More than almost anything, we want to know ourselves. We judge ourselves, sometimes too highly, but most often, too harshly. Whether our self-assessments are kind or unkind, they are a barometer of sorts to where we are and where we want to be.
We adjust accordingly.
Racing does that for runners. You can learn a lot of things about yourself by running or walking a race. Beyond the unique experience of actually participating, you can learn and play with strategies like going out fast and hanging on or trying to stay steady and even throughout your time on the course. You can begin to get an idea what a mile feels like. When you run a timed race, you get a time against which you can compete at the next race. If that race is down the road, it can give you a really good idea how well your body is responding to the training schedule you’re on. (Adjust if necessary). Maybe you actually went too hard and had a scowl on your face as you crossed the line – run slower next time.
It goes deeper than that too. You find out something about your mental game and how you might have psyched yourself out of a better performance.
The list goes on and on. What are some other things you think about and learn when your walking or running?