This is Part II of my thoughts regarding pacing and running. You can see Part I here!
Recently Cool Running had a tweat asking runners if they feel that runners judge other runners based on looks.
Interesting, I hadn’t really thought about that. My answer to the question is no, I do not think runners judge others based on looks. Maybe it happens but I have not witnessed such behavior myself.
I do however, feel that runners judge other runners based on pace.
The first time I ever experienced a sort of left-out feeling because of my pace was during my first ever meet-up and group run. People putting together the group run are fast runners. They expected everyone to be running that same pace. When I spoke up for myself saying that there would be no way I could run that distance in that amount of time AND still have time to get back to my room and get ready for the day, I was basically just ignored. A few others from the group also spoke up by that point and said that they also could not run at that pace.
No one acknowledged us or even suggested a second group run for those with different paces.
It sort of seemed like they expected everyone to run at their pace and if you can’t, well tough for you, you’re on your own then.
I didn’t run in that group run nor did I even want to by that point. I talked to several others who also did not run that morning so it seemed like a lot of us got sidelined.
All because of different paces.
I probably could have started a second group myself but I was feeling meh about the whole situation so I didn’t. I’m glad I did not because I would not have had time for a run that morning. So it worked out in the end!
But that still doesn’t change the fact that some people can get really snotty over pace. Yes I said it, snotty.
During lineup at a race, things can get a little crazy. Yes there are pace corrals but by the end people are just squeezing in wherever they can fit. That means that people with slower paces might be up with the faster paces at the start. Last year at the half, I heard two guys bitching over some people who were not in the proper pace corral (GASP! THE HORROR!)!
“Look at them. Clearly they aren’t running that pace. What assholes, they should have been in the slower pace groups.”
Two guys saying this about two middle aged women who were running a half. They know nothing about these women. Maybe this is their first half or first race ever. Maybe one of them is battling cancer. Maybe they are running for their dad who is battling cancer. Maybe this is a life long goal they are looking to achieve. Maybe it’s a birthday goal for turning 45. Who knows why but they were running it and good for them!
Who gives a flying flip if people aren’t in the right pace group to start? A race always starts like a bottleneck and then people pace themselves, spread out, and everything flows nicely. I have yet to be in a race that starts any other way. So why get your tights in a twist? Give it a minute for everyone to adjust and then get on with your badself.
You will live. I promise.
Everybody runs at different paces. Some people are fast, some are super fast, and others are not. I can’t understand why this matters at all. We all still go from Point A to Point B. Running 5 miles is running 5 miles whether it takes you 30 minutes or an hour or two hours.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying to totally ignore pace. It’s always good to have an idea of what your pace is because I personally believe it helps you better understand your body and the way it works.
I also think working on speed drills and such to help you become faster, if that is your goal, is a good thing. Challenging ourselves and competing against ourselves makes us athletes. I am all for challenging yourself to become better at whatever you do!
Turning your nose up and feeling superior over others just because you can run an 8 minute mile for a long time is just plain shitty sportsmanship. Why have that kind of complex? Where is that going to get you?
I would rather support! I don’t care what your pace is and I don’t care if you’re a distance runner or a sprinter. What is important is that you’re doing something you like to do and you’re doing it to better yourself in some way. That is what matters. Period.
Have you ever felt discriminated against just because of your pace? Have you ever witnessed pace bashing before? What are your thoughts on the matter?