Guest post: Pitfall of comparison

I am out of town for the next few days so I have asked a few of my favorite bloggers to fill in for me while I’m away. Kim was the first local blogger I ever met and her friendship has been such a blessing. I hope you will enjoy her post! Please also check out her food blog 🙂

Greeting River City Fitness readers! 

I’m so glad you read Sarah’s blog and are encouraged by her healthy lifestyle.  I definitely am.  She has been a great source of encouragement to me while living here in the “River City”!

Since I started running in January 2009, I have noticed my feelings of competition and comparison have gotten stronger.  Sometimes, this is a great thing; other times, it can be very damaging.

Let me give you some timeline:

  • 10th grade: a 19 minute mile – I didn’t run at all
  • Jan 2009: 43 minute 5k pace 
  • March 2009 – my first 5k: 39.41 (I wanted it to be under 40)
  • November 2009: 35.49 (5k PR)
  • March 6, 2010: 36.03 (my last 5k with little training due to weather)

I was very, very happy with this time until I thought: Kim, you should have pushed yourself or you should have trained harder

While hanging out with a friend who also ran the same 5k last weekend, I asked her what her time was.  She said “Oh, it was very slow – a 29 minute.”  Ha – slow?  What was she thinking? 

Then I saw on Facebook this morning that a dude I know posted a 34 minute 5k.  How can these people who weigh more than me run faster than me?  I was shocked this morning – and then that makes me just want to get out and run.

But, if we only run because we want to be better than someone else, faster than someone else, skinnier than someone else – we are not running for the right reasons.

Here are some reasons you should run:

  • For your health
  • For your sanity
  • For your skin (Vitamin D, outside exposure)
  • For your skinny jeans

I love that last one.  In the past year + of running, my jeans size has gone from a 10 to a 6, my weight has dropped almost 25 lbs, and my cholesterol numbers were all better today than they were last year at this time. 

How do you beat your mind at the comparison game?  Set your own goals based on your abilities.  Don’t say, “Next 5k I want to beat so-and-so’s time.”  Say instead, “I want to run it without stopping” or “I want to beat my own time.”

That is my goal.  I am running a half marathon in June and I want to beat my first half’s time of 3:00:07.  That is my only goal. 

If you are going to compare – compare only with yourself.  Better yet, don’t compare at all.  Just get out there and run – for the health of it!  (That’s a slight change of a Louisville saying)

What are some good, healthy fitness goals you are setting for yourself?

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About Sarah Frankel

I am 29 years old and a resident of Louisville, Kentucky. I've been married to my husband Josh for 6 years and we have a 5 year old beagle named Suzie. Four years ago, I changed my eating and exercise habits, dropping 70 pounds and gaining an entirely new life. I took up running in September 2007 and became vegan in October 2009. I am constantly striving to improve my life so that I can live it to the fullest! I hope you will join me on my life journey.

Posted on March 18, 2010, in guest post, running and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. My goals for my first 5K are to run the entire time (no walking breaks), & to complete it in 35 minutes or less. I’m a new runner and I hate the feeling I get when I admit that it’s slow or lame but it is where I am RIGHT NOW and I’m doing the best I can! 🙂

  2. I loved this guest post! I know what you mean about comparing yourself to others. I just started to run and whenever I see someone say “ohhh I ran an easy 6 miles today” I turn green with envy! lol…I can’t wait for the day that I can say that but for now I will have to settle for hard 3 miles hahaha

  3. Joey – your goals already beat mine and I’ve been running a year. See, I still struggle with comparison. Mari – thank you. You can do it. They have gotten a little easier for me, but they are still tough. I just feel good when done!

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