Sunday, October 5, 2008

Am I Too Slow for Frost Toes?

Several people have asked me that question in the last week or two, so I wanted to address it here on the blog. I want to be absolutely clear.

As long as I have anything to say about it, no one is too slow for Frost Toes.

Like anyone, I really admire fast runners. I am absolutely in awe of runners like Bryan Glass, who won last year's Frostbite Festival 10-mile race in 53:19. That's about a 5:20 pace for 10 miles over hills.

But I have no less respect for any of the 207 runners who finished behind Bryan. Every one of them finished a very challenging 10-mile course. Every one of them finished.

A couple of years ago I was running with someone who said, "I'm here to complete, not to compete." I really liked that thought until later, when I realized that completing is actually a competition for many of us. To complete a specific distance, each of us has to compete with ourselves. Each of us has to fight with the inertia that would keep us from putting on our running shoes and heading out the door.

That is the major competition for so many of us: Can I win the fight with myself just to get out of a warm bed on a cold November Saturday morning?



But I always feel that my biggest competition is me. Can I run the Frostbite faster this year than last year? Can I get in better shape, so I don't feel completely drained at the end of 10 miles? Can I run hills better this year? Even with intense training, I may discover that the answer may be a resounding no, but the effort is always worth it.

So I don't care how slow you are, you're welcome to run with the Frost Toes. If a 15 minute pace is the best you can do, come on along; there's probably someone else who runs that pace and worrying that they're too slow.

As long as you're willing to compete with yourself with a goal of completing the Frostbite 10 miles, you are a Frost Toe.

8 comments:

The Reynolds Family said...

Barry,
I say, fast ones may not call it running, but anything that is not sitting or walking is running to me! I like a comment I saw on a pin one time, I may not run as fast as you but I run faster than me a week ago!
In my mind I told myself after doing abes at a 6 min overall faster than last year and the shoreline about 30 sec faster than abe's pace that I could do the frost toe in a same or faster than shoreline, UNTIL I SAW THE COURSE!!!!!
I am training for the frost toes, however, timing with kids and activities, my training comes after 8pm or on sunday mornings early. Keep inspiring those that desire to change their lives and become healthier people.
It doesn't matter how fast you get there,we all covered the same ground! And I hope that ground on that december morning is not snow covered with wind chill...
Oh and if my math is correct I will aprox see Brian and followers at about the 2-1/2 -3mile marker... and at the finish line!

Anonymous said...

HEY BARRY, THANKS FOR ALWAYS GIVING ME WORDS OF ENCOURAGMENT AND HELPING ME WITH MY PACE..I WOULD HAVE QUIT A LONG TIME AGO IF YOU HADN'T BEEN AROUND.....MY COUCH DOESN'T HAVE THE "DIP" IN IT WHERE I USED TO BE!!! CAN'T WAIT FOR FROST TOES, I ALWAYS LIKE TRAINING MORE THAN RACE DAY...I'M NOT RIGHT! JOY

bjmans56 said...

I am with you Joy, I like the training more than the actual race too. The trainings are just more fun and relaxed.

Anonymous said...

this site seems to have a ton of information but no mention of where your group meets.

enlighten me and i will join you on the 18th

barry said...

On Oct 11, we'll meet at Panera West for a 6 mile run. The remaining Saturday distances will be:

October 18 8 miles--meet at Panera West
October 25 6 miles on the course--meet at FitClub West
November 1 9 miles--meet at Panera West
November 8 7 miles--meet at Panera West
November 15 10 mile practice run on the course--meet at FitClub West
November 22 8 miles--meet at Panera West
November 29 6.2 miles on the Abe's Amble course

Dustie said...

I look forward to meeting up with everyone and joining this group. I can only run with the group on Saturdays, but it will give me the push i need to keep running when I know otherwise I wouldn't want to...this blog was inspiring because I have always been a little insecure about being a slower runner. I have finally come to terms that it's all about me and the pavement...that personal competition is what it's all about.

~Dustie

Anonymous said...

What time do the Saturday runs start?

Mary L. Rogers said...

Saturday Runs start at 7am!

btw - slow is still moving forward.

I have good days (like tonight) and bad days (like Monday at lunch) - well, until I think - there really is no such thing as a bad day running (except 2007 Chicago Marathon/Meltdown - THAT was a bad day...). Sometimes I can run the full distance, other times I just gotta take a walk break or two - but it sure beats sitting on the couch with a box of twinkies (right Barry?)

It took me a long time to get over the fact that my progress isn't always what I expect it to be, I may never keep up "with the big kids", but the mere fact that in my 40's, I can lace up my shoes and get through 3,4, 10 or even 26.2 miles makes me feel pretty damn strong. Miles are miles - you get out of them what you put into them. My husband tells me - "If it were easy - EVERYONE would be doing it!"

I like what Barry says about competition - it's in you. So always work towards being a little stronger on the road - not necessarily faster and not necessarily farther, but stronger. With a plan - and with the power of the group - you will be successful!