Sunday, May 22, 2005


Or should I say “Does everyone think they suck?” I went for a nice 10 mile trail run today. The whole time I was thinking about this topic. It stems from a couple of things; watching last night’s track meet and reading through the Minnesota Runner’s Yearbook, which list (among other things) the top runners in each age group. I’m sure hanging out with Jim doesn’t help either. He thinks everyone can win their age group at every race.

During this run I was also thinking back to a post that I read awhile ago on It was short and sweet; “I’m tired of sucking.” That’s how I feel sometimes. Granted, at races, I tend to beat 95% of the field, but it’s the other 5% that I compare myself to. Non-runners (and probably some runners) don’t seem to understand that.

More importantly than that other 5% is just 1 person – me. How do I compare to myself? Yes, last year was my best season of racing since college. And yes, I’m running even better this year. However, my college PRs are always in the back of my mind. It’s a little frustrating to run roughly 50% more miles/week now, then while in college, yet have slower times. Those results nearly make me want to go back to the days of 50 mpw and the 29-30 8k guys running “easy” days with the 25-26 minute 8k guys. I know that’s the “wrong” approach but I was sure a hell of a lot faster. Have the 9 years slowed me down that much?

But it’s not just me. The whole men 35-39 age group sucks in Minnesota. The editor of the Minnesota Runner’s Yearbook summed it up “…it’s still true that more men 40-44 meet the 35-39 standards than do the younger men.” Maybe everyone is busy with their career and family. Note: the men’s 35-39 standards have actually been loosened a little – the website just hasn’t updated them yet.

So here’s my thinking. In 4 years 2 months and 9 days I’ll be a Masters runner. (Does any other group of people, other than runners, actually look forward to turning 40?) If I stay motivated and keep improving maybe I’ll be able to approach the 40-44 standards (and possibly some all-time PRs). I just hope all those guys I used to run with in college don’t come out of “retirement” once they become a Master. Maybe I’m just dreaming, but I guess that’s what gets me to lace up my shoes every day.


Chelle said...

You must have been as psyched as I was with the new WAVA standards. I'm only 33 now, but suddenly my age graded times are faster than my real times. Just try explaining age grading to a non-runner though.

Chad said...

I wasn't aware of the change. It looks like we use different WAVA sites because this one calculates differently.

Chelle said...

It might be just that the NY Road Runners Club decided to switch to a different grading system then. Everyone seemed to make a big deal of it when they were switching over, but I didn't pay much attention except that I liked being included in the age grading equation two years earlier than I'd expected.