Sunday, January 6, 2013

Competitive... Stalker... It's A Fine Line

Hello. My name is Brad. And sometimes I get a little caught up in competition.

This is hard for me to admit because most of the time I'm not an overly-competitive person. I play most games, sports, etc. with a primary goal of having fun. Win or lose, as long as I'm having fun and doing my best, I'm happy. But that's not always the case. Sometimes, I get a little caught up in the rush of competition and do things I wouldn't normally do. For example:

In the winter of 2011-2012, I ran the St. Louis Track Club's Frostbite Series. It's a series of five races that you can enter one race at a time, or you can enter the series and compete for an overall place in your division. You get points based on how you place in each race and at the end of the series, they give awards based on your point total from all of the races.

I've run this series before and I always track the points of people I'm competing against in my division. It adds a layer of fun to the race when you know who you're chasing and who is nipping at your heels. But I usually just check names in the results report each week. I don't really know who to look for when we line up for each race. Last year was different.

I was competing for the top spot in my division and when I checked the results, I noticed that the guy I was chasing also lived in Eureka. There was another guy about my age, in my town, running very similar times, and we were competing for points in the Frostbite Series.

So, of course I looked him up on Google.

(Hanging my head in shame.)

I wanted to see what kinds of times this guy usually runs so I was looking for other race results. What if we've been in the same town for years and have been racing each other without knowing it? I also hoped to see a picture so I could look for him on the starting line so I knew who to keep up with (it seemed that he was a little faster than me).

I realized this probably wasn't normal and Liz definitely made fun of me for stalking this guy online, but that didn't stop me.

In the end, he won the series and I placed second. I had a new runner to keep an eye on and life went on.

Then, last fall, I ran a 5K here in Eureka. While I was waiting at the starting line, the guy from Frostbite turned to me and said, "Hey, Brad. How's it going?" He recognized me on sight and started some small talk. Maybe I'm not the only one that's a little competitive. I don't know if he just paid attention during the Frostbite Series or if he did some internet searching of his own, but he knew who I was.

Jump ahead to this morning. I was out for a run on the new trail that connects to Kircher Park. On my way into the park, I passed that same guy as he was running out. Again, he recognized me (this time, I didn't recognize him at first) and said, "Hey Brad! Not running Frostbite this year?"

Not only do I feel a little better about taking notice of my competition, I feel a little better about my internet searching (definitely not stalking). That night, I had a friend request from him on Facebook. Of course I accepted and Liz and I had to laugh at how much I seem to have in common with this guy based on his profile.

Hopefully, we'll meet up for a run sometime and I look forward to some more races with him since he seems to be running better than I am right now and it'll give me another reason to push myself.

Goal For The Day: Easy Long Run.
Distance: 5.44 Miles.
Time: 41:41. 7:40Avg. (7:28, 7:22, 7:49, 7:44, 7:50, 3:28*)
Route: Kircher Park Trail Loop.
Conditions: 40 degrees. 2:24PM.
Run Details On Garmin
Run Details On Nike+

Notes: My hamstrings felt really tight early but loosened up later in the run. I'm still feeling a little mentally lazy. Much warmer today. It was nice to shed the tights. Nike+ tidbit: 2.64M less and 0:10/M faster than the average of my last 7 runs.

Nike+ Badge: "Talk About A Triple Threat. You were active 3 times this week.
Daily Miles: 5.44 Miles.

2012 Totals:
  Run - 13.19 Miles.
  Bike - 0.00 Miles.
  Swim - 0.00 meters.

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