Social Masochism

Monday and Tuesday officially kicked my butt at work. Finally saying goodbye to the urban rat race of reality at 5pm yesterday meant two things – 1) freedom from a couple of high stress days, and 2) it was time to get my butt to the track.

Said butt was officially kicked again last night… on said track.

I joined up with a local running group – Christian Runners – at their weekly track workout at Holy Innocents School in Atlanta. As a first timer, I’d heard good things about the group’s Tuesday speed workouts, but wasn’t really sure what I was in for. We did a wildcard draw of sorts – various times/distances were listed on cards of which people would pick one and thus seal our fate for the next 2-6 minutes. We covered 4 x 30 secs, 2 x 2min, and 4 x 1min, and more… emphasis on the more say my jello legs. Solid, but intense.

Stacey, a USA Track and Field certified coach, leads the group each week and is really great about pushing, supporting and educating the whole time. It was nice to have someone else think for me – someone else to pick a type of torture and just make me do it.  I believe it’s easier to have your butt kicked by someone else than by yourself. I feel like I can put it all on the line surrounded by a group of people. I can fight for every inch when the pressure is on. I can free my mind and let all the energy go to my legs. I’m a group-induced fighter – a social masochist if you will.

I have to giggle about one thing. I’ve been seeing a lot of ads recently that note… “summer is almost here” and “almost time for hot weather gear.” Clearly these people live no where close to Atlanta, because as we all are well aware… it is perfectly toasty already here in the dirty south. Despite being in the shade at 6:30pm, I baked last night on the track, or at the very least was in a deep simmer for 1.5 hrs.

Recovery included lots of water, Nuun (my electrolyte drink of choice), stretching, ice cream and early bed. Yes… ice cream was quite necessary for recovery. When I’m dead tired on the ground, I take comfort any way possible. I haven’t worked that hard, or felt quite so happy, after a bout of torment in a long time.

Definitely looking forward to social suffering round two next week. What do you think – is it easier to push yourself alone, or with others?

One comment Add your comment

Gen Neyland

June 9th, 2010
6:58 am

As a rural dweller, I’m fine with training alone. Running with 50 to 55,000 in a race and/or event is plenty group therapy for me. Do like to converse with others though, sharing what we do to get where we’re going. There are people that benefit from group running sessions by keeping their motivation up. Others like the social climate. Still, a few may want to be ‘pushed’ by the group. I benefit from talking with similar minds about anything associated with running, gear, etc…Sharing our best advice, suggestions and encouragement is good enough for me.