vary year to year, including your health, frame of mind, and especially the weather.
Even with great training, a bad night’s sleep might make the difference between a PR one year and a slower race the next. I tried to stress that as 50+ runner, it was nice that we were running at all: a few seconds more shouldn’t make us feel bad.
But it does. Because we compare ourselves to other runners, and when our own performances don’t seem to measure up, we diminish our accomplishments, and, we are less happy.
As for me, I ran the race and though I had no idea whether it was a PR, I was pretty pleased with my time. Until that evening, when I looked at the age group results and learned that I hadn’t placed in the top 20-30% of women my age, which is where I typically end up. And suddenly, I felt decidedly less pleased with my own performance. And that made me sad. After smugly preaching to my friend I realized I was just as prone to comparisons and dissatisfaction as anyone else. But then I realized I was still pretty happy, or at least – that I was happy enough.
I still find myself doing this sometimes, even after our most recent 10 mile race. But it’s something I’m working on, and that’s all you can do really at the end of the day – forget about the times that others ran (or that you have ran in the past!) and find a happiness with how you performed in the present.
Do you find yourself doing this too? How do you fight back the urge to compare your performance to others?