The group I've been training with for nearly two years is quite a bit faster than I am, and that's why this little bit of THIS Rachel Toor COLUMN (not so much the rest of it) resonated hugely with me:
Despite my sense of invisibility, many of the women on the team welcomed me, and some even cheered for me as they zipped past, calling out my name as I slogged in after they finished their workouts. But still, I felt like I ran too slowly to belong and I couldn't stop myself from apologizing. I was ashamed and wanted them to know that I knew that I was slow.But then I go out and do local races like the Venus Run and wind up on the first page of results. (Never before have I been on the first page of results, which surprises and delights me to no end.)
Which puts me in mind of Amy Christensen's wise words from Expand Outdoors:
...A few weeks later I was at a different workout (with different folks) and assured them I was really slow. [Insert foot into mouth here.] It turned out I wasn’t the slowest. I wanted to take back my statement as soon as it dawned on me how inaccurate I’d been. I knew what it felt like to hear someone say they’re really slow, only to be much faster than me.
I’d been there and it sucks.
...When I tell myself “I’m too slow,” I limit myself—and miss out on the kinds of experiences that might push and motivate me to grow and expand.
These days, I’m working hard to stay objective and state the facts instead of trying to guess what pace a potential partner runs, then assuming what pace they think might be slow or fast (because really—that’s just a lot of assumption and subjectivity going on). I’ll simply state, “I usually run ‘x’ pace on trails and ‘y’ pace when it’s flat for about z minutes.”
It's a purely mental thing. I don't judge anyone else for their pace - just MYSELF. (Runner problems.) In fact, we all know better than to judge someone for their pace - you never know how far they have already come. To me, any runner, whether she is just getting into it or has been running for most of her lifetime, is welcome on the track or trail.
So really what I need to do is keep training, keep racing myself, accept that wherever I am is wherever I am, and HAVE FUN.
Speaking of fun (fun! fun.) on Friday night I watched one of my favourite bands, fun., in concert. (I am a music person. I am a running person. Strangely, for me, never the twain shall meet. Can't listen to anything when I run. Too busy trying not to wheeze. Also, deeply regret thinking 'I'm a poor grad student, I have no money, and therefore can't go see live music' while I lived in Boston - because Singapore is just about the most expensive place in the world to be an indie music fan. /rant)
Here is fun. ('all the pretty girls')
I've loved them since 2009 when they were a little baby band, and my husband and I walked down the aisle to 'The Gambler'. Twice.
Besides playing most of their second album and some of their first they also did a cover or two - I nearly lost it when they went into the opening sequence of 'Seven Nation Army' (by the White Stripes) and they covered 'You Can't Always Get What You Want' by The Rolling Stones. Too cute. I called their encore songs (theatrics! they were totally going to do at least one encore) but they failed to play Sight of the Sun - they'll have to come back, obviously.
I hope all the people who paid $70 to hear their two hit songs ('We Are Young', 'Some Nights') fell in love with the rest of the music by the end of the show. There was one guy standing in front of me. Tall. Clearly dragged there by girlfriend. If you don't want your view of the stage, I'd like it thanks.
Snippet of our conversation on the train home.
Friend while doing background research on ever-reliable Wikipedia: "Hey, it looks like they've collaborated with the singer P!nk."
Me: "What's with the exclamation mark in P!nk? Is that what she's calling herself now?"
"If you can have fun. with a period you can have P!nk with an exclamation mark."
"I never have fun with periods."
This week's workouts:
Tuesday: 5 x 4:00 (800, 800, 810, 810, 780m)
Wednesday: Swim training
Thursday: 6x hills
Friday: Bouncing up and down at fun. concert
Saturday: Bike clinic in which I wobbled around and failed to negotiate hairpin turns on my road bike + the rollercoaster Rifle Range Road + half-yearly dental appointment == enough excitement for the whole day and then some. I'm wiped. Goodnight.
Music person? Running person? Running with music person? Why? Why not? What do you listen to when you run?