A man by the name of Eliud Kipchoge set a miraculous time last October for the distance of 26.2 miles: 1:59:40.2. It was his second attempt for a sub 2 hour marathon. To bring it in, he had to shave 1 second off each of the 26 miles. Seems easy enough, but to lose focus for that one second could add seconds to each mile instead of shaving them off.
Kipchoge did it by picking a location he felt comfortable with, in temperatures that were peak for his running and with rotating pacers to keep him focused. Since it wasn’t official race, he didn’t qualify as an official world record. But he ran 23 miles in a row at a 5:19 pace.
Seeing as how I can’t run 1 mile in 5:19, I am suitably impressed. I am not chagrined, however. When I see a runner like that, I am inspired by what we can do. I don’t feel lessened because I can’t do it.
Kipchoge was already the dominant marathoner in the world. But he thought he could do better. And he did. I can certainly improve myself in my little corner of running.
I don’t compare my times to anyone but my own. So many things play into what kind of runner we are–genetics, determination, amount of time training, where and how we train. Frankly, I don’t want to run a sub-20 5K.
I like to enjoy my races. I go for the comradery, for the different courses, and to do better than I have previously. I really don’t want to spend the money and drive time just to run for 18 (or less) minutes.
I am always trying to increase my times and have better runs. But I don’t worry that my times are as good as someone else. My nephew is a foot taller than me, has 25 years on me and loves to train. I would be nuts to try to compare my time to his.
I freely admit I like to see where I place–and I am hoping to keep it in the top quarter of the racers. I look to see how far off I was from the person above me in time. But I don’t feel competitive with their time, only with my own. Keeps me much happier 🙂