Reading Carla’s recent post about taking her ego out of her race brought two thoughts to my mind.
First—Carla is a wise woman. But we all knew that.
Second—ego has not been my friend in racing over the years.
I started out in triathlon and running races over 16 years ago. I had a pretty good start, too, which set me up with all kinds of aspirations for my racing future.
Who knew what I could do with some hard work?
So I set goals and started chasing them.
Most I was able to check off.
I felt pretty proud of myself. I cared, quite a bit, about who I beat in races and where I placed.
Enter the racing ego.
Then I set my big marathon goal and started going hard after it. I came close a few times, but couldn’t quite get there.
Still, I was confident I was capable of that number, and dammit, I wanted to be able to say I had run a X.XX time.
Then my body started rebelling.
I started getting hurt. I had pretty severe anemia.
I wasn’t achieving my big goal in the midst of all that. I got so burned out by the marathon distance that I still don’t know when I’ll go back to it.
My ego got the best of me.
It was driving my racing, when the driver should have been my love of running.
Looking back now, a little wiser for the wear, I can see that.
But I learned the hard way.
The ego-centric tendencies are always going to be there, I think, but if I can let it go (cue the Frozen soundtrack), my racing will be so much more enjoyable. Not only that, it will be healthier.
If I see you at a race in the future, I’ll be the work in progress.
Not at getting faster, necessarily, but at letting go of my ego.
Amanda is a freelance writer, running coach, and the voice behind the MissZippy1 blog, a site for runners seeking a fun exchange of all things running. Her philosophy is running is a lifetime learning journey and, after 16 years, she’s just getting started.