Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Runner's Envy

The other day while eating lunch, one of my co-workers said that she has "runner's envy". I've never heard of this term before, and as I set out every day on my painful multi-mile runs, I couldn't imagine anyone being envious of me. But once I thought about it, it occurred to me that runner's envy is pretty common. Even I have a mild dose!

Runner's Envy is what it sounds like - when you're envious of runners. Even if you're a runner yourself, you can have Runner's Envy (and personally, I think it's more common if you run on a regular basis!) You may see another runner that's faster than you. Another runner that's clearly in better shape than you. Another runner that's running further than you. Another runner that has nicer gear than you. It could be any single attribute that another runner possesses that you don't, and it can totally throw off your confidence.

A few weeks ago while I was out on my run, I came across another female runner who was a lot faster than me. She was on the opposite sidewalk from me, but going in the same direction. I saw her come up out of the corner of my eye and blast right by me like it wasn't a big deal. Even though I had no idea who this girl was or what kind of runner she was, I was jealous and began to doubt myself.

What if I'm not good enough? 
What if I won't be able to accomplish my running goals? 
Maybe I should just quit while I'm ahead.

But then I realized - I don't know who this girl is or what kind of runner she is. How she trains has no effect on how I train. Maybe she's faster than me, but can she run long distances like I can? Is she training for a marathon like I am? Is running her main fitness focus like it is mine? I'll probably never know, and once I realized that, I felt liberated and could easily focus on my own run and training.

Every runner is different. Every runner has their strengths and weaknesses. The trick is to stay focused on yourself and what you need to do in order to accomplish your goals.

1 comment:

  1. I most definitely deal with runner envy on a daily basis! There are so many people that running comes easy to and others that would never attempt it, then there is me somewhere in the middle.

    The only thing that really gets me through is making it a competition with myself and no one else. Eventually, I will get to where I want to be. Unless we are talking cuter workout gear... then I am at a loss, and need to step up my game.