run your own race

My mantra of late-run your own race.  Race is synonymous with a training or recovery run here, it doesn’t matter. I’ve been repeating it to myself lately especially after one particular experience the other day. Maybe it will resonate with you too, hear me out…

While running my 5×1 mile repeats at 7:30 pace-very fast for me-I found myself passing a couple who had passed me while stretching after my warm-up mile. They had jogged past me and now I was, what felt like, sprinting past them. It was nothing personal. Obviously not trying to assert myself over them or anything, just literally minding my own business, running at my 90ish% threshold for my designated distance. At my mile’s end I stopped for a brief sip of water and jogged back and forth on this short stretch of trail so I could maintain the start of my predetermined next mile-marker. Somewhere within this 2-3 minutes of very easy jogging they passed me jogging their same jog. NBD. Well my 2-3 minutes ended and it was time to begin my next rep. Obviously I ran quite quickly past them and this seemed to irritate them as they very obviously picked up their pace and decided to pass me! In my pained-from-busting-out-a-mile-at-threshold-pace brain I was seriously bugged. I judged and thought some less than tactful thoughts and this is when the mantra occurred to me.


The point of this is to remind myself I have a very specific goal coming up-finishing my marathon under 4 hours and feel good doing it. I know marathons are no walk in the park. I’ve done them. But they always sort of feel like utter poopy. I’m not expecting to be giddy the whole time because I do want to push myself. Whatever level I have trained to, I’m not planning to just sail in safely under pace. I will push my limits and be proud of the result. Overcoming the pain is part of the thrill of the race for me. Accomplishing something hard!

But my mantra comes back to me…

It’s not going to be about looking good to Fred or being faster than Franny. It’s for me. It can be very tempting to break away from your schedule out of pride or even for friendly social reasons. I’ve heard of people meeting in a race and running together. One faster than the other, the other sticks around feeling good at the time-race endorphins flying high, but ultimately bonked hard and couldn’t finish their race. I probably could have gritted my teeth and made those two that passed me feel dumb and pass them again, but I would have had to push harder than I should and maybe not been able to finish my race specific workout-possibly throwing off my whole week! So I turned around and finished my last 3 reps in the other direction.

I am reminded of a time running with a very competitive friend. We would both keep pushing one another until we’re both not speaking. Not even acknowledging that it was hard at the end. Probably trying to look stronger than the other.. I don’t know. But if that day running with a friend was supposed to be an easy recovery day-which most days I run with others are-there’s no way it would end up being recovery! I could end up too tired for my next quality workout and this might cascade over my whole week. These specific workouts are what are going to make my goal happen.

So I’ll say it one last time-RUN YOUR OWN RACE!

If you find yourself in a situation like this-running faster than feels appropriate within your training schedule-I would remind you of your ultimate goal. It can be hard to tell a friend, “hey I’m not really feeling this pace right now-I’m gonna hold back”, I get it, not much comes between me and my pride-notable by my thoughts from the above scene, but it may be worth it.

Q/TOTD-Have you ever found yourself in this type of a situation with a friend, how did you handle it? Or a face-off with pride like my first story? Everbody has goals-tell me about yours, I’d love to learn a little more about you.

Thanks for reading through this long rant of a post! You’re amazing! And as always-keep putting one foot in front of the other!

13 thoughts on “run your own race

  1. I totally agree – I only run for myself and couldn’t care less what other people do or think. Some people take offence though at other people’s choices as if it reflects on them. Those people in the park thought you were saying something about them clearly! Life is too short to care what strangers think!!


    1. It’s true, life is too short! I wonder if people are sometimes struggling with their own insecurities when they act out. I’m sure I have done it, but worry about it helps no one. It’s probably something they need to work out on their own

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Marathon training has helped me stay more focused on myself. Because it’s such a big goal for me, I try and remember that when I’m out on the road. Why get in my head and start racing someone who might be out on a 3 mile run when I’ve got 12 to do? Just like in life, we never really know where other people are at so remembering that has helped me stay focused on my own journey each day. Great post!! x

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I absolutely believe in running your own race. Sometimes you’re not at 100% for various reasons and your pace is going to be a little slower than otherwise. I always feel like if I did my best, that’s good enough for me, regardless of my finish time.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Seriously! I’m considering writing a whole other post on running based on effort and time versus pace and distance. There’s a purpose and a time and a place for both, but it’s good to know when we do our best and make that effort we are still make an improvement even if it’s “slower” than we feel we should be going! So true thank you ☺️

      Liked by 1 person

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