When I first started dating my husband, I told him that I was not competitive. This was not intended to be a false statement. I simply did not know that in truth, I can be competitive. Growing up, my dad and sister were very good at board games, they were strategic. They also would try to get you to worry about the other person. "Look she is getting ahead, she may win!" says my dad as he zips around the board toward victory. I enjoyed playing games but I think I gave up being able to win and thus thought that I was not competitive.
Fast forward to now. I have a running watch that I love. There are days when I do not wear it because I need a run that is slower. If I have the watch on, I pay attention. It beeps on the mile to tell you your pace. That is helpful and I love seeing a pace that I like.
During a long run, I also have trouble running slower. (especially at the beginning) There has been many a time that I need to be told to slow down, chill out, etc. when setting out to run 18 or so miles. Logically this makes sense, but I just get excited and speed up. Or I see something pretty, or think of something interesting while running and speed up. Oops!
I am running my first marathon in November. You are supposed to be excited just to finish the first one. Then if you run another, perhaps worry about time them. I still hope to finish with a time to be proud of. (maybe not perfect, but a good one.) Does that make me too competitive? Or is it pride? Or a normal drive to be active and do things well? You gotta be somewhat competitive to be motivated enough to run well, to improve, and to train for new challenges. Perhaps, I am the right amount of competitive.
Running three miles used to be pretty far for me. In high school, I remember thinking that the cross country team was crazy. I think their races were about two miles. My first race was a 10 k. That was far then. Before my first half marathon, I was not sure that I had ever run that far. I decided about a month beforehand and ran 10+ miles a few times. A mile into the race, I had the "what was I thinking?" moment, but I finished. The two women just behind me were thrilled about the time, so I was happy about it too. It was five years after that that I did my next long race. After that, I was hooked. And now, because of the marathon training, a half marathon seems short. Strange how that happens. I guess that can be an encouragement to people as they run, if you run a little farther, then the distance that you are doing now will seem short.