The Internet is great, partly because of videos like this and partly because it encourages discussion and opinions.
I read a blog earlier about how runners should stop caring about PBs, and embrace running for running’s sake more. How, unless we were training for the Olympics, times were somewhat immaterial. I take no issue with people running for pure enjoyment – I think that’s wonderful, brilliant, super and to be encouraged every single day. Don’t get me wrong, I love to run for fun: I love to run with my friends, I love to runch and I love to take in the sights of new cities with my trainers, but I take real issue with poo-pooing running for PBs.
I’ve always been very competitive, very goal orientated and would really rather win at pretty much everything I do. These were pretty destructive traits growing up, as I got incredibly upset when I wasn’t the best in the class and very jealous of my friends who were better than me at anything. I’m over that now (just about…!) and accepted long ago that actually it wasn’t possible to be the best at all the things… ever. But it’s been channelled – positively! – into wanting to be the very best that *I* can be.
No, my PBs aren’t incredibly fast and no, I’m in no danger of ever competing at the Olympics, but they mean an awful lot to me. To me, they represent lots of hard work. My marathon PB represents 18 weeks of pushing myself harder than I thought I ever could, and really gritting my teeth on the day. I earned it, in the same way that people earn a promotion or whatever at work. And that’s another thing: I’m young, and my “career” hasn’t quite sorted itself out yet. Trying as hard as I can with running and triathlon is my way of channelling my inner drive to do well whilst I haven’t quite yet got the opportunity to at work. I’m sure that once my career takes off, running will become less important; less of an outlet of my competitiveness.
Running for me is, and always will be a hobby, and I’ll always run for fun. But my fun comes mostly from doing as well as I possibly can, and I’m not sorry for that.
*I like PBs of the crunchy and smooth variety. Other nut butters are available, and are equally, if not more, delicious.