I will admit that I do most of my running alone. In fact, I like the solitary time my runs bring me – time to reflect and just be alone with myself and the trail/road surrounding me (running really is the best form of therapy). However, even on days I am tackling mile after mile alone I always feel as though I am part of a community. The wave I give to each runner I pass and their nod back, the way the social media running community cheers me on, the fact the some of my best buddies are running friends who I can share my ups and downs with. Even when I am running alone, I am never truly alone because the running community is a constant source of support and encouragement.
I guess that is why somewhere along the way my running/racing philosophy became what it is today – People over PRs! Now don’t get me wrong I still train to become a better runner, want to become faster and stronger, and still shoot for PRs. However, I have realized that when it comes down to it and race day is upon us I will always choose people over PRs. (Which is why my PRs usually only happen when I am racing alone and don’t talk to anybody.) I will happily give up a PR chance on race day to help out another runner. I don’t know if that is just what the running community does to me, or if it is the teacher in me wanting to help, or… who knows.
When it comes down to it I don’t look back and regret a single time I choose a person over a PR attempt. I don’t ever wonder what could have been. In fact the races where I choose people over PRs are some of my favorite experiences.
Like the time I dropped my PR attempt to stick with Sarah and help her finish her very first marathon. I think I cried more than she did at the Marine Corp Marathon finish line – I was so freaking proud of her. This girl is worth so much more than a PR and I would do it all again in a heartbeat!
Or, the time Debi and I walked Cecilia through the first half of Rock ‘n’ Roll New Orleans because she got sick. Making sure she was okay was so much more important than any race time. Cecilia is worth more than any PR!
FYI – I had never met either Sarah or Cecilia before that race weekend, but we had planned to meet up and I felt as if I already knew them through the awesome running community. It made my decision to stick with them simple. I never thought twice about it and given the chance I would do it all over again. Heck, I’ll probably do it for someone else in the future. People over PRs!
What is a time when you choose People over PRs?
How does the running community motivate you?