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Monday, July 25, 2011

The thing about groups

This is my second attempt at group training. I must say it's going much better than the first attempt. The first time around we only met once a week and were given a distance to run. Then everyone took off at different speeds and I spent most of the run by myself wondering why did I spent money on this adventure?

The thing about training by yourself is you only compare yourself to well, yourself:
  • How did I do the last time I ran this distance?
  • How have I grown over these last few weeks of training?
  • Ha! I'm totally beating that 70 year old walking slowly ahead of me!
But in a group it's more like this:
  • Hmmm they look like they're in much better shape than me.
  • Yep, I'm definitely the fattest one here.
  • They say they're a slow runner but they just lapped me for the second time.
  • Why is no one else sweating as much as I am?
No really, it's good for your vanity. It keeps you from getting too cocky about your awesome (to only you) 28:40 5k. When your PR is their easy run it helps put things in perspective. I guess it can initially be soul crushing to realize you aren't as good as your mind thought you were. But you can also approach it as another goal to reach for and a motivation to keep pushing.

For some this is the drive of competition but for slower runners we have to find our own competition because we know we'll never place in any race. All we have is our own PR's. However, if I surrounded myself with people that were only as "fast" or slower than me than I could start to be content in my abilities. Or if I continued to run alone I would think a 10 mm was the best I could do.

So I encourage people to join a group at least once even if you are the slowest one there. In this particular group I have one bright spot - there is at least one slower runner than me. She can totally kick my butt on the swim and bike but running is not her thing. Then again maybe she's just messing with my mind and on race day she'll zoom past me while yelling, "sucker!"

1 comment:

  1. I just joined a running club recently and have had many of those same thoughts!!