May 21, 2012

Scoping out age-group competition. Do you?

This weekend was like run heaven for me, and there's so darn much to write about that I can't squeeze it all into one post. If you are like me, you probably have about .2 seconds to read this post in between wiping poop off the floor and putting someone in time out, so I'm gonna split the goodness up. Plus I only have .2 seconds to actually write it in between the excrement cleaning and such. Did I mention we are potty training twins? Lots of feces on the brain. You're welcome.

First, I have to catch you up on how training went at the end of the week.

Friday: I ran 10 miles on the gym track in 1:17:14. I was really excited about trying to run faster and faster miles


These are the splits. I have to count my own laps and press the lap button after each mile (nine laps), and I may have messed up on mile 8 because it seems out-of-place fast. My average heart rate was 156, and the highest was 173 with my sprint to the end. I need to figure out my maximum heart rate, but just from monitoring my rates with no scale to judge them against, if I hit 160s with my heart rate, I'm starting to work pretty hard. If I'm in the 170s, I'm hauling, for me. You know how speed is all relative.

Saturday: my main goal was to get in a trail run. Preferably a 10 miler, but I wasn't sure where we were going and what the trails would be like. We picked Red Mountain Park because it's newly opened, and we were slightly familiar with it from the Birmingham Track Club's Resolution Run. We got about 7.5 miles done in the park, and I ran down the street to try and get an even 8. My brother said he'd drive down to meet me at the end of the street, which made 8.12. I was tempted to have him drive .88 more to even it out again, but that made me feel kind of like a creepy running type A-er. Instead, I tried deep breaths and letting that uneven training number evaporate with each exhale. I almost had to bust out a shavasana right there in the street.

Source

The pace was super easy at Red Mountain. My watch said we took 1:35 to finish the mileage. My brother's Runmeter app that auto-detects stops and pauses for you said 1:06, which means we stopped a lot to look at signs and take pictures and recover from falling on the flattest parts of the trail (that would be me).

So my two highest mileage days would obviously lead to a half marathon the next day, right? No rest for the crazy.

Sunday: Trail 21K (or 19K, still not sure which it was) in 1:59:02. Pace felt great with enough energy to push at the very end.

Monday: my workout was putting on super tight compression shorts and sucking in all day. And a BodyFlow class. And an unknown amount of walking on the track, until I got called down to the kids' club for an incident. You guessed it. It involves poop ... and walls. The sweet gym ladies told me that he was trying to wipe with a postage stamp of toilet paper.


But enough about training numbers and really tight shorts (and hopefully poop). This weekend at the trail run something interesting happened to me that I'd never had happen before this race. I was coming in on the home stretch, and a girl beside me asked how old I was. When she found out I was in a different age group, we both laughed when she said jokingly that I could go ahead. Another friend at the race said something similar happened to her that day as well. Again, kind of interesting.

So usually in a huge race, like any Rock n' Roll race, I never pay attention to how old people are around me. Plus, with the different start times/waves, you could bust your butt racing someone to the finish who started twenty minutes ahead of you. So really, it makes no difference. In smaller races, I tend to wonder slightly more about age groups of people because there is always a higher chance of winning an award, but I'm not sure if I would ever ask someone during a race how old they were to see if I should try and haul it to pass them. Would you? Have you? Would you ask straight up or would you try to slyly get the info out of them? Like by asking what year they graduated from high school to see if you have any mutual friends (wink, wink). Or by asking them what their favorite cartoons were when they were kids. If they say Gummi Bears, the race is on like Donkey Kong.

Just wondering how competitive this blog audience is during a race.

Have you ever been asked how old you are (by someone trying to figure out if you're in the same age group) while racing?

30 comments:

  1. WOAH girl, that 10 miler was speedy!! Nice work on picking it up at the end.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Great pacing!
    Nope, no one asks me my ago - just pass me my walker and let me by, whipper snappers!

    ReplyDelete
  3. ROFLOL - (*wiping tears from eyes now*) - ahem,.... no, I don't ask people how old they are, and they don't ask me. I am not a threat to anyone running. However, as an outsider looking in, I think I would find it kind of obnoxious to be presented with the conversation you were presented with - "you can go ahead?" Seriously, run your own race, chick. I think that would have been my response. ;) Really, though, for me running will always be an internal thing - how I am doing, am I meeting my goals, am I beating my PR (if that's how I roll that day). I don't worry about what other people are doing in running.... I just don't have that competitive edge, I guess.

    Now for something positive to say - very nice runs! I can't believe all the mileage you pound out and the speed you have. It's a gift that you are obviously working hard to hone! Very cool! Keep it up! Glad you are running more trails. They're fun, aren't they? :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have to admit that even though I politely laughed when she asked (you know how southerners are), I was a little shocked that she would be that forward with her intentions. That last part of that sentence made me feel like I was in a Jane Austen book. But really, the rest of the trail racing crew seemed so laid back and like one big team instead of competitors, so I think that's why it shocked me even more. If it had been a road race, I might not have been as surprised, but I was not getting that every-man-for-himself vibe from this race up until that point.

      Delete
  4. Way to work on your speed! I have used this test (http://www.runnersworld.co.uk/general/heart-beat-finding-your-threshold-heart-rate/182.html) with my coach on a treadmill to find my max hr.

    As for asking ages, I used to complete in triathlons which would announce your age on your calf for the world. However, I have never asked in running races because of chip timing and if I am racing a race, I really am racing myself and to slow down because I have "secured" a spot would be letting myself down.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for that link! I'll have to try that.

      Slowing down because I feel secure in a race would not be an option with me either. So far that hasn't been a problem because I never feel secure.:) I paid money to enter the darn thing, so I'm going to get my money's worth of running until I feel sick.

      Delete
  5. I had a lady squat down in front of me to read my bib a couple of weeks ago. Other than age group info, I can't imagine what she wanted.
    I've had almost daily poop cleaning of the canine kind here lately. Thankfully not on the carpet.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Carpet and poop are not a good mix! Luckily this house has wood floors. Thank goodness!

      Wow, squating to read your bib seems even more awkward than just asking.:) And why would they put your age on your bib?! Was it a race without chip timing? So maybe it was easier to sort the numbers at the end?

      Delete
  6. I've placed in my age group in a few local races, so I definitely "look around" more during races, especially as I approach the finish line, but I use other people at the finish as motivation, regardless of age or gender. I'll sprint past guys, kids, much older people. It's a RACE. If I have enough energy in my to sprint, I'm sprinting, even if I'm solo ... I want the best time possible. Asking someone their age, to determine if you want to beat them or not seems ... rude? Catty?

    I also do races with friends, so of whom are in my age group, including one who is very similar to me in pace. I like to think we use it more as motivation than competition. Sometimes I finish first, sometimes my friend does. Either way, we congratulate and support each other no matter the outcome.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree that I'll race anyone to the finish.:) It's fun to sprint together to the end. Like you, I usually see it as extra motivation to move a little faster, not necessarily that I'm trying to beat them. And I love sprinting at the end. No matter what, I want to feel like I worked hard to get to the finish.

      Delete
  7. You sure have a lot of poop in your life! he he he!!

    I don't think I'm to your level in running. I've never been asked by anyone in a race how old I was and I've never placed in a top category. People must look at me and just assume they're going to beat me. ha ha ha!! At this stage in my running, I'm just trying to race against myself and my previous times. I do love reading about this, though, as it helps motivate me!

    Good luck with the poop!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This was definitely a first for me! The whole individual challenge is what I love about running. Racing yourself is the most motivating part, especially during training!

      Delete
    2. I totally agree about the racing yourself. I am not a competitive person but I do enjoy challenging myself and seeing what I am capable of doing. I don't really concern myself with what the runners around me are doing - I only hope they're having a good time.

      Delete
  8. Never been and and never asked. I didn't know there was a gummi bears cartoon, that must mean I am older than you:) Good luck in the potty training. You will be so happy to be past the diaper stage! Although with 2 dogs and 2 boys (10 and 12) there is still a lot of poop talk in our house:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Gummi Bears wasn't on air very long, so it's a good one to weed out other age groups.:) If someone said Looney Toons, it could be any era!

      Good to know that the poop talk will carry on! With three boys, I better start getting used to it.

      Delete
  9. We are just about to start potty training our son and not looking forward to it. yucko! I think it's kinda crazy that someone would ask how old you are. I don't know. I don;t like it! WHat if you were the same age? Then I guess she would have started sprinting ahead of you. Kind of awkward

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good luck with your potty training!

      I wondered too what we would have done if we were in the same age group! Awkward!

      Delete
  10. wow...i am impressed that you can do 10 miles on a 9-lap/mile track. did you get dizzy? seriously, impressed. i guess you gotta do what you gotta do when you have kids and you want to run!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Gross, right?! It's not small enough to get dizzy, but just small enough to be annoying.:) If running didn't make me feel great, I would never do that.

      Delete
  11. GAH to potty training twins! We are finally done with diapers here, thank frickin' goodness.

    Great 10-miler too!

    I am super competitive but I sort of just let the cards fall where they will. I don't scope out anything before, just during and after. I try to pick people off at the end. ;-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Congrats on saying goodbye to diapers! The earth will really appreciate when we are, and dang, they are expensive.

      Delete
  12. Never asked or been asked. However, in small races, I do scope out the chicas around me trying to determine if they are 30-34 or older/younger. Big races, I don't have a shot in hell at AG placement so I don't care.

    ReplyDelete
  13. The only people I scope out are those running around me. If they're too far ahead of me to see them, then I know I probably won't catch them. If they're behind me, then I will try not to let them pass. I never expect to get age group awards, but when I do, it's a pleasant surprise. :)

    ReplyDelete
  14. I've never asked someone's age and no one has ever asked my age at a race. Truthfully, I never even paid attention until I won my AG in a 5K. From that point on, I have been more attentive to runners at the start line, but I will never ask someone's age, IMO, that just screams insecurity. Just do you, and run your race.

    I feel you on the potty training, just stick with it and stay consistent! Lil' boys are hard to potty train, they just don't mind being dirty, and will sacrifice pooping in their pants for extra play time (at least ours did).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, all three of our boys have few qualms with some poop in their drawers. Seriously, that can't be comfortable!

      Delete
  15. I never comment on posts but...I cannot believe someone asked your age during a race! I just wonder what she would have done if you were in her age group??? Maybe tripped you up or something! P.S. I love your blog!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm wondering the same thing! I wish I could rewind time and answer differently just as an experiment.

      Delete
  16. Um, yes! That's why I love triathlon - you wear your age right on your leg, ha ha!

    ReplyDelete

Yo Momma loves comments.