Judgement. I think it's inherent to us humans on some degree, to judge other people, "I'm better than them/ they're wearing that?/ Drinking that?/ That persons slow/ Your major is sooo difficult..." Stuff like that. But I think it's probably one of the most unhealthy things us humans can do. What does judgement accomplish? A little ego-boost? If that's the case, hurting someones feelings (by actually verbally judging) is not worth a little ego boost. And internal judgement has to have some kind of negative pessimistic narcissistic fault in the brain. I'm no full-blown scientist or nothin'.
Anyway. This morning I hopped in the Xenia Marathon (small, middle of nowhere farmland Ohio) as a training run, doing nothing special in preparation. I was a little burnt out of Tech/trail life, so I went home for the weekend. I was planning on doing 22 around my neighborhood, but Xenia was only an hour away and running long in Ohio is much easier with people. My decision was spontaneous and I was actually pretty excited and got brief pre-"race" nerves before the start line. The marathon scene is not my usual.
So within the first mile, I ran up to some 30-something year old and asked, "Hey man, what's the name of this race?" (I didn't know the name of the marathon...it never said on the website. I thought it was OHRRA or something but I was curious so I asked). The guy gave me an odd look (understandably), and said "Xenia Marathon. X-E-N-I-A." I responded, "Cool, thanks man." And ran off a bit ahead of him. Like five yards ahead of him. And I heard him laugh out loud and remark to his friend "This kid thinks this is a mile fun run, hahahaha." He probably thought he'd pass me in two miles. He didn't pass me at all.
I kind of smiled and ran ahead. But his remark kept creeping back into my head. This dude doesn't know me. He doesn't know I've run 10 Ultras, that a marathon is a "fun run" for me, and that I'm ending an 80 mile training week. I'm no better than this man, but his comment irked me.
I ended up having a great time at the race, talking to one dude in particular who was trying to qualify for boston, saying positive things to people along the course, and smiling. Having no time goals whatsoever made me enjoy the race. I was gonna pick up headphones but opted not to because I was having FUN at a race. It was much more FUN than the DEATH RACE. It was hot an I happily ran shirtless. Marathoning is certainly different than ultraing, and still certainly hard. It's no better than ultrarunning. Just different. And I enjoyed switching my routine up.
I met an older man at 50sforyomomma race in Ohio last May. He said, "One thing I've learned over the years is to stop caring about what other people are doing during a race. Don't judge anybody. You don't know if they're in the middle of a 100 mile week, or if their spouse just died, or if they're completely tapered and overly obsessed."
So. Don't judge people. At least catch yourself and correct yourself when you do. Something I work on.
|Mom and Pops came!|
|Got to see a lifelong friend I grew up with--Eric!|