I went back for more torture today. I thought I might be done with that running group - the one where no one talks to me and everyone exists in these little cliques. The one where I was frowned on for doing the "wrong" race (I chose the Boulder Backroads Half in ten days when apparently I should have chosen the Indian Peaks Half - something political I guess).
Given that I actually paid to be in this group and to get some coaching, I thought I should return. I have found lots of excuses to not go: black toenail, sore back, relay, it's Tuesday, I'm asleep, my mom called, Rugrats is on. You get the picture.
So I show up. Everyone is in a little circle. One girl briefly looks at me and says, "Hello." I stand there. The outsider. Wanting to get back in my car and listen to Dr. Robin tell me I'm special. Feeling like the last one picked for teams on gym day in sixth grade. A loser. If you're thinking I'm overly sensitive, you're probably a man or a lesbian and you're probably right, but we women like to feel included. We like to feel validated, dammit. Sometimes it's fun to play the victim. Just let me have a moment.
Boobs, fart, big turd, football. There you go, men - something to relate to.
We start running a two mile warm up. I'm glad to be running and not standing there picking my nose. We stop and stretch. We are splitting into two groups. The head honcho coach is leading one group - he says for people who run sub-8 minute miles. The other group is for people who might be a bit slower. I gravitated towards the slower group, but was told by that coach to go with the other three girls. The fasties. Thus commenced one of my hardest workouts in a long time:
Whistle blows, coach yells, "We're doing 7 intervals. 3 minutes each. 10K pace." Apparently everyone's 10K pace is a 7 min/mile cause that's what we're doing. After each interval, we get 60 seconds to run slower and capture our breath. Whistle blows: start again. And again and again. 7 freaking times. Last one I was seriously dying. As in if no one was looking and the coach wasn't right on my ass I would have laid down in the dirt and wet myself.
We finish and I chat with the fasties over lemon lime Gatorade. We are sort of friends now, bonded over a hard workout with lots of sweat and hard breathing. Coach meanwhile takes off his shirt and runs off into distance. Glistening in the sun. Apparently our little 7 mile speed workout was the appetizer to his "real" workout. Go Coach. After all, he is actually a good/knowledgeable coach and a kick ass runner.
I know this is supposed to make me faster and better. But I leave you with this: I hate speed work.