I had no manners back when I was a novice runner.
People would tell me about a great accomplishment — a 5k, half-marathon or marathon — and I would inevitably ask a coarse question.
“What was your time?”
I didn’t know that, just like weight or age, the time in which you finish your race is personal.
Your race time cannot be compared to the results of other runners. It’s apples and oranges. And when someone asks you for your time, it’s either out of naivete or because they want to compare your results to someone else.
Those comparisons are for suckers.
But that being said, I blew my planned marathon time by an enormous number. Ugh. After paying for four marathons and running two, I was happy to finish. It’s an accomplishment. But I aggravated an old injury at mile 15, and my analytics dashboard shows how much it hurt my overall time.
While it still sucked to miss my goal, I am okay with the experience. Why be mad? I saw friends all over the place. I met a few new people, too. For awhile, I ran with a former NFL player who hurt his foot. He was fifty-one years old and told me I look 29. He also told me that I should just be happy that I was doing the impossible.
I thanked him for his motivational speech and passed him.
I accepted water and hugs at the Black Girls Run water aid station around mile 25. I stopped looking at my watch. I crossed the finish line smiling, but then I saw my time. Ugh. The final marathon photo sums up my failure to achieve my time-related goal.
(Christ, I need to lighten up. I’m just short of having an Al Gore failure beard in this photo.)
But the race is over. I’ve already picked my next marathon. I didn’t fail. I tried my best. I finished. That’s what counts.
But please quit asking me — or any other runner — about my overall time.
I would rather talk about my weight!