There's something I don't understand.
I see a lot of people - recreational runners and triathletes, who are supposedly doing it for the fun and health benefits - who are disappointed after many of their races. They're mad at themselves, angry at the race they ran, disgusted at the time on the clock at the finish line - you get the picture. They stomp around and feel badly and talk about how "slow" they were and generally have a miserable day. Regardless of any objective measure of their performance - they complain and generally project a negative, sour attitude after the event. They usually manage to make it miserable for everyone around them, as well.
I have a hard time understanding that attitude. What's the point? It's not like most of us are running an Olympic qualifying race and just missed out by two seconds. Most of us aren't relying on the race results to pay the rent, either. Injuries are certainly annoying and aggravating, but most of the time that's not the problem with these folks.
Sometimes the people are fishing for compliments and reassurances that they're really not "slow" and that they're really athletes after all. Because being "slow" would mean that they're worthless people, I suppose?
Sometimes they're competitive types who aren't happy with anything less than first place overall. And even then they have to fault their own performance.
And sure, sometimes after a long hard event, you're just physically and emotionally exhausted, and need some time to recover and regroup.
But sometimes - most of the time, I think - these sourpusses are just determined to immerse themselves in self-pity and have a bad day. Frankly, to me, it often seems like plain old bad sportsmanship.
I just don't get it. Being a recreational athlete means - to me - that it's supposed to be FUN!!! If you don't enjoy it, why not pick a different activity that you do enjoy?
I can't remember any recent race where I was truly upset or mad at myself or sad afterward. Instead, I usually find myself exhilarated at the end, regardless of what the clock says. I did it! Every race has its own moments of fun and inspiration and teaches me lessons for the next one.
So what's the deal? Maybe some of my readers can help explain it to me? There must be some kind of personal payoff to this behavior, because lots of people seem to indulge in it quite frequently, but I don't understand what benefit they get out of it. It sure isn't fun to be around!
Are you a race sourpuss?