Sharing vs. Showing Off

After reading this here bloggy, you might think that all I ever do in real life is talk about running. Ah, but it is not so. (Except for with my running buddies. We almost exclusively talk about running.) At work? With non-runners? I rarely talk about it.

When I was training for my first full back in 2010, all I did was talk about running. My husband and I would have never-ending conversations about pacing and breathing. Every single Facebook status that I wrote during that time included either a pace or a distance or a picture of me sweating it out after a long run. Even at work, my mind was one-track: running. This training cycle, however, mum has been the word. Por que? Because I feel like I’m a bragger!

From January to April, almost every single weekend I ran double digits and/or ran a race. I PR’ed 5 times (The Frigid 10k, The Trinity Levee Run, The Texas Half, Austin, and Big D). How many times can I wave the “I’m awesome flag” without driving everyone around me crazy? Maybe it’s because the first go around I wasn’t as confident in my running, so I didn’t feel like I was bragging. Now I think I’m hot stuff. (Just kidding. Sort of.)

I know that one-upmanship is definitely bragging. One-upping is when person a says something and person b (consciously or not) tries to trump them. For example:

  • Person A: I ran a 5k.
  • Person B: I ran a 10k.
  • Person A: I ran a 2:15 half marathon.
  • Person B: I ran a sub-2:00 half marathon.

My big brother is really bad about this. (That’s right, I’m putting him on Front Street.) His bff is married to a badass runner. (Badass as in, she doesn’t run races, she wins them, big ones.) Any time we talk about my running, my brother throws down that he knows someone who won Cowtown and runs a million miles a week and eats Boston Marathons for breakfast. He thinks he’s sharing, but really he’s showing off.

I try to avoid one-upmanship because it gets my goat so much. In fact, I like to leave my finish times out of the conversation unless the other person brings it up. We’re all different runners with different goals. No trumping is necessary.

I know that one-upping is showing off, but what about the rest of it? Where is the line between sharing and showing off? Do you talk about your running with coworkers/non-runners? Do you feel like a major bragger?*

15 thoughts on “Sharing vs. Showing Off

  1. I have a running blog simply because it gives me an outlet so I don’t have to talk about my running with coworkers and friends. I have usually found it really easy to keep my running life separate, but now some of my friends are getting into it too. I want to be encouraging when my friends say “oh hey, I ran a mile today!” so I don’t feel like I can tell them I ran 5 miles, or had an awesome speed work session, or whatever. I hate when people one-up me and it absolutely makes me feel like a major bragger!

    I think this is a great post!

    • I will say that blogging has alleviated some of my need to talk about running with my non-running peeps. I can get out every single running related thought here.

      Like you, I’ve had some friends and coworkers take up running. I want to keep encouraging them, but I definitely don’t want to veer into one-upping territory.*

  2. I read your posts and believe that every single word is meant to be positive and helpful. I think intention is a huge consideration when listening to someone talk about an accomplishment. Plus, you SHOULD be proud of yourself! You’ve done awesome things! I really only talk to others who I know will be proud of me too.

  3. I love to hear (or read) about someone who has PR’d or accomplished something fantastic. It motivates me to keep going, and to keep trying harder. I am not fast, I can’t run very far, but I hope to one day say that I can. And reading about others who can do it inspires me to keep lacing up my shoes. You have worked hard, and you should be proud to share that!

  4. Piss on them if they don’t want to hear it I say.* You brag all you want sweetie.

    • My work peeps have said they like hearing about running. I just feel like it’s allllllll I talk about sometimes. That is, other than you, Honey.*

  5. Love this! And after reading it…I can only thing of a handful of times where I’ve been talking about running and the other person has challenged me. Well what did you run it? and then yes! I beat you! I don’t care – I run this for me! Would I like to get faster, yes, but not so I can one up someone because it’s a desire that I have! I think there are plenty of runners out there that don’t try for the one upping of someone else, but with all good must come bad and the percentage of people who apparently thrive off of it….

  6. Great post. I totally understand where you come from. I think that is the beauty of having a blog or space where you can write down your experiences. I see my races as something I have accomplished and want to remember it down the line. It’s not out there for the world to sing my praises – it’s there for me to look back and encourage myself when the going gets tough. I struggle more with the other way around by comparing my runs to others and not wanting to post times because sometimes I am embarrassed that I am “slow”. But, I am learning to draw inspiration from other runners – like you! And, I have found that most of the running community is super encouraging. It doesn’t matter how far or fast you run, it’s about getting out there. Keep up the good work!

    • You should not be embarassed of your times! I love hearing about how much heart you have when it comes to running. (Not to mention how much you’ve been improving.) I’ve heard people say before, “If it took me x amount of time to run a half, I’d just quit.” It’s a mean thing to say, but I think it’s true. Not everyone has the drive to keep going when it takes longer. You’re a baller, don’t think otherwise!*

  7. I was kind of bummed when I recently posted on twitter that my husband got promoted 2 months early.. someone replied “congrats! my 1LT was promoted last month!” I was kind of like.. really? you could have just said “my boyfriend was promoted too.” but maybe I was just overlooking it. I was so excited for him and then I felt like I got “1-upped.”:/ I really try to not do that with people.

  8. I feel the same way! Running is such a huge part of my life and I want to share my running-related thoughts, accomplishments, and struggles on Facebook to communicate with my closest friends and family, but I am so concerned about coming off as a braggart to my acquaintances who might consider it bragging rather than general sharing/conversing.

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