Still Just a Little Competitive

An awful lot of gray on top of this runnah


It shouldn’t surprise anyone that I am a crotchety old fart and that I haven’t completely lost my competitiveness.

The truth is I don’t think I am all that different from a lot of other older runners, who are also still very competitive.

Just because we have more salt than pepper on top, doesn’t mean we are no longer competitive or that we have gone into “ease” on down the road mode.

You may have read about some of my competitive adventures. “That” training run in Central Park, the time a 20 something passed me and didn’t acknowledge me on the Tiffany Road or my infamous treadmill gotta keep pace ego run a little while ago, along with a few many others.

Those “training” runs really give a good impression of what I mean when I say that “I am just a little competitive!”

The other person probably didn’t even realize what I was doing or considered me one of those “annoying” old farts trying to be more than he is.

In truth, looking back I was using them to improve my workout – they were just an excuse for me to do better that day.

Peter Golding Memorial 5K 7-28-12Racing

Yes I did actually run some races last year and while I did far better than I would have ever expected to have done. I can hear it now what do you mean that you are still competitive?

“Harold you can’t and don’t compete with the young guns or even other old guns, they kick your butt ALL the time.”

My response to them is that the races were not really about competing with the other runners.

Who do I compete with?

The biggest competition for me, is – me, myself and I.

I don’t go to a race with the idea – hey today I am going to win my age group or beat a certain individual, is not why I race or run.

When I have earned an age group award it has always been accidental. It usually happens as a result of having a super good day (which are few and far between) or more likely the other runners who are better runners than I am (and there are many), were racing somewhere else that day.

I go into a race with the idea of a goal time that I want to achieve and work hard to achieve that time. My competition is pushing me to meet my goals.

Other Runners

There is the challenge of competing against other runners and I do enjoy that part of racing. Without a doubt I want to go out and attempt to finish ahead of Jen, Sarah, Amanda, Erik, Mark and a few others, but I also know that I have bust my butt to do so, because they are busting their butts to make sure that I don’t.

Running and competing with others, especially when I know them, is just added motivation to do well and helps me to continue to improve or at least attempt to maintain (which does get tougher as you get older – just the way it is).

However, I think that I am like most runners, the biggest competition is with ourselves.

Surprise, Surprise

So if you happen to running along and see a gray-haired old fart up ahead and you go by without acknowledging he or she exists, run beside them on the treadmill or attempt to pass him/her at the end of the race (especially if they know you)…

Don’t be surprised if suddenly you see that old person’s form suddenly improve – dramatically, that there is an intensity on their face that wasn’t there a second ago and he or she flashes that little smile, gives you “the look”, and whispers more to themselves “let’s go”, then does their best to kick your ass!

I have a feeling if they can’t keep up with you, they will be the first one to shake your hand and say “GREAT JOB!!!”, but if they catch and pass you, they will give you a shy smile and say “you almost got me this time, next time you might just do it”. Knowing full well in the back of their mind that they will keep working their butt off, to do their best to ensure you don’t.

The reality is that you need to

Be careful around us older guys and gals, we might surprise you. Once upon a time we might have been a little better runner than we are today and for a moment, we might try to re-live some of our glory days and you might be admiring our derriere.

After all we are just a little more competitive than you might think and every once in a while…well lets just say we might surprise you.

What do you think about getting “Grayzed”, is anything like getting “Chicked”?

I know when I was younger, I hated it when some gray-haired old fart passed me or I couldn’t catch them.


Are do you have a little more salt on top than pepper, are you still competitive?

6 thoughts on “Still Just a Little Competitive

  1. For some reason this made me think of the tiny race (seven entrants) where the guy in his 40s said “show off” when I passed him. I’m a 61 year old female.

    Yes, that was a day when the whole universe of faster runners were somewhere else.

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