Thursday, June 2, 2011

Gazelle versus Barney Rubble

"So a Gazelle, a Kenyan and Barney Rubble walk into a bar…"

Sometimes it’s hard to feel graceful on the run.  It’s hard to feel fast.  

I run with some wicked good runners.  They’re stellar.  I mean, my regular posse typically AG’s at the local races.  And I’m not talking about those 5K’s with 18 runners signed up.  I’m talking about a 1000 runner charity 5K.  I’m talking about some large club races.  These are seriously serious runners I run with…

Someone recently said something to me about my MTT team choice.

If I was overly sensitive I would be hurt by what was said.  But I wasn't really.  Because it was mostly true.

I am probably running on a team that is qualified as the slower MTT Intermediate group.  This doesn’t bother me a bit.  My GBA posse and I signed up for the team to be with El.  Could we have “qualified” for the fast team?  Sure.  All but one of us could have.

Guess who the ONE GBA is who doesn’t have a qualifying time?

That would be… me.

No worries though.  I could have done one of two things.

I could have encouraged, or insisted, that the GBAs run fast with SNOT.

Or I could have asked the MTT coaches for an “allowance” or presented a 5K time, and I suspect they would have put me on the fast team.  I chose not to do that though because I’d rather be the “fastest” (not literally THE fastest) on the slow team than the "slowest" on the fast team.

Still, what was said to me was, “I am worried about 3L.  How in the world is she going to run with you?...” (awkward pause)

I had to chuckle.

I know 3L is fast.  

Everyone in the 50-55 year old A.G. in Richmond knows 3L’s name because she’s always there at the top of her group.  She beats me at every race we do together.  It’s not like it never occurs to me that 3L could leave me in a hott minute.

But I looked at the person who said this to me and replied, “I'm not holding 3L back.  We've been running together for more than a year now.  She chooses to run with me & the gang, and on the days she wants to run fast, she does.  She hunts down some poor red shirt and chic's him.  I don’t worry about her."

That said, I'm not here to hold anyone back.  Including myself.  3L will run where she wants, and I will run at my (awkward pause) pace.

I'm still not going to sign up for the fast marathon training team in an twisted or confused effort to "get faster", because being the sweeper every week for 23 weeks seems counter productive to my goal of building confidence and becoming a stronger runner.


Jen said...

Love today's post. I feel this way when running with TG or riding with the DCTri group... but they are my "coaches" and are happy to train with me. Come race time... it will be a whole different story... but I will have a HUGE crowd cheering for me at the finish line (because they have already finished!).

Anonymous said...

I have never run with a group of people before. All this talk makes me curious

fancy nancy said...

I haven't run with a group before but I know that when I played softball I always wanted to be on the best team...not because I just wanted to win but because my game rose to the level of the people around me. I would think the same would be true of a running group. You rise to meet the company you are with. I would say go with the fast will rise up! ARE fast!!!

Shellyrm ~ just a country runner said...

I have never ran with a group. I do struggle with the local runner's idea of how I run. They usually don't want to run with me because they think I am fast. Hardly. Just because I run a lot doesn't mean I am fast. They think I only run long. Just because I am focused on ultra distances doesn't mean I only run long. It's odd how people limit themselves. My local runners could be really missing out but not making an effort to run with me. Gee I do run lots of different paces and lots of different distances.
Maybe the few who have ran and raced with me will help spread the word.

Sue said...

I completely understand how you feel about being the last person each week on MTT. While you feel that being "sweeper" for 23 weeks is counter productive for yourself, one thing to remember is that you ARE out there each week. Even though I am/will be the sweeper each week, I know I am proud to be out there. I will be doing something each Sunday morning that others can only dream about. Fast or slow... it doesn't matter. You are a strong runner and a role model that us slower runners look up to. Don't let others say get to you.

momof3 said...

Sue - I certainly appreciate what it feels like to be the sweeper every week. I have been in those shoes. When I say it's counter productive, I did not mean that it's counter productive to everyone. Some people like to be the sweeper - they like to push themselves to stay with a faster group. I do that M-Sat with my GBA posse.

I am excited about MTT, for the simple reason that it's NOT ABOUT SPEED.

Sunday Funday MTT is about being with other runners, making friends, meeting people to train with during the week, asking questions, bouncing ideas, having companionship on the long hard runs when the going gets tough, doing Will Ferrel impersonations on riverside drive, discussing books, and training for one of life's most rewarding experiences... 26.2!

"Remember that time..." It's going to be EPIC! or fun. one or the other will suffice!

Mom's Home Run said...

Is this the post?

I never run with groups. They make me nervous, and I can't keep up, which I find embarassing. Who needs the aggravation! I've got my kids to get me aggravated.