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Are you in the R.A.T. Race?

Most of us are recreational runners and we take up running not to win any medals or prizes but mostly for restoring our good health.  Many of us also take up running for a sense of achievement while others like the strong social bonding that occurs amongst fellow participants in feats of endurance.  Many runners being achievers in other aspects of life, the group energy amongst the running community is naturally very high.

Runners in their day to day lives are running the proverbial rat race of the commercial world. They have high pressure jobs with tight deadlines, hectic travel schedules and all the stress of a corporate life.  Running for them is a mental release and a daily meditation in their otherwise stressful lives.  But soon the running bug catches many and they start taking up various ambitious goals. They soon start running longer distances and other such running challenges. Many travel to various running events in other parts of the globe.

Slowly the inevitable comparisons are drawn of performance level and often a single parameter for comparison is the time taken to complete a certain distance. Recreational runners who otherwise should be happy with a decent time for a decent distance suddenly want to either run longer distances or run the same distance faster.  The entire focus then changes to training for speed.

Relationships and social pecking order within the running community are then based on the timings of each runner.  A new caste system soon emerges where the 3 hrs marathoners smirk at the 4hrs marathoners who in turn smirk at the 5 hrs marathoners and so on.

The moot question that arises is, “In trying to escape from the rat race why are you now in the R.A.T ( Race Against Time ) race?”

Watch this space as we explore this paradox in detail.

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