I went for a run this morning with the goal of traveling 8 miles via sneaker. I decided to run along the Bethpage Bike trail, a venue I haven't run at in a while since I haven't really been running much at all. This trail is a paved mini 2 lane trail that is about 6.5 miles from end to end. I stashed a water bottle at the 2 mile point, drove to the 0 mile and figured I would go back and forth and back and forth to get the 8.
While I can walk effectively without pain (and typically walk about a 17:00min/mile pace), every mile I can jog in the Ironman will save me about 5 minutes. I know that I will be walking a great deal of that marathon but even 12 miles of jogging will buy me an hour. This might be significant.
I decided to try jog 3 minutes/walk 2. I started with this just focusing on the clock not looking at pace on the Garmin. I was doing well but the trail was crowded with runners, many who I know but since I haven't really been running, who I haven't seen in a while.
While "socializing" with many of the long time runners, I thought of this site as the home for the running faction of endurance athletes. Some athletes are able to be in multiple factions (I'm one) but this multifaction group is small. The runners accepted me since I have, in the distant past, been able to run. The noobs to the running crew looked at me oddly, not knowing if I belonged since I was, ahem, slow, but followed the lead of the old school folks who knew and welcomed me. This got me thinking.
If I triathlete shows up in cyclistland with aerobars, they are immediately identified as "one of those." Conversely if a athlete shows up to a triathlon centric group ride without areobars on their bike, they are initially viewed as a noob or "cyclist" type. You need to know which faction you are training with.
Why does knowing factions matter? When someone you haven't seen in a while sees you training, one of the first questions they ask is "what are you training for?" There are many ways for me to answer at this time without showing the wrong endurance athlete DNA. If it is a runner, I'll say "The Hampton's Half" and they'll nod their head or respond with their agenda. If a cyclist, I'll say "Tour of the Hamptons" or "Golden Apple Century" - both acceptable answers. To a triathlete, I'll say IMFL.
If you answer cross faction, you've already identified that you are "different." Not as different as proudly wearing a Red Sox shirt in New York or a Mets hat in Philadelphia, but different none the less.
I did my 3/2 for a little over 6 miles and rather than risk it, walked the rest in. I was happy I got my sneaker time done and tomorrow I have a brick of a 5.5 hour ride at ironpace followed by a 4 mile TT run that I may try 4/1 instead of 3/2. I'm going to do this at Heckscher Park which is typically a triathlete faction venue. I need to remember that if any faction specific queries are raised.
Do you ever inadvertantly cross faction?