I was on Dailymile today when one of my “friends” (I don’t actually know her) talked about her easy 10 mile recovery run. That sentence is clearly an oxymoron and further complicated by the fact that this “easy” run was done at a 9:23 pace.
I couldn’t help but comment that I find it funny that her nice and easy pace is my I-might-have-to-call-emergency-services pace. It really hit home at that moment that one man’s fast is another man’s slow. I’m not offended that she said 9:23 is a slow pace even though I generally run a full one minute (or two) slower per mile. I know what she meant is that this pace is slow for her.
So many times as a runner you can’t help but compare yourself to everyone else out there. Let’s face it, it’s hard not to, but the truth is most times I just find myself fighting to be better than me.
Let me explain. I know I’m not going to be winning any races (I’m usually clocking in somewhere in the middle of my age group), but with each race I can try to set a personal record. I can try to run smarter, faster or further than I had the last time.
I don’t have to keep up with anyone else, I don’t have to be faster than anyone else, I don’t have to be first and I’m quite certain I won’t be last. I just have to be me—slow or fast.
When I’m out there running, I’m only thinking of me versus me, not me against the rest of the world. After all, one man’s fast is another man’s slow. So, it stands to reason that someone out there thinks I’m fast. And remember even if there is no one out there behind you, you’re still passing everyone standing on the sidelines.