Saturday, October 16, 2010

Put Your Egos Aside and an Ike Update

Yesterday: 7 miles recovery at 8:46 pace
Today: Rest day, maybe 3.5 miles this evening

Thursday morning I did a track workout.  Like most distance runners, I never look forward to track workouts, because it isn't very fun and it requires effort.  While a leisurely hour long run is relaxing and never leaves me too winded, a track workout (done correctly) is exhausting and uncomfortable.  Also, it has been so long since I did any regular track work that I had to guess what pace would be good for me.  I decided on a ladder starting with a 1600 (7:19), followed by a 1200 (5:23), two 800s (3:27, 3:29) and a fast 400 (1:36) to finish for a total of 3 paced miles.  As the distance decreased, I aimed to increase my pace, which I was (happily) able to do.  This part of the workout was a success.  However, I am not sure I pushed myself enough and next time I will have to aim for a faster pace.  I guess I at least have a starting point now.

So a funny thing happened to me on the track.  I was running on UT's recreational track (i.e. not for the varsity...) and the ROTC groups were doing a morning workout.  A bunch of marines were running paced laps on the track.  I know they were marines because of their shirts.  I start my workout with a 1600 and in a few laps I find myself right behind one of the marines.  We were running almost the same pace, but his was a little slower than my goal pace, so I move to the outside and try to go around him.  He speeds up.  I stay on the outside for a while, in lockstep with him, and then fall back behind.  He slows down.  I try to go around again and he speeds up.  When I go to do my 1200m, the same thing happens!  I end up behind this guy (now running with his buddy), their pace is slower than my goal pace, I speed up to go around, and they both speed up boxing me out!  This same thing starts to happen on the 800m, but by now my pace is more than 20 sec faster per mile than in the 1600m, and I am able to pass the guy without any yo-yoing, although he attempted it.

Its one thing to try and pass someone in a race, but a track workout?  We weren't even doing the same workout!  I think that this guy was embarrassed by the possibility of being passed by a female runner.  I've had similar experiences in small races, and some guys will even come up to me after a race and ask me in a confrontational manner questions about my training and race preparation.  Now don't get me wrong, I realize that most runners, male or female, would never fall into this category.  But for those of you out there like my Thursday morning track buddy, here is my message: Put your ego aside.

The truth is that on any given day, there are plenty of people who are slower than you and also people who are faster than you.  We all need to accept that.  It doesn't mean we can't push ourselves to reach a certain time or place goal in a race, because we should all do that.  However, it does mean we should be courteous to other runners, in races and training.  Don't underestimate someone simply because of their gender, age or physical build.  People are faster than you (and me!) and that's okay.  Runners on average are one of the friendliest and most open groups of people, so I know this doesn't apply to everyone.  Don't let yourself get overly competitive with someone because they are "supposed to be slower" than you.  We can't all be the fastest, Usain Bolt has that one covered.  That is, until someone beats him. Oh wait, didn't Tyson Gaye already do that?

Amanda, walking on the rocks at Bull Creek
Ike swimming in the water
Ok so now I think we all need an Ike update.  The weather this past Sunday was very pleasant and I convinced my boyfriend that we should take our very best doggy buddy, Ike, for a hike.  We picked him up from his Dad's house and drove to the Bull Creek Trail near Old Spicewood Springs road.  This is a very pretty, wooded trail of about 3.5 miles that runs between a ridge and a creek.  There is lots of tree cover, the sun was shining, the creek was running and Ike was delighted!  We walked for about 15 minutes before coming to a rock ledge along the creek with a waterfall.  Here it was deep enough for Ike to swim, so we hung out for a while and let him play in the water.  It was very pretty, as you can see!
Ike focusing on a target rock for his "fishing"

After a very short time, Ike realized that he could pursue one of his favorite activities here - fishing for rocks.  He began finding target rocks, big and small, in the shallow area of the pool.  He uses his paws to dig them up and then carries them in his mouth to safety.  I captured this with pictures, but feel free to check out a video I posted earlier of him doing this at Walnut Creek.
Ike digging for a rock
Ike moving the target rock to its new home

That's all for now!  I'm planning a long run for tomorrow morning and I'm thinking 12 miles.

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