While running on Sunday, I had the opportunity to appreciate my sex organs. I know gender is a social construct that is continually being dissected each day, but I consider myself a female. I love being a woman even if I make $0.77 to the male $1.
I think as a society, things are changing that benefit women and the future looks really bright for us.
That aside, racing Catharine Valley made me really thankful for the “limitations” I have because I am biologically female. I was thankful to not be as strong as the men. I was thankful to not have as much endurance. I was thankful to be slower (at the beginning of the race).
Why was I thankful for these limitations?
Because it gave me people to chase down.
Part of racing fast is having the stamina to keep up pace even when you are in front. My goal for each race is to give my best effort, not to win. Sometimes in smaller races, you find yourself out in front. While this is great, it can also limit what you are capable of. If I knew I was going to win, I wouldn’t push myself so hard (because why would you honestly?).
Because I am a woman, even if I am the first one, there will always be a man ahead of me.
[Usually this man]
There will always be someone to run down. I use this womanly advantage to make me a stronger runner and to grab more PRs. On Sunday, the first half of the race went so well because I had people in view that I could chase down.
I call that ethical hunting.
On the turn around, I saw people who were behind me coming toward me, and also passed the last person I could see ahead of me. That made the second half more difficult than the first. Combine racing solo, with the heat and the last few miles were much harder than they could have been. I didn’t have as much motivation to remain on the hunt. The leaders were too far ahead to see. The hunting makes racing fun even when I am in major pain.
What did I take away from this? I need to find other motivation inside me. I need to find a different source of fun when I am alone racing. I doubt this will be very hard to do, but that is what I am going to practice next race.
What do you do in races to remain engaged?