The ongoing problem with me and running…or why not to compare yourself to others.

(disclaimer this is not a whinge post I promise, although it may seem like is in the first couple of paragraphs)

Everyone I know who has taken up running is better at it than me. From this I can infer that I am amongst the worst runners in the world.

Well my world which is to say my immediate sphere of reference…which is all I really have to compare it to.

I know people who haven’t run in 15 year then go and run 5km straight off. I know people who can go from not being able to run for a minute to being able to run 10km in less than a year (by which I mean their transition took less than a year, not that they take less than a year to run 10km, they do take less than a year to run 10km but even I can do it in less than a year!). I know people who can run marathons, or 3 marathons in 3 days, or ultramaratons. I know people who claim to be slow/not very good who out pace and out run me every time.

I know people who love running, I know people for whom running is catharsis and not running is as incomprehensible as not breathing!

I am not one of those people.

me, pretending to be a runner and pretending to believe the quote…
I have tried to be, and there are times when I have even enjoyed running. However there are other times when I hate it. Genuine hate, hate of the pain and the way it makes me feel inadequate. Hate of the boredom that comes with longer distances. Hate of the fact that I just can’t seem to make myself improve beyond a certain point!

The problem I have with running is the comparisons i draw between me and everyone else. Despite all I say and all I have written in the past, despite what I know when I engage logical thought, I can’t break free from the “I should be better at this” and the “I want to be as good as them” mentality.

Deep down on a subconcious level, not being very good at running make me feel like a failure.

There is an unspoken (and sometimes spoken) belief held by a lot of people that getting fit is synonymous with running. Following that to its logical conclusion, there is a belief that to be fit means you can run.

I am writing this to remind myself and to reassure anyone out there who is in the same boat as me, that running is not a prerequisite to fitness. Running is great for fitness, if you enjoy running!

I need to remind myself that there are a multitude of other ways to be fit. I have done Insanity and Insanity max 30…I lift and lift and am getting stronger all the time! I can dance my boots off every day if I need too. It is as pointless to compare myself to runners as it is for a person who runs marathons to compare themselves to Arnie!

I am learning not to compare myself to other people, we all have different strengths and weaknesses. My runner friends are not my competition, the other people I see zooming (or not zooming) are not my competition. My only competition is me!

Now if I could only remember that I’d be set!

Running has grown in my mind into an unscaleable  mountain, I need to find a way back to the mindset I had before the half marathon. The one where I was happy being not a runner. I was content to run sometimes when I felt like it.

So from here on out, I am not going to use phrases like “that run was good for me but I know it was crap really” or ” I know I am slow but I am just getting back into it” or even “It is good for me but I am not a runner”

These things just serve to reinforce the negative mindset I have about being bad at running. If there is one thing I know it is that going into anything with a negative mindset you are never going to do it well!

I may run more, I may not, but if I do, I am going into it for the fun of it and to get a little bit better than I used to be.

If nothing else…running makes me a better dancer 🙂


16 thoughts on “The ongoing problem with me and running…or why not to compare yourself to others.

  1. Running is a hideous past time of Satan and his terrible imps. I think some people are built to run and others are not. If you ever see me running, you should probably run too as something is probably chasing me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I totally agree with you! I love a lot of activities including Insanity and even burpees but somehow me and running don’t click.
      And yet I keep trying, I keep falling for it when I know I am better at other things :-/
      This may be a new definition of madness!


  2. Hear, hear to this amazing post! That’s a big part of why I have such a negative relationship with running: because I feel like the world equates running to elite athleticism, and to not be a good runner means you are less than as an athlete. It makes me angry that a) I’m not better at it; and b) that I don’t enjoy it. But, hey, it is what it is – so screw it! 🙂

    I can climb the shit out of mountains! That makes me a bad ass! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is strange isn’t it there is such a huge correlation in people’s minds with running and fitness yet there are hundreds of ways to be extremely fit without ever running!!
      You, my friend are undoubtedly a bad ass 😀
      Mountains beat running every day of the week!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well, sometimes it’s hard to be 100% positive about certain things. Personally, I hate ballroom dancing (but I do watch “Dancing with the Stars”). I want to throw a fit because I am totally uncoordinated and can’t remember a routine.

        Actually, I think you have quite a good sense of humor about running. It makes you seem upbeat despite your moments of hatred. I’d say you’re pretty balanced 😀

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thank you 🙂
        I try to be! I think that it is getting back into proportion now!
        I just have to remember not to enter races, I am an angry runner in races!
        Woohoo balanced! I am almost never called balanced!!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. hahaha!! Well, I’ve experienced my fair share of VERY unbalanced people, so yes, you’re very much in the range of fairly balanced with a side of healthy imbalance. I quite like that in a person.

        Liked by 1 person

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