Don’t compare yourself

Ultra Relay Team
Ultra Relay Team

I’m a middle of the pack runner. I would love to be at the front of the pack, but I have to balance life with running. Okay and genetics.

I try hard not to compare myself to other runners, faster or slower. My competition is myself and the course below my feet. Why should you shy away from comparing yourself with other runners? Because you have no idea what is going on in their life or their training.

If you are comparing yourself to other runners, what is it that you are really comparing? It’s probably not running ability.

So many things interfere with training and these are not bad things. They are just life. Everyone has to prioritize depending on the cards they have been dealt throughout life.

I love running, but there are things that come before running, my kids and my job. I have to have enough time and energy to parent and be an attorney well after all the running I do. My running has to fit around these two things.

Other things that impact a runners performance which most average runners can’t afford on a regular basis are coaches, massage therapist, nutritionists, and physical therapists. All of these other professionals could boost our running, but we are unlikely to tap into these resources.

We do what we can by asking spouses or friends to act as massage therapists. We use foam rollers and tennis balls to massage ourselves. We read books and blogs about running to modify our training as a coach would. We read about nutrition and buy cookbooks for athletes. We see a physical therapist when we are injured if our insurance will pay for it and if not, we google our symptoms and do what we can with the information we get back.

When I see other runners struggling through the miles, I wonder what else are they carrying? What stresses are they dragging behind them? A divorce, aging parents, disabled children, empty nest, bankruptcy, unemployment, and all the other things that we all deal with during the various seasons of our lives.

Of course you should be proud of your first, second, or third place award, but never forget those you passed because I’m first at the end of every run I finish alone.


2 thoughts on “Don’t compare yourself

  1. Martha B October 13, 2014 / 6:25 pm

    What an inspirational post. It’s so true. When I first started running, I played the comparison game nonstop. It’s easy to do in a small rural area where the same people show up at every race. You pick targets. You knock them down. You build up this idea in your mind that that’s who you’re going to beat. When you do, you might feel good for awhile, but when they come back a month later and slaughter your 5k time by 10 minutes, you really have to think… maybe there was something going on in their lives at that point that made them not as strong. We are all humans. Some of us have more time and some of us have more dedication, and some of us were just built to run. I like my mid pack status, it’s comfy and it allows me the opportunity to just do what I love and enjoy it.

    • Nicole Lowe October 19, 2014 / 5:09 pm

      I love being a midpack runner too. It’s less pressure. It’s fun to place, but if that is always what you are chasing you lose sight of why you run.

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