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.
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.
…. Finish lingering work tasks before the holiday weekend
…. Stop comparing myself to myself
I am uniquely me right here, right now, constantly growing and evolving.