Monday, November 7, 2011

No Harm, No Foul (the blog post I probably shouldn't write)

Every once in a while I come out of my 'box' and write something that isn't necessarily PC.  It is sure to offend someone (or make them mad/aggravated), but it is not my intent.  Its just that sometimes, conversations, thoughts or opinions I have move from a private sort that I might have with one or two people at most, become so annoying to me that I just have to come right out and write about it.

After having a few people I knew run the NYCM yesterday, there was one in particular that I was interested in seeing how they did (and no I wasn't tracker stalking anyone; just either saw a friend of a friend post something on FB about the finishing times, or went and looked up a result or two when their FB walls were silent).  Let me preface this with the fact that this particular person is not one of my favorite people to begin with and is a classic example of all that I loathe about people who 'train' for a half or full marathon and just don't seem to grasp the concept of one thing. 

You are supposed to run faster on race day than you do in training, otherwise that sign on the fence or the Estimated Finish time on some pull out poster saying X:XX isn't going to freaking happen.

I knew simply running with the 4:15/4:30 group all Summer didn't mean I was going to finish in that time in Chicago.  I was upfront that I had not trained like I did the year before, I had a lot of extenuating circumstances/stress this year and I hadn't run nearly enough weekly miles every week, opting to cross train more, so I knew.  And I owned it.

I also know that given all of that, had I gotten cold weather on race day I would have actually been pretty darn close, lets fact it I did better than I thought with that 4:42! 

Because I know that on race day I need to run 45sec or so faster per mile that I do on Saturdays.  That simply running with a particular TRAINING PACE group isnt going to end with that goal finish time. 

So my point is this because I see it time and time and time again with a few people actually, where they also train in the 4:30 pace group (or other groups to be honest) and continually finish either in the 2:25-2:35 range for the half (should be closer to 2:10) and always way over the 5 hour mark for a full marathon.  But yet always come away with the bewildered look or lingering questions as to why.

I see these people showing up for hills or speed workout like its their job, never missing a single mile off of their schedule and looking down their snooty nose(s) at me and yet...still I manage to become a bit more faster and achieve goals that I havent even really set for myself.

I will be the first one to say that NYCM course is tough.  Its a lot of hills, mostly rolling, but you do have sections where it truly sucks.  I remember when I was training for NYCM in 2008 I ran A LOT of my training on the 5 mile loop around the bayou, doing many of my long runs which would include anywhere from 2-3 of those 5 mile loops. 

Its not like Chicago where you can train on flat routes and be ok with that on race day.  NYCM is a different animal altogether.  People hill train like crazy for Boston, and anyone will tell you that NYCM is way hillier than Boston.

And because I havent done hills, I can't expect a miracle in Dallas either, because I know that course is hilly.  Starting to run hills a month out isn't going to help me either.  But I digress.

My point is that regardless of how slow, fast, etc. a person is, one should be realistic.  Its ok to be fast.  Its ok to be mid-pack and its ok to be slow.  Speed is relative to each person. 

Bottom line is own up to the fact that you...YOU are the only person responsible for the fact that you probably will never beat X hours at the marathon, and you wont ever beat X hours at the half.  You just aren't. 

I'm not going to lie either...when I saw her time I laughed my ass off (apparently she also had that friend of hers delete it from Facebook). 

Because no matter how much better (of a person) you think you are than me, and no matter how rude or snooty you are...there is one thing I take pleasure in (not a good quality I know) is that I can beat your ass at running. 

At the end of the day, what you put in is generally what you are going to get out.  Granted one never knows what is going to happen on race day (thats unavoidable!), so even if all your training goes perfectly, there is always the off chance that any number of things can happen out there. 

But when you consistently finish in the same times over and over again? 

Then its all you.  And you need to accept it, or do something differently. 

But for the love of God quit pretending like you either don't 'get it', or that its ever going to be any different. 

I'd put all my money on the latter.


Jamoosh said...

A couple things:

Kenyan Way is generally for the people who get it. Although, like you, I notice there are plenty of people who don't get it.

I mostly run with the 4 hour group and I don't think people actually practice what is on their schedule (ie, run the last # miles at marathon pace).

Dallas WR: When I ran White Rock the uphill in the first half seemed much tougher than the second half. In the first half it just seems like you keep climbing and climbing and every time you turn a corner - you have to go up again. In the second half it's over and done and then you get a nice easy downhill over the last 3.5 miles or so.

Junie B said...

Thanks Jamoosh. I know that I am not the only one that sees it, but if you run 11:10-11:30 pace on Saturdays then run that SAME pace on race day? Um...and I looked at the mile by mile splits and gotta hand it to them, they were consistent with that pace. So again, there was NO effort to go faster than what I see every Saturday.

Also, not sure when you did DWR but I think the course has changed since then maybe?

I did the half last year and have done RnR half which is the same basic course and I remember where the hills are in the first 8 miles of that section (not too bad)...beyond that i have no clue until I get to the DP hills before hitting that coast on in to the finish you speak of!!

Lisa J said...

I think this is the first time I've commented on your blog- but I've been reading for about a month. I absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE this post. I have someone who I was running with all last year and then I got much faster than her. She blamed it on my height, I'm 5'11, and although I pointed out all the people who are SIGNIFICANTLY shorter than myself, yet can breeze by me, apparently that wasn't good enough.
I finally got fed up and told her its because I want it more than her and I'm actually willing to push myself come race day. Like your friend she is slow, but consistent... really consistent. Something is wrong when you are running the same EXACT times 1 year later- at the very least you should be a little faster just because your body is so used to the distance.

I truly believe that part of your training is completely mental- that's what separates the fast from the slow- until people grasp this piece, they'll never change

Junie B said...

Lisa! thanks for reading AND commenting!!!

funny enough is that when i moved up a pace group from 'them' to train, thats when I really started getting the cold shoulder etc. not that I already didnt feel like I was less than 'some' people.

I dont show up at freaking dark thirty every saturday to talk about my week, run the minimum pace, and then go eat all the calories i just burned off at a restaurant afterwards to gossip some more.

Congratulations on YOUR improvement!!!!

Lesley @ said...

It's really simple to me. If you don't race faster than you train, then you're training too fast. Recently Runner's World published a training schedule to train for a 2 hr half. It's crap, because I can train those paces, but they are too fast for *my* training and beat my body, then nothing left for race day.

Anonymous said...

Don't let this other person bother you. You train, you run your race, you accept your results. That's what matters. Not what anyone else does.