Built like a Mule or a Clydesdale


Power meal before my run last night. Yummy pesto goodness. Cooked some noodles, pulled out a couple of frozen pestos pieces from its respective ice cube tray in my freezer, and topped off with some mozzarella cheese. Dear me, the drool is escaping down my chin.

Before my run I did a little reading on NY Times, because I like to have something to ponder as I pound away the miles. Sort of like in high school when the English teacher would give a writing prompt in order to force you into creating some literary awesomeness (my teacher's would be so proud of my use of language). I do this for two reasons:
  • Keeps my brain from thinking about running. Kind of like highway hypnosis. Thinking about abstract ideas takes all the mental energy that I would use to think, "Why am I doing this?", "How can I create a shortcut on my route and get home to watch Dancing With the Stars on Time?", or, "Am I crazy?" and puts that energy into more meaningful topics. For example, "How can I reduce my environmental impact?", "What new and healthy recipe can I use to entice my office mates?", or, "Did I TiVo Dancing with the Stars?"
  • Thinking about a prompted topic keeps me from accidentally singing out loud to the tunes on my iPod. That is more for everyone else's sake rather than my own.
The NY Times article that peaked my interest today was on weight classes in road races. Why it interested me was because I would currently fall under the women's weight class for a Clydesdale, if not at least an Athena. But not just that, I would have also fallen under this category when I was much fitter in high school.

Never one to really think dwell on weight so much as feeling healthy and fit, I've also never run a road race with the intention of winning. My goal is generally to stay in my PR range and enjoy the energy and fun of running along side others. And the cool swag, I love me some race t-shirts.

In high school I lovingly referred to myself as the mule. Never a sprinter by any stretch of the imagination, but I could finish any long distance run our coach threw at us. To me, fast was fast, and finishing was finishing. But I never put myself into a weight class.

The concept was not foreign though, even as a teenager I listened as two of my best friends would talk about weighing in for Power Lifting competition. Their sport recognized that there was a difference in performance between size, enough to justify different weight classes. However, I also learned of the pressure they faced before each competition to maintain their current weight, because even gaining a couple pounds. Because if they were pumped up into the next weight class, they would be on the low end and that could throw them off, not only physically but mentally as well.

All this thought provoking internal monologue carried me through mile two of my run. Then Kat DeLuna started belting out "Whine Up" and I started to jam along proving the second bullet point up top to be absolutely accurate. Inner dialog momentarily put on hiatus.

I finished my daily running and ponder time with a wild berry protein smoothie. Then I flipped on "Dancing with the Stars" and settled in for my final thoughts on my mental running prompt.


Which brings me to my parting analysis. Quite honestly, I really do not have a strong position formed on Clydesdale racing. I know there is a distinct advantage to small, lean racers. However, winning is not why I run. Even when I was younger I ran more to beat my own personal best rather then to race the pack. But that does not necessarily mean that is how everyone else sees this. Some folks want fairness, but on the flip side other folks do not want to be classified.

Its the competitive versus those folks just going out to have fun. I fall on the side that just wants to be healthy and enjoy myself. None of the races in my area have really offered this option for racing, but I will be interested to see if in the coming years if it gains popularity, that it pops up at more races.


On a side note, happy "International Walk to School Day!" If I had kiddos, I would definately make them lace up their tennis shoes and trudge it to class.

1 comment:

  1. I am not a big fan of the clydesdale division but honestly dont care that much either way. I am a plodder so I am not winning the race anyway.