down and out

This pretty much sums up how my running has gone this week..

First off, I had to take Monday as a rest day (from running, at least)-as my legs were just spent from the weekend. As a result, I missed out on what was described by many as a very fun run…(though it may have been a good thing I skipped the ice cream…I sure as hell didn’t deserve it with 2 holiday dinners with the family that week.)

Speedwork on Tuesday was a disaster. The workout was on the Great Lawn Oval-3 x 1.02 miles, then 2 x .51 miles. Intensity?-“as hard as we can.” I was barely hanging on to half-marathon pace by the end of the mile repeats, and the half-miles weren’t much better. It was a very humid night, but jeez…it *is* mid-September, shouldn’t I be acclimated by now?

Then the LTR on Saturday. It did not go well for me at all. The irony? I was actually doing my job!! (Which was pacing the 9:30 group for 11 miles.) All the 9:30 pace leaders were broken up into 4 groups and I was with 2 others (who had done this before too.) I made it perfectly clear-I wanted to run 9:30s. Period. The first mile started off on pace. Then…deja vu of the last LTR. I began really struggling with the pace, and falling way behind the other 2 leaders and a good chunk of the group. The 2nd mile split looked too fast, and I yelled to the other runners that if they were ahead of me, they were going too fast-shocker, no one listened to me, not even the other pace leaders. The third mile sucked too and I was wondering if I was going to have to drop back to the 10’s for the next loop-as I could not keep the pace (not that there was anything wrong with having to drop back a group-but there were a lot of pace leaders for the 10’s and barely enough for the 9:30s) The third mile split was again too fast and by that time I had had enough. I yelled again that whoever is in front of me was going too fast-and that they should run ahead to the 9:00 pace group. Thankfully by this time, some other runners finally agreed with me and pulled it back. Shocker of shockers, we were right on pace for the remainder of the 6-mile loop.

However-the fact that the “rabbits” of the group ended 2 minutes before I did meant that they were departing for the 2nd loop just as I got to the transverse-so I had to tell the Flyers acting as marshalls that I couldn’t leave right away and explain the situation. I was told that “everyone’s going fast, they’re just excited, deal with it.” Sorry-but I don’t want to “deal with it.” If I wanted to run 9’s, I would have paced the 9 minute group. Plain and simple. And besides, these runners expect to run 9:30s and I’m sure will complain if the pace is too fast. Plus that made me feel that my efforts to do the job right and stay on pace just are not appreciated. For the 5-mile loop, I just waited for the next group of 9:30s to come in and joined up with them-thankfully, the group stayed together and on pace for this loop (or so we thought-all the mile markers had been taken away!), then I was done!!

(Just an FYI-i know-especially for the “newbies”-that pace leading isnt the easiest thing. It took me a couple of LTR’s to get it down, but once I did, things were fine!)

This run was a big ego-crusher…again, if 9-9:15ish miles gave me trouble, then how do I ever expect to run a good half next week? And 3 years ago, 9-9:15 miles would have been considered easy…I wish I had those days back.

Well that was the “down,” the “out” is that I am sorta feeling on the outs with my running club. I feel like I am missing out on so much, running-wise…I can’t do most of the group runs, because I am too damn slow and I just cannot hold on to the pace. Back when BCG used to co-lead the Thursday night runs, at least I knew she and I would stick together-but she is back in Chicago. I’m not training for a marathon, so I have no need to do 18-20 milers out of town on the weekends-but it seems like the majority of the club is in marathon training. I do what I can, but I still feel a little left out. Kind of makes me wonder-where is my place?

What to do, what to do…


13 thoughts on “down and out

  1. Oh come on. You can’t seriously be claiming to be the club slow poke! At a 9:30 pace, there is plenty of company, not to mention folks that can’t keep up. Your club loves you and respects your awesome speed!

  2. ummmmm……ditto!

  3. Johnny-i’m not really claiming that, but it is frustrating that I consistently get dropped on runs-unfortunately, i think only the faster runners seem to go to those…NSA-yeah, but at least you’re training for a marathon…you’re more “in” than i am…

  4. Sorry about the LTR. I had a feeling you were angry with your fellow pacers. You are right–pacing isn’t easy. The thing that I have a hard time understanding is why NYRR doesn’t separate groups by quarter minutes rather than half minutes. B/c we weren’t going nines at all. But not exactly 9:30s either. It didn’t help that half of our group kept pushing ahead. Not that that is an excuse–pacers should hold the pace no matter what. But yeah–apologies here.

  5. I thought that too, but then another teammate of ours pointed out that if the groups get broken down further-we’d need more pacers-he’s right.I think I was more annoyed at the fact that the “speedsters” pretty much got off scot-free, they’re so admired for being so fast, meantime the one who tries to do the job right (me) feels like I did something wrong.Considering I had bad experiences at both LTRs this year, I will definitely think twice before pacing next year…

  6. I was told that “everyone’s going fast, they’re just excited, deal with it.” Sorry-but I don’t want to “deal with it.”I totally agree with you there. That wasn’t cool. Rotten luck that you got (literally) dragged into that.It really bugs me when I see runners who ruin it for everyone else (never mind themselves) because their egos make them aspire to be…*** “HEROES OF THE WORKOUT” ***Yeah.

  7. I wouldn’t volunteer to pace anymore if I were you. It doesn’t sound like NYRR really cares whether people train smart, which makes for nothing but frustration if, as you say, you’re trying to do the job right. I’m sure I told you the story about my first pacing gig and how half my group ran ahead for the last 4 miles of an 18-miler. Once I reached the finish marker, I told them they had to stay with the group next time — Chicago Area Runners Association policy. I described how training too fast can lead to injury (the majority were first-time marathoners) and explained that it was my job to make sure they were all doing OK during the run (thus the importance of staying with the group). I reminded them that they were free to join the next-fastest pace group if they wanted to go faster than our pace. You wouldn’t believe the indignation with which my little speech was met. The saying, “No good deed goes unpunished” comes to mind.

  8. Hi Cutie -Sorry about your bad experience. Pacers can take a beating! I remember at NJM I could not believe how rude people were being to our saintly pacers. Ick. You did the right thing, holding the pace to which you agreed.As far as this slower and slower thing. Have you ever actually TRIED runngin really slow? Like doing 90% of your runs agonizingly slow (you can call me and I’ll gowith you :-)), and then focusing on speed for just a small fraction of your runs?I have noticed from my own experience, that constantly runnign with others , as pleasant as it may be, can push you into this no-mans-land zone of exertion level: not hard enough to *truly be speedwork or a race, but hard enough that you don’t recover, to mess up your next run, and the one after that, until you are sucked into a vortex of fatigue. JME. For the best of both worlds, companionship and slowness, please join us on thursday mornings. You too Madamoiselle NotSO! :-)Heidi

  9. js-yep i know, I was young once :)(yeah, back in the day I was one of those. and you know what? i learned my lesson. big time.)BCG-I know, but the thing is, I don’t want to let the Flyers down. But then again, if I am off pace because the rabbits are pushing the pace, well how is that helping? It’s kinda like, you’re damned if you do, and you’re damned if you don’t.Heidi-i’m with you!! hence the reason why i do most of my runs solo. (but feel like i am missing out on the “social” aspect)

  10. Hey you…Come on out to the next monday night and I’ll run with you. No worries no troubles. I’m sorry you feel this way and well never really would have though of that…if you didn’t write it. Or if I couldn’t read. I guess I am always in my little world.Sorry you feel this way on the team…YOU WERE THE FIRST PERSON I MET! come on now…or at least the first person I knew their names…Good luck this weekend. I’ll be sure to see you there…

  11. Just do what Bob Glover (I know a lot of people don’t like him, but like it or not, he’s good) or even I have done- kick them out of the group and tell them to run in the next faster group. Keep the run intact for the people who aren’t interested in racing it. You might not make friends with them (the hotshots) that way, but you’re not there to make friends. And the others will appreciate the effort.Maybe one of these days I’ll volunteer to pace one of those runs just to check them out. But I’m lazy and they start too early in the morning. 🙂

  12. 9:30 is definitely not slow! And pacing is definitely not easy especially with a group of other runners you’ve never run with before. However, that’s not right that the pacers were 2 minutes ahead after a full loop! By my calculations that’s a full 20 sec/mile faster than a 9:30 pace.Keep your chin up. Races are a whole new ballgame as opposed to training runs. Also, isn’t Queens your borough? 😉 If you’re not feeling it and want to run 9s, that’s what I’ll be doing Sunday!

  13. I’m late to the discussion, I’ve been out of town, and so missed this second LTR entirely. But YOU are right, most pace leaders don’t want to keep the correct pace in these pace groups, and it turns to anarchy after the first loop because most of the leaders want to prove they’re rabbits. I don’t get it. It pisses me off that so many pace leaders either don’t do their job (keep pace) or let zippy people take over. Thank you for knowing what’s right and wrong and sticking to the plan. It’s not about the pace leader or the faster runners, it’s about THE PACE.I’ve been participating in these CP LTRs for ten years, and it gets worse each year. Thank you for sharing your frustration, you are not alone. I had felt badly that I missed the LTR, but I’m over it now after reading your post.

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