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Sunday, May 3, 2015

My Competition!

When I line up at a race these days, I am competing with 4 groups of aged runners:
1) The old guys who are not there. They have either never chosen to run, never wanted to compete, have been competitive, but have had some injury(ies) that don't allow for running, or were told that they shouldn't run any more by some dumb ass doctor, and chose to believe that. I win instantly...
2) The old guys who run for fitness 3 or 4 times a week for a half hour or so. They appear at races and either run the same speed they always run at, or worse, decide to run fast without any sense of pace, and I virtually always pass them around 2 kilometers into a 5K or 10K as they start to fade. If you don't practice some speed work in training, you don't really have a sense of pace or the will to hold a hard pace and suffer. Racing hard takes suffering practice. I always beat these guys....
3) The old competitive runner who has run 30 years or more like me. I can usually out train them, and am willing to suffer in a race for my art to a much greater extent than they are....I usually beat them as well.
4) The new old competitive runner who has been running for less than 15 years. I can rarely beat them. They just have the fresh legs, the recovery ability, and the absence of orthopaedic problems that guys like me have. At the occasional race where one of them shows up and beats me, I will always talk to them after the award ceremony, and I always hear the same thing......"Oh, I started running three years ago or so, and have just been racing for a year or two"...
Had a good week of running again for a total of 45 kilometers with two days with good intensity. Will get in a shorter week this week, as I have to get Deb in to see a gastroenterologist on monday to get the kit and instructions, and then on thursday to get scoped from throat to toes. She is doing so so much better, but we just have to go thru this to insure there are no ongoing problems in her eating mechanisms.....
My good friend, great runner, and cross country coach Chris was over the other day and was talking about Bill Rodgers. He was saying that if he was that slow, he would not be running. I reminded him that I am still running, and am slower that rodgers is at age 67. He said that that is fine for me, but Bill has this legacy. I told him that when he is Bill's age, if he is still running, he will be running about a third the miles he is running now, and at least a 30+% slower pace. He just made a face. So many runners quit when they start to slow precipitously.I quit racing in my late 40's when I kept getting beaten by runners who I had beaten for 15 years. My ego just couldn't handle it. But I got the chance to move away and reinvent myself with little pressure because I was running with people who didn't know my history. Then I got to do it a 2nd time. Bill will never get to do that, and with a bit of edgy amusement, talks about the people who wear shirts at races that say "I beat Bill Rodgers". So, like me, he has to remember his PR's and think, did YOU ever run that fast?

2 comments:

TerribleTerry said...

It is kind of amusing. When I was in high school I was a cocky little shit. Then I went to college and looked at those high school kids that we were recruiting and thought..."cocky little shits!". So if I ever can get myself fixed and running again...you're saying that I might be 60 yrs old and looking at some 55yr old who only recently started running (but can beat me) and I'll be looking at this 55yr old and saying "cocky little shit!

Terrible Dad said...

You got it son......