One of the biggest issues in many corners of the running community is the comparison game.
We see what our friends, either IRL friends or online friends, are doing and we compare ourselves to what they are doing.
Am I fast enough? Strong enough mentally? Is my endurance up to par?
And as I’ve said before, and as I have to regularly remind myself, we need to be careful comparing our real life with the highlight reels that are so often shared on social media.
But one aspect of the comparison game that is easy to overlook is the comparison to self.
More specifically, comparing where you are today to where you used to be.
Coming Back from a Lengthy Lay Off
For any number of reasons, you may take some time off from running.
It could be a few months. It could be a few years.
Regardless of the duration, odds are that when you come back to running you aren’t going to be as sharp and as fit as you were back when you were running regularly.
Logically, that makes all the sense in the world.
But when we find our way back to the sport, what happens?
We remember back to the paces/distances we were running before our lay off, and we are shocked when what used to be easy is all of a sudden quite difficult.
And while it may make sense that our fitness is going to drop off after an extended layoff, it doesn’t make it any easier of a pill to swallow when we are faced with the cold hard truth.
Time Stops for No One
The fact of the matter is that we are all getting older every day.
Whether you want to admit it or not, you can’t stop Father Time from continuing his march.
And you have to admit, getting older certainly beats the alternative!
Getting older is simply a part of life.
And while getting older doesn’t mean that you can’t continue to push yourself and your limits, it’s inevitable that your limits are going to change at some point.
Again, we know this and are able to remind others of this simple fact.
But there is something about being human that makes us think that we should be able to do as much or more at 50 as we could do at 25, and in many cases that simply isn’t realistic.
Stop Yourself to Your Past
In either instance, the solution is easier said than done; stop comparing where you are today to where you used to be.
Just because you’re no longer a 20 minute 5ker or a 3:30 marathoner doesn’t mean you’re any less of a runner.
At least in the eyes of most people in the running community.
So what is stopping you from being ok with where you are today and intelligently pushing your limits as you go forward?
All too often, it’s our ego getting us in trouble.
It’s our ego that worries about what others will think of our paces on Strava or when we share our stats on IG.
It’s our ego that gets in the way. That reminds us of what we used to be capable of, but can’t do right now.
And we need to learn how to eliminate our ego from the conversation.
It’s not easy, but it’s doable.
How Do You Keep Your Eyes on the Prize and Focus on Moving Forward Instead of Looking Back?
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