Why Do I Appear to be Working Harder Than Everyone Around Me?

>> Tuesday, January 18, 2011

I just saw the photos from the Charities Challenge track meet a month ago. (NOT the "Meet of the Miles" that I posted the results to in Sunday's post.)

I ran the mile at this race, and I found the photos from Gary at Charities Challenge. Here are a few, and they tell the story of the race really well:

Starting in the middle / back.


Finishing the first of 8 laps in 5th place.
Just behind the coach for Sibley HS.

Another lap or 2 into the race, still in 5th.

Next lap, and both Coach and I just got past runner #243. Now in 4th.

Hitting my watch at the 800 or 1200 meter point.

Coach and I making the pass on #225 with just over 1 lap left! Moving into 3rd.
Look at my face: I'm hurting...

...still really hurting...

What a bunch of heal-strikers! ;)

1 lap left, still just behind Coach.

Deep in the hurt locker, gunning for Coach.

Here's the winner finishing (in 4:45) to the far left in yellow. Second, third, and fourth are the final 3 in this photo (the other people are lapped). I'm still in third:

I look like death, and Coach in front of me and
the guy behind me look great! I don't get it!

Still look like death, and the other guys look great.

The "photo finish" showing us 3.

After the race, I cooled down, changed into comfier shoes, and cheered during the other races:

Cheering in the background.

Cheering during the 800.

I LOVE Gary's photo of these 3 guys just after the 800!
The middle guy just finished in 2:06.

This isn't meant to be disrespectful, but the race-walk mile always
amuses me. But have you tried walking FAST? It's hard!

Some high-schoolers and middle-schoolers in the race-walk.

This kid ran a 5:00 mile, but fell out of his shoes during a 10:00+ race-walk mile.

Looking through those photos, I realized that the kid who's shoe fell off above was the same kid whose shoe is untied in the "heel-striking" photo during my 1 mile race. Funny!

And as I look through any photos from me at a track meet, I realize I'm a poor track runner. I'm always farther to the outside than I should be. It makes a difference when you're making 16 turns during a 1 mile race. (It's even worse when making 50 turns during the indoor 5000 that I did just after New Years!) Gotta work on that...


Chris and Amy 6:56 AM, January 18, 2011  

I love that the old coach was able to pass one of his runners. That kid got the double whammy of being passed by coach and not knowing how to tie his shoes. Oh, to be young again. :)

Lani 7:31 AM, January 18, 2011  

What I am curious to know is if the kid putting his shoe back on in the last picture is actually wearing tighty whities over compression shorts and under his gym shorts?

Steve Stenzel 7:34 AM, January 18, 2011  

Lani, that's funny! I THINK that's just the liner to his shorty shorts, but who knows for sure..... ;)

Kittee 8:37 AM, January 18, 2011  

Love the photo finish picture.

Lucas R. Tucker 8:40 AM, January 18, 2011  

@lani- def the liner int he shorts all of my race shorts have thjem too.

It amazes me how the HS kids can make it look so easy. At my last 5k race I did well enough for an AG podium spot but thought I was very behind when I got passed by the HS XC ruuners when I was at the end of mile 1 and they were on the way to the finish- the all looked like they were just jogging. The kicker was that one of them was doing it in sweat pants and boots.

Anonymous,  9:27 AM, January 18, 2011  

Really great athletes have learned how to relax any muscles that aren't immediately used towards their current effort. This includes facial muscles. Think about slowed-down footage of Olympic sprinters. You know how their cheeks are bouncing all over the place...?

Next time you're pushing really hard, make a conscious effort to relax the muscles in your face. Let all that energy going towards your face get redirected towards your legs.

SteveQ 10:38 AM, January 18, 2011  

Anonymous is right about relaxing. The tension often starts in the arms, then spreads to the shoulders and neck, before becoming apparent in the face. Relax your hands, try to relax your tongue and jaw and the rest falls into place. Relax, don't run the whole race in the outside lane, have someone else take your splits to free yourself to just run, learn to "spin" around the turns, learn to run on the balls of your feet at high speed... and you'll take 10 seconds off your time.

SteveQ 11:07 AM, January 18, 2011  

Oh, one good thing - you look ahead more than at the ground than most of your competition. I've noticed that in your other races, too.

Anonymous,  11:55 AM, January 18, 2011  

All the things people have pointed out will help me on my next running races. Thanks for your post Steve and to everyone's responses as well.

krystyna47 1:40 PM, January 18, 2011  

At least you have good posture!!

Steve Stenzel 3:37 PM, January 18, 2011  

Anonymous and SteveQ- you guys are SOO right! I thought I'd put up this post as sort of a "ha ha isn't funny how crappy I look" sort of a thing. But I actually learned something about my running! THANKS! I try to consciously stay relaxed during some hard runs, but apparently that all went out the window during the last lap of this race.

And krystyna47: Ha! Thanks! ;)

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