In life, and in running, there will be times when you feel like you’re in over your head. Or that you are afraid the people around you will certainly sniff you out as the ‘poser’ you feel you are…that you really don’t belong, that you don’t have enough experience, credits to your name, accolades, etc. You can choose to dodge these types of situations, but if you do I’m willing to bet you’ll miss out on achieving something greater than you expected.
In running, a sure-fire way to get better is to train with people who are better than you. Sure, you can have the ego boost of being the top dog and pace-setter for a particular group, but where is the fun in that? I always loved being the chaser, myself; that makes you hungry for more, for faster times…it’s the thrill of the hunt, right?
Being at the slower end of the company you keep, dare I even say the slowest, can surely be daunting though. If you’re new to the group your knees are probably quaking before the warm-up, anticipating that these fleeter footed runners were certainly sniff out the poser of the group. Maybe they even know your PR’s and in your mind you imagine what they are thinking, “Who in the heck do they think they are…they don’t belong with us…they aren’t good enough to even share the track with us.”
The honest truth is that humans can be pretty self-centered without meaning to or even be aware they are thinking that the world is revolving around them. They can be the most benevolent of people but there are times when we over-amplify the importance of ourselves. What I’m getting at is as you IMAGINE those others are thinking about you, they are probably actually thinking of themselves. those other runners most likely are thinking about the workout ahead and the splits they want to hit…not your presence.
But then again, worse case, even if they are thinking you ‘don’t belong’ then who really cares? If you want the BEST from yourself, toss yourself into the deep end on PURPOSE. You can run the risk of sinking but more often than not, when forced you’ll at least learn to doggie-paddle. That doggie paddle will most likely turn to some semblance of a stroke and eventually you will swim.
With running, when you train smart, push yourself, are consistent, and ask more from yourself you generally improve. You may end up surprising yourself in actually becoming the fastest runner of the very group you once felt you were an idiot for thinking you even belonged sharing the same track with.
Stepping out of your comfort zone is scary, yes, but goals that demand the kind of work that offer a fulfilling reward aren’t achieved by feeling comfortable. So fellow kiddies, let’s dive into the deep end of the track and get swimming. [Extra credit to those who made sense of this totally mixed metaphor...haha!]
1) What is an instance where you felt like a ‘poser’ when it came to running?
The first day I went to my high school’s track practice…if you were keeping tabs on my Facebook Page I explained it was my dad who helped me get out there and just run.
2) When was an instance where you felt like a ‘poser’ in other life?
Actually, anytime people say, “Oh, you’re an artist!” It’s taken a lot of mental conditioning to not blurt out, “Well, actually, ummm, I dunno, I like doing art, but I’m not sure if I’m an ‘artist’ artist.”
3) If you run in a group, where are you typically: front, middle, chaser? If you run alone, how do you ‘stretch’ yourself to run with ‘someone faster than you’? If you don’t try and run with someone better than you for the sake of ‘chasing’ that’s cool too, but do you want to try and state a goal of attempting that stretch??
I’m a bit of a solo runner for the current, but I use the treadmill and force my slow butt not to fall off the back for some tempo runs. Good old tready has enough power to certainly run the belt faster than me!