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See Jane Run, Run Jane Run



 
 
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  #1  
Old August 30th 07, 04:40 PM posted to rec.running
Michelle
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Posts: 2,253
Default See Jane Run, Run Jane Run

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/30/he...s.html?_r=1&or
ef=slogin

ONE day, about two years ago, my son asked me a probing question. ³Are
you running just to run,² he asked, ³or do you have some purpose in
mind?² Iıd been running for years but never thought to ask myself why.
His question made me realize I wanted a goal. And it led me to pick one
that now sounds kind of ludicrous, a five-kilometer race that was to be
run in two weeks.

I started to train.

It was a revelation ‹ I got much faster with that little bit of
training. I ran the race, won my age group, came home with a trophy, and
decided to race again.

Of course, there are lots of reasons to run, and not everyone cares
about winning a race or winning his or her age group. There is nothing
wrong with running for fun or to clear your head after a long day. But
serious running is very different from the more casual running I used to
do. And now that Iıve grown more committed, I am starting to notice
something odd about women and running.

Men, as might be expected, get slower as they age. At a recent
five-kilometer race in Pine Beach, N.J., which drew nearly 1,000
runners, the fastest man was 24 years old and the menıs times dropped
with each five-year age group.

But the women were different ‹ their times were all over the place with
older women beating younger women in almost every age category. The
fastest woman was 37 years old; the fastest woman in the 45 to 49 age
group beat the fastest woman in the 20 to 24 and the 40 to 44 age groups.

The same thing happened in another five-kilometer local race, the Eden
Family Run, in Princeton, N.J.

There, the top female runner in the 50 to 54 age group beat the top
females in the 20 to 24, 25 to 29, and 40 to 44 age groups.

And itıs not just a New Jersey effect. Others have noticed it elsewhere
and when I did a random check of race results in California, I saw it
there too. On Aug. 8, in a 10-kilometer race in Alameda, the 53-year-old
woman who won in the 50 to 54 age group was faster than the woman who
won in the 25 to 29 group. A 38-year-old woman beat every other woman in
the race.

Results like those made me wonder, Are women really trying in these
races and, if they are, why are older women beating younger women?

Mary Wittenberg, president of New York Road Runners, thinks part of the
answer is that most female runners shortchange themselves. Look at them
before races she said. Men warm up and do strides, short runs to prepare
to take off at the starting line. A lot of women hang back, often
because they are embarrassed to be out there with the men, acting like
determined athletes, Ms. Wittenberg said.

³They are too inhibited to put their full passion out there,² she said.
³They are almost afraid to be serious about a sport. They think that if
theyıre not the best, they shouldnıt care so much.²

Other women have no idea what they are capable of or how to get faster,
said Dr. Vonda Wright, an orthopedic surgeon at the University of
Pittsburgh Medical Center.

Dr. Wright, who holds running clinics for beginners and for those who
want to compete, said women often get the impression that they should
not put much effort into runs. Thatıs the message of some ads and
magazine articles telling people to run easy, and that, Dr. Wright said,
³can be negative information² for women who might like to compete. It is
too tempting, she said, ³to be lulled into thinking thatıs enough.²

Ms. Wittenberg feels the same way. A run-easy message is fine if it
helps get people started in the sport. But, she added, there is also a
risk, ³in that it sneers at hard work and pushing to limits.²

Dr. Wright said she knows from experience the difference between going
easy and challenging training. A few years ago, Dr. Wright, 40, was
living in New York and running in Central Park. ³I was jogging around at
9 ? to 10 minutes a mile,² she said, and she had been doing the same
unhurried run for years.

One day, she says, she asked herself, ³What am I capable of?² In a few
months of training, she got much stronger and faster and ended up
running a 10-kilometer race at a speed of 7:44 a mile.

³After 10 years of running at 9:30 I felt so amazing when I realized my
time,² she said.

Ralph Vernacchia, who directs the Center for Performance Excellence at
Western Washington University in Bellingham, Wash., has worked with
elite runners including Olympians. And with elite runners, there is no
question about competitive drive.

But with average runners, he said, older women may be faster because,
oddly enough, they are trying harder than younger women and discovering
for the first time what they are capable of.

Most middle-aged women grew up when track and cross-country teams were
for men only. Some of those women, who had no opportunity to race when
they were young, are just learning to be athletes and are running faster
than younger women who may not care as much.

He described the experience for women as ³a kind of wakening, an
epiphany.²

That is not to say that training is easy, he added. Being an athlete
requires dedication and training, Dr. Vernacchia explained.

³Itıs a mindset and once you know the method, itıs a real achievement.
It takes emotional energy, spiritual energy and physical energy. Thereıs
a difference between being involved and being committed. To be an
athlete you must be committed.²

³Commitment is a state you find yourself in when the gun goes off,² Dr.
Vernacchia said.

Then, if you are lucky, you beat all those younger women.

--
Crossing the starting line is 90%.
Crossing the finish line is the other 90%.
  #2  
Old August 30th 07, 05:08 PM posted to rec.running
[email protected]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 39
Default See Jane Run, Run Jane Run

On Aug 30, 10:40 am, Michelle wrote:
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/30/he...tness.html?_r=...
ef=slogin


snip

It's a violation of copyrights to copy and paste entire articles and/
or web content pages and just stick them into postings like this.
Generally consided not good form even if the material is not copyright
protected.

Perhaps an alternate approach more suited to this group might be to
put in some text "I found this interesting or helpful and ( here is
why ) then supply a link ".

Such an approach can help avoid copyright concerns as well as limiting
and large copy and pastes into this newsgroup.

As far as that specific article I tend to disagree about the
commitment remark. I personally think commitment begins when you have
properly trained for a realistic attempt at running a race. Just
starting and finishing demonstrates participation IMHO which is a
several different layers away from commitment to a sport.





  #4  
Old August 30th 07, 06:19 PM posted to rec.running
[email protected]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 39
Default See Jane Run, Run Jane Run

On Aug 30, 12:03 pm, Michelle wrote:
In article .com,

wrote:
As far as that specific article I tend to disagree about the
commitment remark. I personally think commitment begins when you
have properly trained for a realistic attempt at running a race.
Just starting and finishing demonstrates participation IMHO which is
a several different layers away from commitment to a sport.


It takes a commitment to be able to start and finish. Maybe if you're a
natural at the sport and don't have to train, starting and finishing
doesn't show a commitment. But for many of us, getting out there and
running three or more days a week just to be able to finish a
race--heck, just getting out there and running, even if you never enter
a race--shows a commitment to running.

--
Crossing the starting line is 90%.
Crossing the finish line is the other 90%.


Different people's opinions will vary.

Running for more than a year shows "an interest". Running for more
than 5 years shows a commitment.

Those of us going past 10/15/20/25 years or more ... a serious
problem.

  #7  
Old August 30th 07, 10:05 PM posted to rec.running
Tony S.
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Posts: 1,277
Default See Jane Run, Run Jane Run

wrote in message
oups.com...
On Aug 30, 12:03 pm, Michelle wrote:
In article .com,

wrote:
As far as that specific article I tend to disagree about the
commitment remark. I personally think commitment begins when you
have properly trained for a realistic attempt at running a race.
Just starting and finishing demonstrates participation IMHO which is
a several different layers away from commitment to a sport.


It takes a commitment to be able to start and finish. Maybe if you're a
natural at the sport and don't have to train, starting and finishing
doesn't show a commitment. But for many of us, getting out there and
running three or more days a week just to be able to finish a
race--heck, just getting out there and running, even if you never enter
a race--shows a commitment to running.


Even a year of consistent running, or mix of cross training, shows
commitment. I don't know how many people actually exercise consistently,
but, what, 1/3 of adults are considered obese in the USA! Normally people
who make it through a year of consistent exercise, I would think, see the
benefits and continue on. Wintertime is a struggle for me, which is the time
to 'develop your base', but sometimes it "just don't seem natural like".

--
Crossing the starting line is 90%.
Crossing the finish line is the other 90%.


Different people's opinions will vary.

Running for more than a year shows "an interest". Running for more
than 5 years shows a commitment.

Those of us going past 10/15/20/25 years or more ... a serious
problem.


That depends on how obsessed you are about it

-Tony, who has been running for 25+ years on and off, and biking for 30+
years, again, on and off, but normally some mix of the two, according to the
seasons.



  #9  
Old August 31st 07, 06:22 PM posted to rec.running
Frank Boettcher
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 338
Default See Jane Run, Run Jane Run

On Thu, 30 Aug 2007 07:40:27 -0700, Michelle
wrote:

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/30/he...s.html?_r=1&or
ef=slogin


Snipped a bunch

Men, as might be expected, get slower as they age. At a recent
five-kilometer race in Pine Beach, N.J., which drew nearly 1,000
runners, the fastest man was 24 years old and the menıs times dropped
with each five-year age group.

But the women were different ‹ their times were all over the place with
older women beating younger women in almost every age category. The
fastest woman was 37 years old; the fastest woman in the 45 to 49 age
group beat the fastest woman in the 20 to 24 and the 40 to 44 age groups.


that statement is certainly not universal.

In this area the vast majority of short races are won by individuals
in the 15-19 age group, both genders, providing there are no pros in
the race and there won't be if there is no cash prize.
Most of the winners are high school cross country runners who train
year round. In this area, many times women in the 50 plus age groups
can win by walking, while the men have to turn times close to 20 for a
5K and low forties for the 10K. The men may be five minutes off the
overall winning time, the women often three or four times that.

Frank

  #10  
Old August 31st 07, 06:36 PM posted to rec.running
steve common
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Posts: 812
Default See Jane Run, Run Jane Run

Michelle wrote:

³Are
you running just to run,² he asked, ³or do you have some purpose in
mind?


Thanks for this, Michelle :-)
 




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