Pace is of the ego . . .


In my YTT, our teacher shared the following quote:

Range is of the ego, form is of the soul

My take on that is that especially now, in the age of Instagram and Facebook, we’re all after that perfect looking yoga pose. The perfect headstand, handstand. Arm balances, Inversions. You know: those really cool looking poses. Put more simply: it’s a fancy way to say keeping up with the Jonses.

The problem is that those likes and follows feed your ego, not your soul. Instead of thinking about how far you can bend, twist, or fold, you’d be better served thinking about whether or not you can breath in your pose. Without breathing, you die — so why would you want to do something that makes breathing hard — for the likes?

Fairytales and Fitness

Don’t worry, this isn’t a yoga post. I think that quote can be applied to many things. Running, absolutely. Only substitute “pace” for “range”.

Racing allows me to challenge myself — but you have to be careful not to let your ego take over

We all love a good pace
Myself included. I’m not going to win a race, and most likely I’m not going to place in an age group, either. So pace shows me improvement. Or does it?

Sometimes pace shows that you’re improving — other times it just shows you’re pushing yourself. Pushing is good . . . until it’s not. Pushing the pace at the expense of form is never good, although almost everyone’s form deteriorates as they get tired.

You may push a few weeks, a few months, a few years . . . unless you’re also paying attention to form (how you run), and making sure you’re not running faster at the expense of good running form, someday it’s mostly likely going to come back to bite you in the form of an injury.

Where else does ego show up in your running?
There are lots of other ways ego can show up in your running:

  • Running too many days in a row
  • Ignoring rest days
  • Trying to run through an injury
  • Coming back to running too soon after injury/illness
  • Running at the same pace you were pre-injury when you start running again
  • Racing too often
  • Running in bad weather
  • Not willing to take walk breaks when tired because “real runners don’t walk”
  • Racing a distance you know you’re not prepared for

Think about where ego shows up in your running.

Do you think your ego ever caused an injury?

If you ever ran through an injury — how’d that work for you?

Where else does ego show up for you?

20 thoughts on “Pace is of the ego . . .

  1. I would add

    Not running with certain runners because they are slower

    Not running challenging races because it will slow your finish time.

    But I do think however that all the things you mentioned are what most runners do because we are runners. That’s what runners do even if we know we shouldn’t. And it’s NOT because of ego. IMO

    At least I have. Lol.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha I’ve run through many injuries ( almost every one of my “first” Disney races) because I had already paid the money and wanted the experience.

      I never understood the IG gals who randomly have to show off their yoga poses. Like “look at me in line a Starbucks and I’m just going to break out a yoga pose”. But then again when you are not “into” something i guess you cant related. I suppose yogis are proud of their poses just as runners are proud that they ran 3 ( or 13) miles, when others who are not into running probably think ” so what”….haha.
      Thanks for linking up Judy.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I would say mostly I haven’t run through injuries because the few I had were just too painful when running!

        OTOH, I have definitely run when something bothered me — usually, though, I’ll check in with the chiropractor to get her $.02 on whether or not it’s a good idea.

        IG. It can be used for great good — and great evil. So easy to get sucked into that chase for likes.


    2. I have definitely run with slower runners and done a lot of really challenging races. My ego shows up in different ways.

      I would (obviously) disagree on ego — the not taking walk breaks is a huge one and that one is definitely an ego thing. It’s not always ego, obviously, but often times it is.

      Ego comes into all of our lives, in different forms.


  2. I wouldn’t mind a yoga post …. I have been guilty of this. I’m not sure it’s ego, but maybe fear – fear of taking a rest day instead of doing the workout, fear it will impede my training when really it’s working when I’m over tired that is the problem. I have a friend who quit running when she couldn’t keep the pace she wanted. She couldn’t take being “slow”. :-O

    Liked by 1 person

    1. At some point I will definitely post some on yoga. Right now I’m deep into finishing up the course material — and studying for the written test. We covered a LOT of material.

      I am definitely guilty of this one too & it’s so silly! I would argue that fear does come from our egos.

      That’s sad about your friend. Although if it wasn’t making her happy, why do it? It’s just sad that pace is what it was about for her — if I were really that hung up on pace I would have turned to a different form of exercise a long time ago!


  3. You know very well the runners’ mentality. My ego caused many injures and these are my main mistakes: ignoring rest days, trying to run through an injury and coming back to run too soon.
    In my case becoming wiser while getting elder is not true.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m sure you’ve gotten wiser is some way!

      Sometimes we just have to go through stuff. It’s not always easy to know why at the time, but sometimes when we look back we realize something from it — sometimes from decades later!


  4. Wow! Such a great post, Judy! You have really given me something to think about. I get into trouble when I compare my race times now to what they were earlier in my life (maybe 10 years ago). Of course, that is all about ego, and I wind up being disappointed and discouraged, rather than thankful that I can run at all. Thanks for the gentle nudge in the right direction. I need reminders now and then! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I have gotten over the pace thing the past few years.Comparing myself to someone else who is a different age and in a different place, is not going to help me at all! I am sure my ego led to some of the injuries I’ve had in the past. Definitely learning experiences!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I still enjoy working on my pace. Even if it’s turtle slow. 🙂 Maybe you need to run by HR too? Then you definitely won’t be worrying much about pace, LOL (just wondering if the run will ever finish).


  6. I’m too paranoid of injuries to let my ego control my running…I have zero shame in taking walk breaks, or shortening a run if things feel off. I was talking with a guy, though, a few years ago, during a tough 13.1…we’d given up on “running” the entire race and were doing run/walk intervals for the last few miles. He told me of a friend of his, who at about mile 20 or so of a marathon, pulled out and took a DNF…all because this friend didn’t want his “less than desirable” finish time published. HE’d been gunning for a PR, and when he realized it wasn’t happening, he was done…even though he wasn’t injured or having any issues (other than a shattered ego). Isn’t that crazy???

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That is such a sad story about the guy. I have had many races where I was hoping for a PR, and maybe fell a little short — or a lot due to race day circumstances — but to date there are no DNFs. I hope there never are!


  7. Been there, done that…I had a terrible first marathon and instead of letting my ego push me hard, my ego was so wounded that it took me 3 years to do it again. So stupid…because I ran 26.2! Even if it was slow and not my goal time. I won’t lie, my ego is hurting now that I am slowing down. The blogosphere is having none of it, and that hurts too! Can I mourn my previous self?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey, you can do whatever you want! It’s your life, not anybody else’s.

      I would say though think about why you started running in the first place — to help with anxiety, right? Is it still needed for that? Is it still working for that? Just food for thought.

      Change is never easy, good or bad. 😦 Hugs.


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