>General Running>That awkward moment when you lose a run to a 12-year-old girl you know.
I coach a middle school cross country team. I've known I had a very talented girl coming up for two years now. Granted I'm not a great runner. But I'm usually faster than all but my top 1-2 boys. I know there are fast girls out there. But its a different dynamic when it's a 12-year-old girl that you coach. She put a hurting on me today on a 6 miler. My male ego is hurt a little, but I have a lot of pride as well.
Here is the summary. We started off easy enough
Mile 1 8:46 pace (probably would have gone a little quicker but there was a Raccoon on our trail.
Mile 2 8:43 (It was an out and back and wanted to keep my top group with me for the first two at least)
Mile 3 8:14 It was time to start to go. (Most my top group hung to the halfway mark so I could leave them and still know where they finished.)
Mile 4 7:44 I wanted to see who'd respond. I got my answer dropped everyone but my top girl, (Top boy was away, he'd probably have hung).
Mile 5 7:53 She was breathing heavy and I felt great. Or so I thought.
Mile 6 7:34 for me, 7:19 for her. We were dead even with about a quarter mile to go when she unloaded a ridiculous kick and I was unable to respond to.
Fall 2013 Goals: Doable sub 22:00 5k; Challenging Sub 21:00 5k; Unlikely Sub 20:00 5k.
My 14 yr. old daughter is faster than me. I think it's great. She's in XC now but I can't wait to run a race with with her some time over the winter and get destroyed by her.
I thought I was getting faster and doping great (since a 70 pound weight loss)....then I ran with a 13 y.o. who had not run since track ended (about 2 months). She did not break a sweat on the run....I even made her run some hill repeats because I could see my place was boring her. There is a long way and a loss of many minutes per mile between 13 and 55
I know I am not the fastest runner in the world, but I'm also not slow. I think it's awesome when a kid blows past me in a race. I did a 5K last weekend, and with about a half mile to go all of the spectators were cheering loudly. I knew it wasn't for me. Then there goes a kid screaming past me. Turns out he was 11 and ran the 5K in <21:00. Good job, kid.
The younger runner will usually be faster but veterans have the benefit of racing experience. I ran a local 5K this spring as a time trial and found myself in the unexpected position of battling for overall third place with a runner that would go on to be first woman. I wasn’t racing full out but I kept the last mile interesting by trading spots with her. She showed her hand too early by dropping her final kick with a ½ mile to go. I covered her surge and waited until about 300 meters remaining to kick past her. She was definitely the stronger runner but did not execute well so she was 4th and I was 3rd. While youth is faster (she was less than half my age), racing experience matters.
Just don’t make me tell you about the time that I battled to the finish line with a guy pushing his two daughters in a jogging stroller…..and lost.
201x goals: run a bunch....race some.....repeat...
There is a long way and a loss of many minutes per mile between 13 and 55
This reminds me of my run with my 12 year old daughter last night. I just can't figure out what she wants / needs when it comes to running. She loves running, but isn't very dedicated. She wanted to run with me last night, but chose to only do the 2 mile (easy) warm-up and then walk the 1/4 mile home while I continued with the remainder of my run. By the second mile, we had sped up a little and she would sprint off ahead then slow down until I caught back up. She was fairly worn out by the time we approached the 2nd mile marker / turn-around. She was walking and said she couldn't go any further. Behind me, I heard the boys on the corner laughing at her. I was about to turn around, to ensure their was no bullying going on, when I heard the oldest boy, (age 16), challenge her to a race. She said, "I'll race you to our driveway... Go!" Over that 1/4 mile, she SMOKED him. He made it to the half way mark and stumbled and fell. She kept going, laughing all the way.
I guess that race helped me determine what I am signing her up for at the next race. She has done two races with me. One was a 1-mile in which she took 2nd in her age group. The second was a 5k trail run, in which she took last place overall. (Apparently she didn't realize that you don't stop, talk, and rest at the water stations... Of which there was FIVE). My next race has a 100 meter and 400 meter race for the kids. The 400 meter also allows free entry into the 2 mile walk.
I think it's cool when kids run fast--especially when they run "free" without caring about the times, and are having fun.
I think their advantage is 1) physiology 2) strength to weight ratio and 3) they don't know that running fast is supposed to be hard. I think those advantages tend to dissipate at longer distances because many (not all) minors don't like prolonged pain and often lack patience.
When you find one that does (e.g., Mary Cain), you get to see something special,
Thanks everyone for sharing your stories.
@JML you're definitely right about racing experience. I've definitely used it to beat some of my kids that are more talented. My favorite move on them is unleashing the mid-run kick on them when I'm hurting. Sometimes it will make them quit and I steal a win. Of course I'm an idiot and explain to them what I did afterwards. So it doesn't work again but gives them another racing tool.
That said this girl in particular is a fairly smart runner. She is going to get much faster too. She ran a 5k time trial in 22:00 on a super hilly course. And she didn't go all out. She sit and kicked on our top boy. Which normally would have been a poor strategy on her part. The boy has more sprint speed. However, when the boy has someone on his shoulder he keeps going faster until he burns himself out. So he took his own kick away,
Please tell us the word you intended was doing, not doping!
Well at least someone here is making relevance to the subject. - S.J.
That's cool that you're able to have that semi-competitive relationship with your kids! My completely unprofessional observation is that the three things that contribute to a great runner are, in no particular order: age, genetics/build, and training/experience. In my area/at my school, I think (likely mistakenly) I am regarded as some kind of monster of distance running, judging by various comments I've overheard by some of the kids ("that's our band director, and he can outrun any of us!"). But it's ONLY because of that third item that I'm any good at it...there are many, many kids around here that would absolutely smoke me due to the first two if they put any training into it.
In fact, a couple of years ago, I found myself in a 5K race with our top XC boy, who also happens to be my second-chair trumpet player. He was an 8th grader at the time, and sure enough, we were in the lead for the home stretch. It was funny at the end...I'd push ahead a little, and he'd respond by pushing back, just past me, even though I could tell he was hurting. "Ha! Gotcha!" I'd think, and push again...only to have him push past me again. We did this about three times, and that was all I had - he beat me by a few seconds (it was a very small local race and timing was...well, it was nonexistent). He was not about to let his band director beat him!
Of course, what I didn't point out (and haven't done so since) was that the race start was pretty disorganized, and - ahem! - he had a BIG head start! But realistically, I don't think a better start would have done any good - I doubt he was really trying for the bulk of the race because he didn't think anyone was gunning for him. If I'd been right behind him the whole time, I'm sure he would have turned it on earlier and it wouldn't have even been as close as it was.
"God guides us on our journey, but careful with those feet." - David Lee Roth, of all people
Please tell us the word you intended was doing, not doping!
Dude says he had lost about 70 pounds...he's gotta put that back on somehow!
Alana Hadley been beating most of the men at races since she's been 8. My claim to fame - I sometimes run the route that she trains on.
At least you're confident enough to share this story and to own it. As others have pointed out, you have the advantage in experience and very probably can handle longer and longer distances better. There is no shame, however, in being beat by a talented young person. In fact, I think you're lucky to coach such a strong newcomer. Others of us (me) get used to being beat by pretty much everyone. Other then a few scuffs on the pride, it's survivable.
"We do not become the people who this world needs simply by turning our backs on anyone we don’t like, trust, or deem healthy enough to be in our presence. " ---- Shasta Nelson
What we need is a thread written by young runners entitled: "The awkward moment when you lose a run to an oldie"
+1, for sure! You're absolutely correct, a lot of young people do get embarrassed by being beat by "old" people.