The following Facebook meme made me chuckle. I’ve heard it called “getting girled”. Basically: this is what happens when a male track team member gets beaten by a female.
In sports like swimming and track and field (e. g. “athletics”, which includes running and race walking), this concept really only makes sense for the stronger male competitors.
There WAS a time in my life when, on rare occasion, I might finish ahead of the first female. This only happened at small, local races. It isn’t that much of a surprise; after all, if one looks at the results of high school track meets, sometimes, in a dual meet between small schools, the girl’s mile is won in a time over 5:30. That is a time I could run…a long time ago. So could many other in shape “workout bros”.
But now that I’ve gotten older, when one takes into account age and sex, I can compete on even terms with females in the 36-40 year old age group. Hence my natural advantage is gone and I don’t even think about trying to mix it up with the faster women; about the only time I notice them is when they are cooling down on the course and I am finishing up.
Frequently, even the older ladies beat me (example:)
Now sometimes, a woman will show up at a local race and beat everyone; this happened at the Galesburg Half Marathon in June 2012.
And in the longer events: ultra walker Sandra Brown has frequently beaten the entire field in a 24 hour walk; she did that in 2004 at the Wandelweekend in the Netherlands.
That was merely one of many “outright victories” for her.
In ultra swimming: Peggy Lee Dean and Lynn Cox both held the human record for the English Channel Crossing (at one time).
But in the vast majority of races where there are no outliers (e. g., an elite showing up at a non-elite race), the male winning time will be better than the female winning time.
And the concept of getting “girled” or “chicked” has never applied to me in running, walking or swimming. I simply am not good enough for it to have ever mattered.
Now in the weight room: When it comes to pull ups and, say, the bench press, there are women who can exceed what I do but they tend to be outliers (e. g. perhaps a shot putter at a Division I university would out bench me…and I mean “real” bench pressing, not that “bench shirt” stuff). And plenty of women can do more pull ups than I can (think: gymnasts) but they also tend to be moderate outliers; you tend to not see them at the places where I work out. You’d see them at gyms that cater to the more athletic crowd.
The River City Half Marathon in a month: run it for time or powerwalk it for training for the fall walking marathon?
Today: sunny, breezy, chilly (March weather, really): I did my Cornstalk 8.1 course in 1:23:04 (41:19/41:49) then walked 2.05 more (old course) to get 10 total; added to this is an easy 2.3 walked with the group last night.
I never pushed it at all; the only rough part was dodging the trucks in Bradley Park (in the more gravelly turn off coming down from Cornstalk Hill.
I had balked at doing this course because the hills do cause you to huff and puff a bit. But I needed that.
We got a bit of snow last night…most of it is gone now.
Still, I went indoors for the run part of my workout:
2 miles in 20:50 (treadmill)
5K on the indoor track in 26:06: 8:36, 8:35, (1:04), 7:50 (call it: 2.1 miles at T, 1 mile at I)
The 7:50 final mile wasn’t easy. I doubt that I could have sustained it much longer (3:57/3:53)
1 mile walk, then 3 more miles outside. It was sunny but chilly; and the usually low-traffic streets had much more traffic than normal due to rerouting from construction.
There I am, finishing up the Heights Half Marathon this past weekend. In the background you can see a guy with a camera; he is T’s long suffering husband. You can also see a woman turning to look at me…she appears to be giving me that “what a train-wreck” look. :-)
I actually AM walking in this photo hence I don’t mind looking as if I am walking. My form is terrible though.
Paid for it today: 45 minute easy run (Cornstalk 4.2 mile course). Pretty weather but the traffic redirection put more cars than normal on this route.
I am still tired.
I was wondering whether I’d attempt to run or walk this Saturday’s half marathon. Today I gave myself the answer: I am walking it and aiming for 2:35 (the pace I hope to maintain for a walking marathon in September)
Today’s workout: 50′s and windy:
I jogged 2 miles in about 20 minutes (10 minutes at 1.03 miles) and then did the 1.23 park loop (small hill) in 9:52 (8:01 pace; 33 seconds faster than last week). Then 6 minutes of jogging, then 4 x 400 on a 5.3 percent grade hill (2:15, 2:23, 2:13, 2:15); I was hampered by going against that 15 miles per hour wind and by the faster 1.23 segment. I jogged one mile back (9:39) and then walked 3 more.
Last night: I walked 2 miles with the group; one mile out and then 1 mile back (23 minutes). I walked with someone, who is working through some serious health issues but is determined to finish the Steamboat 4 miler this year. I found her to be a delightful, determined woman.
2 miles on the treadmill (20:30)
1 mile: 7:12 (1:49, 1:48, 1:45: 1:48 (3:38/3:34) (solo)
1 walk (got teased about being so slow)
3 run (11/20:16/29:11, 30:03 for 3.11) treadmill
3 walk outside (too pretty not to)
Background this year:
8 March: 1:58, 1:53, 1:49, 1:50 (3:52/3:40) for 7:32
18 March: 1:57, 1:51, 1:47, 1:47 (3:48/3:35) for 7:23
25 March: 1:52, 1:50, 1:46, 1:47 (3:43/3:34) for 7:17
8 April: 1:49, 1:48, 1:45, 1:48 (3:38/3:34) for 7:12
So, you can see that over the past month, I’ve improved by 14 seconds in the first half but only by 6 in the second. Over the past 3 times: 10 seconds improvement in the first, but only 1 in the second.
Bottom line: my “easy” improvement is all but over; I’ll probably try again in a week to 10 days, and then work on 200′s and 400′s to build up some speed.
I didn’t want to do this mile, as I knew that my “easy” improvement period is dying out. BUT, this was a solo time trial; I might improve a few seconds if I had someone to chase.
I had mentioned that I didn’t enter any of the Potawatomi Trail runs but I didn’t want to stay away entirely. So I showed up at 9 am to see if someone needed pacing…no one did so I decided to do a single 10 mile loop…in reverse order. The idea was to see the people on the course (taking care to step off of the trail when I saw someone) and I carried a sack to pick up trash.
So the loop was rather slow, and I did stop to talk to people. I saw Joe Galloway who wanted to talk and I had briefer conversations with others including Bonnie Busch.
What was interesting: I met both of these people about 10 years ago. Joe reminded me that “we finished the 100 together” 10 years ago; I reminded him that I paced him on his last lap; I had finished the 50 the day before (12:46).
I met Bonnie at the Cornbelt 24 hour about a month later (my best performance ever; 101 miles for the 24 hour walk).
Yes, both Bonnie and Joe finished the 100 again, and no, it isn’t a surprise that they did.
I was a bit sorry that I missed Donna Creditor who, evidently, had to retire. Donna finished the 100 in 2009 in horribly muddy conditions….as did Joe, and I.
So, yeah, I kind of miss being a part of “the club” of 100 mile finishers. Then again: 3 of my 4 finishes came in a 2 year period (2004: Cornbelt (23:40), 2005 McNaughton (34:16), 2005 Leanhorse (29:34), 2009 McNaughton (47:55) ).
On the other hand, one should honor what the body can handle, and I really am not built for this. And my knee really doesn’t handle mud well…
And so tomorrow I’ll return to focusing on my spring/summer goal (sub 7 minute mile).
So what do I miss?
I miss being around people who try to bring out the best in you. There were times when I wanted to quit those 100′s; I was shivering, shaking…and people encouraged me to hang in there and to keep moving forward. So among my 100 mile starts, I had one DNF (at mile 50, but I got 20 more to get 70 total; this was 2006). Yes, that felt like a failure because it WAS a failure. I had trained to finish the 100, not 70. People who knew me knew that I felt bad about it.
Note: I had DNF’s in marathons and 30′s due to time limits and one 50 due to knee pain (mud; this was after my 2010 operation).
Today I ran the Kappa Delta 5K and CRUSHED my recent 5K time finishing in 22:31, which is my fastest time since 2002 and 2:30 faster than I’ve done over the past 3 years! But…….
Yes, this is the course map. The usual campus 5K course is the blue plus the red…today we ran only the blue.
So, let’s look at this logically:
The case for the course being accurate:
1. I want it to be.
The case for the course being short:
1. The Garmin measurements I’ve heard were 2.78, 2.8, 2.8 and Google maps got it at 2.82.
2. My time at the known 2 mile mark was 15:56 and I finished 6:36 later…6:36 for 1.1 miles?
3. If this course really were 2.8 miles, then according to the usual time conversion formulas, an equivalent 5K time would be 25:05 (I ran 25:09 last weekend) and my mile would be 7:13 (I ran 7:17 solo last week).
4. According to the above map, this course cut off about 0.3 miles off of the “usual” 5K course.
5. Last week’s 5K ended with a “lap around the block” because the course without the lap would have been 4.5 km. Hence we passed the finish clock twice…and when I saw it the first time it was: 22:3x…just like today.
So, after weighing the evidence: this was a real 5K. :-) (just kidding)
I was ok with my pace (8:02 minutes per mile) though I really, really want 7:5x.
I didn’t have any kick left and got passed by a student right at the finish line.
The day: sunny…clear, cool (40′s) though there was too much auto traffic on the course.
Still, I felt reasonably good at mile 2 and slowed by 7 seconds over the past .8 miles. I could feel my turn over slowing a bit; I need to concentrate more.
I got to see Bill and Andy there; that was nice. Though there were a few other “older” people there, this was mostly students and I’d like to work on finishing further up in this crowd.
Afterward: I walked to get a cool down, jogged a bit, then lifted weights:
rotator cuff, hip hikes, Achilles, McKenzie
pull ups: 5 sets of 10 (no energy, but these were good pull ups)
bench press (pathetic): 10 x 135, 9 x 160, 8 x 160
upright rows: 3 sets of 10 x 25 dumbbells
military press (standing, barbell): 10 x 85, 7 x 85, 8 x 85
curls: 3 sets of 10 x 30 (dumbbell)
Hammer Machine rows: 3 sets of 10 x 210
pull downs: 3 sets of 10 x 160
I had low, low energy throughout.
Then I had Indian lunch with Barbara and a new friend.
I might check out the McNaughton (er…Potawatomi ) runs later this weekend and maybe pace someone tomorrow morning.
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