You are at the start of your marathon and in the back of your mind is the elite runners you have seen running the entire race with their effortless strides and graceful form. You don’t imagine yourself looking like this, you KNOW you look like this. Everyone around you is so impressed and is saying to themselves. Wow look at this person, they really know how to run. Look at their professional form.
A couple of days later, you get your photos from the race organizer. “WHAT?” You say to yourself, “I looked like this?” The realization hits you. You look like a modified version of an elite runner, even worse, the camera caught you walking at mile 22. Alas, this is my typical thought pattern on every race I run.
The conversation came up in our running group about how we all think we look like fast elite runners and how when we look at our marathon pictures we look like we are running about 4 miles an hour. (Having said that, at the end of a marathon I have been known to run/walk 4 miles an hour!)
Even during the fastest times of the race, the camera seems to snap a picture right when you are in mid-stride and it still looks like you are shuffling along.
Let’s be honest, even if you are running an 8 minute mile for a 3:30 marathon you look like you are going slow when you snap the photo. I can say I was running 8 minutes and below during the majority of my race in the photos on this post. I didn’t slow down until the last 5 miles. Having said that I don’t think I looked like I was faster or slower in the pictures.
I watched a 1 mile track meet and it was amazing how slow the 5 min mile runners looked, especially the ones that finished when some of the other runners where doing 4:30 mile splits.
It’s funny when ever I travel I always start off thinking everyone is looking at me as I bound down some foreign lane, knowing full well that no one is actually looking. Somehow I feel better nearly sprinting that first 1/2 mile than walking, out of breath and trying to silently compose myself.
Because today is my birthday, I am going to take this opportunity to pretend that I do look like an elite runner and go out and really impress everyone watching me run.
(Thank you Mindi for the image to the right)