Comparing yourself to yourself.

Yesterday I did my first track workout with the Brandon Running Association.  Even though I was running much less than many of these seasoned veterans, I could confidently say I was only running 2×800 sprints, with a mile warm-up, 800 between, and a mile cool down.

After the 4 laps around the track for the warm-up, I had already made new friends, caught up with old ones, and was schooled on the ways of “Track Night” – Sprinters run counter clockwise; those cooling down run clockwise;   and I can take off solo for the 800 sprint or try to find others to join at my speed.

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Running around a track is kind of like swimming in a pool.  My mind has lots of time to wander and calculate each exact move at an exact point.  I can pinpoint how I feel after 400 meters or 10 meters from the finish line. 

My first 800 was good.  I left with two girls I ran with for the first time last weekend, Patricia and Kristen.  They are a bit faster than me, but it is good for me to try to hang on.  I was just a few seconds behind them at the finish.   I was pleased with my result.   Time 3:48. 12 seconds ahead of my goal.

My second 800 was right where I needed to be at 4:00.  I was about 10-12 seconds behind the girls on this repeat, and I was perfectly okay with that.  This sprint hurt.  What got me through was having two girls to chase and knowing that I was done when I crossed that finish line! 

As I did my cool down though, my mind started to wander.  Over a year ago I could hold the exact pace that I just struggled through for 3.1 miles.  And there I was, comparing myself to myself.  

It’s bad enough when I compare myself to others, as this behavior only leads to self-doubt.  But when I start to compare current self to my former myself, self-deprecation sets in.  I had to put a stop to it. 

I am constantly changing and evolving and looking back to compare myself – whether my running times, or my weight, or my swimming times, or how much money I had, or how fun I had doing this or that – is not healthy. 

I am generally a very happy person, but when I start looking backwards instead of forward, I have to reign in my thoughts.

I keep a gratitude journal and each night I write what I’m thankful for and give myself goals and a daily mantra for the next day.

After last night’s track workout I wrote the following:

I am thankful…
… that I had a great day at work.
… that I got out of my comfort zone and did a track workout.
… that Dave’s client is very pleased with him.

Tomorrow’s goals…
…. Yoga
…. Finish lingering work tasks before the holiday weekend
…. Stop comparing myself to myself

Daily Mantra….
I am uniquely me right here, right now, constantly growing and evolving.  

Be well,
Carolyn

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3 Comments

Filed under Exercise, Healthy Living

3 responses to “Comparing yourself to yourself.

  1. Nice attitude. Sometimes you’re your own worst enemy. This happens to me on my long runs…”I should better than this…”, “I’m going too slow…”, “I could go longer at this time last year..”. Then I reign myself back and begin to enjoy the birdies, the fields, the quiet time and get into my tunes and boogie the miles away. Great advice. Good luck with the track workouts, I wish I had a group to help me push for my own…right now, it’s just me, the big lonely track and 2-3 stoners watching me from the bleachers.

  2. Wow that sounds like a lot of fun. I don’t think I have run on a track since high school.

  3. Pat

    Oh My SAFH…. You are unbelievable and so determined. Keep up the concentration and YOU will continue to do GREAT.. Dad and I are so proud of you! You are so committed. Love, Mom and Dad

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