Sunday, January 30, 2011

What do you do when you run into jerks on your run?

I help out at a Learn to Run clinic at one of the running stores in my city. I enjoy seeing people improve and people that say 'hey, this is something I want to do for me', and admire that they want to come out and get into better shape. I think it takes a significant amount of guts to come out and try to get into shape, particularly if someone has not been terribly active before.

After our last run, a bunch of us were talking, and we talked about jerks that we come across when on a group run with the Learn to Run groups. Not people in the group, but when we are out and there are people saying stupid things, or to imitate us running (I guess that's what they are doing anyway). And it bothers me because the people I'm running with are working really hard, and worked really hard to get where they are, and to have people belittle that is beyond frustrating. Most of the time it's something that people can shrug off, but one of the girls that also helps with the group was saying that when she was running with someone in the summer some jerk said "pick it up fatty" when they went by, and she had no clue what to say. She did talk to the woman she was running with, but I think that's one of those things that would be difficult to just ignore and shrug off, and it's hard to respond to in the moment. And while I can say that she's probably doing more for her health than this jerk, and that she is doing really well, and working hard, and she's accomplished a lot, I think if you're starting out, it's hard to believe that. I think it's easy, after you've been running for a while, to forget how hard it is when you start, and how you need that support group, and it's easier to shrug off jerk-y comments, when you're comfortable and confident with your abilities, but, it's a lot harder when you're just starting and your run is just a little faster than what some people walk.

So my question is - if you've ever run into a jerk when runnning, what do you do? What did you do when you were first starting - did it bother you? Did you shrug it off?

Sunday, January 16, 2011

New year, new goals

So, if you've heard any rumours, I'm not dead. Since my last post, not much new has really happened.. Christmas came and went, and I ran a couple times with my dad. I'm back on track with running which is good - being in a group again helps, and I'm running with the Learn to Run group (I'm a group leader person), which is nice. I find it motivating to be running with people that are learning. And hey, if people that are just starting to run can get out in this weather (lake effect snow, frigid temperatures, regular snow, wind), than I should be able to, too. Plus it's so catching their enthusiasm to be running - which is really helpful for me since I was in a bit of a funk.

I bought a pair of Vibrams (the bikila variation) - the store I had to get them from just had a shipment come in on Christmas eve, so I picked up a pair, I think on the 27th. I haven't actually gone running in them, or even gone outside in them. There's actually someone in my running group (not the L2R group, a different group) that has a pair he's been running in, in the winter, but I haven't yet. I'm planning on pulling them out when it gets a bit warmer, and start walking in them, and then maybe do some of my short runs in them. At this point, all I've done is wear them around my apartment.

The new long distance running group I'm in seems to be working for me. It's run by a person in one of the local running groups, and she seems to be a good coach for me. Lots of information and drills which are new for me, but in the long run (no pun intended), will probably be good for me. And she's helping me fix my stride a bit, which will be good long term as well. And I like that I have a personalized schedule. The only thing I don't like is that they don't meet to do long runs together, what with everyone doing different distances, I guess. But for me, that's one of the most useful things about running in a group, because long runs are easier when you have someone to run with. At least, I think so. But! never fear, my dad has agreed to run with me, at least for now. I run to my parents place, and then we do a run together. So far it seems to be working. And it's nice to be running with someone. So today I did 15k (13.5 of those with my dad) in one of the parks here - the paths are groomed and they are actually in better condition than some of the sidewalks so the footing was pretty good. And there were lots of people out running which was nice to see. It felt ok. The times weren't very steady, and some of that was me, but also was a bit dependent on the footing, wind, and when we took our water breaks (since I didn't stop the garmin). All in all, though, despite the temperature - 9 C (16 F) and the windchill of -17 (1.4 F) the run went pretty well. Yes it was long, and in parts windy and bitterly cold, but overall it felt good, and that's all you can hope for in the winter, I think.

So the goals for this year are basically one goal - to knock some time off my times from last year. The first race of this season is coming up at the end of February, and I don't think I'll be much faster in that race - not due to distance (it's a 10k), but because of the footing. While everything is plowed (or rather, most places are plowed) winter seems to slow me down because even with yaktracks and everything else, I do slip a little if it's not clear road. So we'll see how it goes. But I'm hoping to get my 10k time under 50 minutes (ideally between 45-47 minutes, but we'll see), and my 5k time under 25 minutes (I want around 22 minutes, but again, we'll see what happens). And for my 1/2 marathon time to be around 1hour and 50 minutes. I have a couple (possibly 3) this year, so hopefully through the year I'll get faster. Here's hoping to a good year, and an injury free year!