Do You Run to Compete or Complete?

Hey friends!

As I write this on Sunday evening, I am still thinking about the ING New York City Marathon. I found out it was cancelled on Saturday morning. In fact, while Joanne (my running buddy) and I were running earlier, we had been discussing it and how we could not believe it was still going on. When I heard the news, I was shocked, not that they cancelled but that they waited so long. The logistics and safety of everyone just never seemed possible to me. I’m sad for the runners. I know I would have wanted to run it SO badly if I did all the training. But really, we should all be putting our thoughts, emotions and efforts to those who suffered the worse (and are still suffering).

I saw an awesome picture of hundreds of runners waiting for the ferry to Staten Island, not to run, but to help in some way in recovery. Check out this article and video from Runner’s World to see how some runner’s even ran a mock marathon around Central Park. But really, we should all be putting our thoughts, emotions and efforts to those who suffered the worse (and are still suffering).

If you are interested in helping, here’s a list Christine posted yesterday

For those of you looking to HELP, DONATE or VOLUNTEER, here is a Facebook page that’s aggregating information about volunteer and donation needs for Sandy relief efforts.

  • Please consider donating to the Brooklyn Recovery Fund.Brooklyn Community Foundation – a great local philanthropic organization – will administer the fund which will respond to the immediate and long-term impacts of Sandy and serve as a flexible source of grant funding to local nonprofits for the rebuilding efforts. Having worked in the nonprofit sector for over 10 year, local organizations are often the ones that are best suited to help meet the specific community’s needs. 100% of every donation will be used to support storm recovery efforts in Brooklyn.
  • Alternatively, Waves for Water is coordinating a full-fledged relief initiative focus on the coastal communities on the East Coast, particularly in New York and New Jersey.

Do you run to COMPETE or COMPLETE?

Joanne and I did 10 easy miles on Saturday. It was our last long run before the Seacoast Half Marathon. We started discussing what our goals were for the race. Joanne mentioned a quote she’d heard from someone, “I run to COMPLETE rather than to COMPETE.” While I know that I’ll never be the fastest runner out on a course and will probably never win a race, I do feel like I am more than just trying to complete the race. I’m competing with myself.

How much I can push my body.

How fast I can make my legs move.

Can I PR on this course?

Of course, I’m competing against other runners, too. I like to pick a color for a race, say pink. I’ll look for a pink shirt ahead of me and will aim to pass that person. Once I do, on to the next pink shirt. It’s not only a way to motivate myself to keep going but to also keep my mind busy. We all know running is just as mental as physical.

I never liked putting my goals out for everyone to see before. But since this race, I’ve begun to see the benefits of putting it out into the universe. So what are my goals for the race? My training plan has me hitting a sub 1:47. While I’m feeling really good, I’m not  super confident I can achieve that. I’m going to try my hardest for it but will adjust as needed.

A Goal: Sub 1:49 (a new PR)

B Goal: Sub 1:50 (current PR)

C Goal: Sub 1:53 (time on same course last year)

This week is all about the taper and taking it easy. And of course, carb loading. 🙂

Do you run to COMPETE or COMPLETE?

31 comments on “Do You Run to Compete or Complete?

  1. Great post. I think so much of the mindset these days is complete, not compete. I come from an era of running (dating myself!) where everyone was competing. And that’s my mindset, no doubt. Mostly I am competing with the clock, but of course, passing gals in my age group doesn’t hurt either!

    Thanks for the great list of NY resources!
    misszippy1 recently posted..It can turn on a dimeMy Profile

    1. I totally agree! Some people are happy with just completing and not pushing themselves. I’m not! My body was made for movement so I’m going to do just that as much and as fast as I can. 🙂

  2. Even if I try to make the goal “complete” my competitive nature inevitably takes over in the days before a race. I can’t always run fast, but I try to set a goal that makes sense from my training, health (injuries), etc.
    Coco recently posted..Why I Love November RunningMy Profile

  3. I usually want to just complete, but at the best of my ability. I’ve run (at the most) 14 miles, but haven’t done an actual half marathon those runs I’ve done were just to finish and be proud of that accomplishment. When I race my first half in 2 weeks, it’s to compete – with myself – to hit my A goal, hopefully 😉 Happy Monday! FFA <3
    Kat recently posted..Motivational Monday – Featured Sneakers #8My Profile

  4. I definitely run to compete during a race. Even if I’m trying to not think of it as racing and being competitive, I am very competitive with myself. But, I do like the idea of just going to complete it, to enjoy it rather than make it all about time. Maybe there’s a happy medium….

  5. It depends on my mindset at the time of each race; sometimes I use races as training runs, but for the most part I am competing against myself of course and it doesn’t hurt to place in my age group or if it’s a tiny race with no one it, it’s fun to win! 😉 Good luck on your race coming up!
    runwiki recently posted..Nature SpeaksMy Profile

  6. It depends on the setting and circumstance. When I bring a group of clients to a race, my main purpose is to help everyone through the experience in a way that uplifts and emboldens them. Those are my “completion” events. But a couple of times a year I’ll do a race just for me and that’s all about “competing.”

    I do the same thing as you; choose someone in the distance and try to run them down! It makes it fun. The person I’m racing, of course, has no idea I’m coming for them, but that’s okay!
    Jonathan Aluzas recently posted..Fitness for a Lifetime: Don’t Forget to Turn YOUR Clock Back!My Profile

  7. Ah! Thanks for writing this, I love your perspective, I too have chosen colors (often pink though anything neon can also be a target!) I realize that it is rare that I’ll run to complete, I’m competitive with myself on long runs, track workouts and tempos, it’s hard not to be competitive both with others and myself during races. But to me, that’s part of the fun of it. I know I won’t always have this much time to train so it is currently my prime time to give it all I’ve got.
    MegG recently posted..Paleo, my body, and marathon trainingMy Profile

  8. I guess it depends on the distance. Anything over a half and I’m stoked to complete. If it is shorter I start to get competitive with myself.

  9. I have only done 2 races so my goal for those was just to complete them. I feel like I did really well in them in seeing how hard I could push myself. I compete with the clock every time I run. Nothing makes me happier than getting a trophy from my Nike+ app whether it’s a new 10k pr or a 1 mile pr.
    Adrienne @ Happy Ramblings recently posted..November GoalsMy Profile

  10. Such a great post and question! I think that publicly, I say that I run to complete but internally, I definitely run to compete – with myself. I usually have some goal in mind or at least a previous time that I want to beat or a pace I want to keep. In either case, I think that it helps me get through the race. I love your “game” of picking off one color at a time during a race!! And thank you for sharing the NYC resources here. xoxo
    Christine @ Love, Life, Surf recently posted..Blogoversary and Erica Sara Giveaway!My Profile

  11. Interesting!!! I think I probably fall more on the “complete” side at THIS point in my running (still recreational), although I AM competitive, with others and with myself, so there’s a bit of that in there, too 🙂
    Meredith recently posted..FlossMy Profile

  12. Such a good post 🙂 I run to COMPLETE the race and COMPETE with myself. When I first started running it was only about completing the race/run I had set out to do. Now when I race it’s about trying to do better than I did last time. Sure along the way you choose someone to try and “beat” but that’s only to help keep me motivated in the race. I am competitive but more so with myself than anything else.

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