The first question people ask me after a race: “So, what was your time?” Is it just me, or does this feel similar to “is this your only child?” Part of me thinks it’s no one else’s business, but then I realize that people can just go look it up anyway.
Sometimes, I’m proud to say what my time was. I ran my last 5K in about 9 minute miles, which was a first for me. Other times, I find some odd way to defer. In the Pittsburgh half, for example…I finished in 2:52. Guys – that’s about 40 minutes slower than my half marathon PR (thanks for that, IT Band).
There’s got to be some better ways to answer “what was your time” other than by apologizing for it…
RESPONSE 1: It was time for me to kick ass. That was my time. You can use this response for pretty much whatever time you had. Maybe you set a new PR and don’t feel like jumping onto your soapbox (although, I always do when I set a new PR…), or maybe you just don’t want to talk about what your time was. Finishing any race gives you bragging rights, and it absolutely means you kicked ass. Wear it proudly. Let people know.
RESPONSE 2: It was time for me to learn a lesson about running through ____. You fill in the blank. Running through pain? Running through rain that mimicked an Amazonian downpour? Running through snow and sleet (whatup, 2016 Cleveland marathoners?!)? Some races present themselves as lessons more so than a good time. My half in Pittsburgh this year taught me a very important lesson: You can run through pain, even when it hurts more with every step (some people would say that’s a dumb move; I currently disagree).
RESPONSE 3: I had a great time…celebrating my accomplishment and enjoying myself, that is. People don’t understand that races are almost always fun. Not everyone shows up ready to put themselves out for the rest of the year trying to beat a record of some kind. Some of us lace up, put on a tutu (or full blown costume – GUILTY), throw on the headphones, and enjoy the ride in beautiful weather.
Your race. Your pace. If you want to spread the word about your time, do it! If you don’t, there’s no reason why you should feel that you have to. Bottom line: running is your time for YOU.