I have gone into several races saying, “I don’t care about my time today. I’m just doing this for fun.”
But the truth is, I do care. And even though I will never be an elite athlete, I do like to better my previous times. I’m not necessarily competing against the people around me. I just want to beat myself!
Sometimes the concern about keeping a good pace or getting a good finishing time prevents me from really enjoying the moment. The sensation of getting outdoors, the scenery around me, moving and using my muscles. Unfortunately there will be times when things go wrong and the race doesn’t end up how you expected, and you have to look back on it and find the positive moments.
Deena Kastor, an amazing runner and Olympic marathoner, broke her foot during the 2008 Beijing Olympics, just 3 miles into the race. While she was healing she had time to reflect on her situation, training, plans, etc. She posted about this on the New York Road Runner’s site. But the part that struck me the most and I found completely inspiring was this:
..it is the relationships and camaraderie that fill my memory; not the splits or official standings.
Yes, getting a PR is fun. But what really motivates me is that I get to spend time with my friends when I run. They are my rock, salvation and inspiration. They pull me through the hard times and entertain me during the lighthearted moments. My running (and every other moment) pals have given me tons of support and even stood there on the side of the road hugging and comforting me as I was bleeding all over. My online friends, send me cheers and words of wisdom, letting me know that you support me and think nothing less of the girl who faceplanted in the marathon.
Let your running pals be your motivators. I know they are for me! I love you guys!