>> I couldn't help but think of this thread this morning when we finished
>> our cross-training group.
> Kind of prodded some introspection for me.
> The reason for the shaggy dog intro - about 70% of those that show each
> week are women. I'd like to think it's all my charm and intellectual
> prowess but that's only partially true. ;)
That's interesting, esp. in light of Matt's post. Are you charming them
out of their hiding with a magic flute? ;)
Some would run alone if left
> to their demise either on the roads or indoors on a treadmill but
> nothing as hard as we do. I'd like conclude we are all ***s and
> gather to read Marquis DeSade books but only partially true.
What? No Cremation of Sam McGee on winter survival training trips? ;)
(this *is* true story from a class I took when first up here)
I think the
> primary reason is safety - safety in numbers. Not quite the same as
> women always going to the bathroom in pairs but not far either. Being
> able stay in a safety zone is important.
You've probably got a point there. I know I consider what trails I use -
convenience and parking, type of trail, and safety (humans, wildlife,
cliffs, deep, fast rivers). The one that I'm usually most concerned
about is the one in town since it is so accessible and used to be a
hangout near an overlook near trailhead. That's since been cleaned up
and the area is fairly consistently used by runners, dog walkers, mt
bikers, etc when it's not drifted in like it is this year (just checked
it out to see if any improvement).
One of the things I like about running at the farm at night is that it's
not an official trailhead. Some of our folks may walk out there a little
bit after work, but other than that the likelihood of anyone
intersecting my route from one of the other trailheads is pretty slim.
Summer is another story, but probably not an issue. That whole trail
system (connects with CMT) is about 3 sections or so and surrounded by
roads. It's generally not a large enough area for bears. Moose tracks
occasionally. Other than my own stupidity and falling or getting lost, I
feel safe on that system. It's also got lots of hills to keep me busy
> I'm not suggesting that we have problems and in fact they are very few.
> The typical, horn honks, "yo cute ass" comments from cars but nothing
> much worse. I opt for the rural runs to get away from city and cars and
> to find a few ups to prod the pulse.
That's about the same as around here.
> The second reason and maybe of equal importance to safety is feeding the
> competitive spirits. Women are very honest in public and will admit they
> want to finish higher in their age groups. About 4 years ago one such
> female that used to snag and occasional third place award suddenly one
> year started finishing first by a minute or more in a 5k and 2-3 minutes
> in 10k's. They asked her how she made such progress. Then my phone rang
> off the hook for the others.
I can believe it. Admittedly I don't do speed work (gotta be able to get
up the hills first, before worrying about how fast ;) , but I was
surprised how much easier my normal trail became after I started doing
repeats at the base of the mountain - but more "up" time than my normal
> While most will say it's the companionship of like minded crazies, the
> girls(Please no PC spankings for the term girl, it's my age not
> disrespect) leave their mace at home. Their SOs at least for this run,
> like the numbers and their race times are dropping. Fox/chicken. :)
You mean their SO's trust you? ;)
> Working out in gyms besides warm in the winter is also a comfort/safe zone.
That's one thing I've liked about this xt group. I've noticed my
achilles is less likely to act up and other things heal better when
warm. Thoroughly warming up and then running in -20F doesn't have the
same effect. Actually, I noticed that this summer on one of my hot (80F)
runs on the mountain - my achilles was much more fluid than even cooler
temperatures like 50F.
I have a love/hate relationship with that session. It's like medicine
with bad side effects. It's good for me and gives me a chance to really
challenge my achilles and other things, but it takes away from my
For some people, the bright lights are really helpful in the winter
also. If we've had a dreary, wet winter, I've noticed the bright lights
at the pool and present gym, but I couldn't exercise that way all the
time. Outside is far more important to me. Even this 2 hr on Sat am -
generally before daybreak (7-9am) - is hard for me since it takes away
outdoor time (while recovering - although this is getting less). Unless
we get ice, I may only be doing at most 1 more session in a few weeks.
Just too many ways to play in the snow :) Actually, it's about time to
periodize out anyway.
Something I've also wondered about is if there is a lag in training for
women vs men, that hasn't caught up yet. That is, do girls in hs (or
college, for that matter) get the same level of coaching and support as
the boys? I'm asking that in 21st century terms. Backing up a little,
are some of the older women looking for coaching that they never
received in hs or college because their schools didn't have sports for
females, coaching and support for the females was poor, or gee, some
schools didn't even accept women back then. I played 3 sports in hs
(college didn't have women's intercollegiate sports), where we learned
ball skills, but I don't feel that I ever received any real coaching as
far as building endurance and strength. I'm wondering if some of this
group thing is looking for coaching, whereas the guys have always had
it. The women's team pays for 2 coaches.
> I can't address the "fat girl" side cuz the girls I run with are all,
> well, have runners bodies. Place those bodies in lycra tights...well you
> get the picture, at least I do. :)
Must not be that cold there ;) I'll see if I can find some pictures of
winter runners from around here.
"Success is different things to different people"
-Bernd Heinrich in Racing the Antelope