When you’re too competitive with yourself.

 Ever since my little set back with my tendon occurred, I’ve been in a tough spot to get out of. In my heart I would want to go running, but my mind could think of many reasons of why not to. I’ve been lazy, unmotivated, negative, and ultimately my passion for running was starting to fade.

I think what shocked me the most was when I silently and secretly wished to myself that I hadn’t registered for a half marathon. Of course you want to run that race, lazy Sarah!

But today I made myself run. I think I just knew that it if I was going to wait any longer (it’d been 5 days already) that it would only get worse and worse. Luckily, during the 4 mile run, I did a lot of thinking and figured out my slump.

Mile 3 was approaching when it hit me, “THIS run right now is NOT a race. It’s training. Training is not racing.” And it all surfaced. The constant need to race myself, but why? What for? To feel accomplished. But can’t I feel accomplished for simply running? Actually getting out of the door? Those are accomplishments too.

My running mindset had been way too competitive….with myself.

I’m really not a competitive person. If other people do better than me, awesome! I am only happy for them. Inspired by them even. I never realized though how competitive I can get with myself. I thought that was a good thing?

After getting hurt a few weeks ago, I realized that I wouldn’t be able to run faster or longer for awhile, ultimately “losing” to myself. I didn’t want to take steps backwards, only forwards, and just knowing that I was now “worse”, having taken a break to heal my tendon, made me not want to run. Additionally, I knew I wouldn’t want to push myself too soon because I’m afraid of getting hurt again. So what’s the fun in running if I’m just going to be slower? Or get hurt again? Or if I’m going to lose to myself again and again?

Truthfully, this all sounds so ridiculous right now but it is where I was stuck, only I didn’t know it. I thought my procrastination was just, “I’m too tired” or “I have a lot going on”. Those things were true, but they never stopped me before. What was really stopping me was being afraid of having just an okay run.

So, you guys who read this blog here (btw thanks!), I am committing myself to a week or two of just “okay” runs. I’m not going to try to do more than 4 miles at a time for the next couple of weeks and I’m not really going to push myself to go faster. I’ll probably stop mid run to do some stretching and if I feel like avoiding the hills, I will. My goal is just 4 miles of whatever.

Sound good??
Have you ever found yourself in a running slump? How do YOU get out of it?

What I call a Super Sweaty Selfie

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10 thoughts on “When you’re too competitive with yourself.

  1. Two weeks ago some circumstances made me stop my evening running for 5 or 6 days. And it was very hard for me to recommence my regimen. Honestly, I was so lazy. But once I started it again, I made myself do it, I was so happy I’m “in shape” and now I want to run more and more 🙂

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  2. I haven’t run in almost two weeks and it’s KILLING ME. I’ve been too sick. I’m going to try a hike today just to get my lungs back and I will *try* not to run. It’s so hard to slow down when your body is telling you to. Good luck with your week of okay runs!

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    1. Thanks! I enjoyed your most recent post and never got around to commenting on it. I’ve also really grown to love hiking and yoga, almost more than running. Running is a big outlet for me and provides so much clarity, so I could relate to what you were saying.

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  3. Good on you! I started running over 2 years ago now and one of the biggest lessons I learned along the way is that taking easy runs was not only less stressful on me mentally it is actually BETTER for my overall performance. I always ran the same pace and it was not giving my body a chance to heal. Now my runs vary from 7:30 pace all the way down to 14:00.

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