Wednesday, August 7, 2013

The Slowest Girl on the Track

Earlier this week, I attended a group track workout. Now, if you've ever done speedwork, you know it's pretty intimidating. The pressure's on to hit certain splits, and running at an uncomfortably fast pace is not really what most people consider enjoyable. In fact, if you're enjoying the workout, you're probably not running fast enough :)

So there was that stress going into the workout, plus my own nagging insecurity. It doesn't matter how many miles I run, races I finish or medals I win; I still worry about being the slowest girl on the track.  

Da da dum - the track strikes fear in the heart of many runners!

Since this was my first workout with the group, I had no idea what paces the other runners would run. I warmed up with three slow miles. Now granted I have a tendency to run warmups extremely slow, but I was getting passed left and right! Not exactly a confidence booster!

The evening's workout included two reps this series:

  • 800m
  • 400m recovery
  • 400m
  • 400m recovery
  • 200m
  • 600m recovery

For those of you not into track, 1 lap = 400m on a standard outdoor track. 

As we lined up for the first 800m, I thought surely I was about to be outrun by everyone else in the group. As such, I lined up further back because I didn't want to be that annoying girl who everyone has to run around because she lined up too close to the front. 

As we ran around the first curve, I began to realize most of the other ladies (and some of the men) were not running as fast as I needed to run. Soon enough, there were only four ladies in front of me. Then there were two. Then there was one. Then, I was the one in front! And once in front, there was no way I was going to let anyone pass me.

There were three guys in front of me during each of the intervals but I couldn't catch any of them. Believe me, I tried! I thought I might catch one on the final 200m but just couldn't quite do it. I suppose that means I have something to aim for next time!

As I ran my cooldown and drove home from the track, I thought about what a great workout it had turned out to be - I definitely ran faster than I would have had I done the workout alone. And even if next time it turns out I'm the slowest girl on the track, what's the worst that will happen? It will only be motivation to work extra hard :) 
So the moral of the story? Believe in yourself! Believe that you are fast enough and don't ever let your fears keep you from running the way you are able to or get in the way of improvement. 

Share your thoughts:

  • Do you worry about being the slowest person in the group/on the track/in the race? 
  • What else intimidates you when it comes to running?
  • How do you outrun self doubt?

- ST

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