Taken in that context, I am a very competitive person in just about every aspect of my life. Especially running. Nine times out of ten I have some sort of goal that I want to meet. Usually it's a time goal that I've arbitrarily picked out. Sometimes it's that I want to place in my age group. Sometimes it's both. For instance when I ran the 10k, I had several goals set, the most important of which was that I wanted to run it under 53 minutes. I finished in 51:13 and finished first in my age group.
Within 20 minutes of finishing almost 2 minutes under my desired time, I already was plotting out the next time that I wanted to beat. My thought process went something like this:
YES! I DID IT! I AM AWESOME!
::20 minutes later::
Hmm... I should run it under 50 minutes. I will be really fast then.
And thus the new goal was born and now I won't rest until it's accomplished. The same is true for everything from 5ks to marathons. I set goals and if I reach them I immediately start to plan out how to exceed them.
Don't get me wrong - I think having goals is one of the best ways to advance in anything and everything. But Em wrote a great post the other day about giving yourself some credit. And it really got me thinking - as competitive as I am, I'm doing some pretty awesome things right now.
I had a really sucktastic 16 mile run on Saturday. I bitched about it, both mentally and verbally, all day long. But I RAN 16 MILES. It was hard, it was miserable, I walked a lot, heck I stopped a lot, there wasn't a single step that I took on Saturday that didn't cause me some sort of mental or physical pain, but I did it. And if I can run 16, I can run 18. And if I can run 18, I can run a marathon. And that is a-freaking-mazing, whether I BQ or finish in 6 hours.
Sometimes I think I let my competitiveness with running get the better of me. Sometimes it causes extreme negative self-talk conversations in my head. And sometimes I need a good kick to remind me that every single day I'm working towards incredible things.
And a big tribute to Em for writing the post that sparked this post.
THAT BEING SAID, LB came over last night to run with me. It was a 2 mile training run for me, supposed to be easy, and I figured it'd be a cake walk for him. Needless to say, it was a very humbling experience for me, one that reminded me that we all start at square one.
We ran at about an 8:45 pace give or take - sometimes faster, sometimes slower. But by mile 1.5 he was dying and I could see it written all over his face.
So I stopped my Garmin and we walked. I started it back up and we ran. I let him walk while I ran back and forth until we hit roughly 2 miles (my Garmin died at about mile 1.83). And in that last half mile and for the rest of the night, I remembered everything about when I started running. I remembered getting winded after a mere 5 minutes. I remembered hating it. I remembered my first 5k and how freaking exhilarating it was.
1.5 miles at an 8:45 pace is pretty good for someone that never runs.
Oh and after taking our picture, Sean had to take this picture "for the blog" (his words) so that everyone knows that he was working while we were running, not sitting around eating bon-bons. Even though when we got back 25 minutes later he was sitting on the couch in the dark.
Are you competitive by nature? With what?
Do you set new goals immediately upon breaking old ones?