Tim Meyer teaches economics at South Dakota State University in Brookings, SD, and is also on the 605 Racing team. Tim runs many races all over the region, and although you might not know his name, you may recognize him if you saw him.
Last week, amid the blizzard, your fearless assistant manager Kyle Schmidt ventured north to Brookings to run a workout with Chris Gruenhagen and yours truly.
I had not run anything "fast" for quite some time, but I was not too concerned about being able to hang with Kyle and Chris. Since Chris and I both live in Brookings, we probably run together once a week on average, and even though Chris always beats me in races (I'm known as Mr. Second Place in Brookings), I can usually push him in workouts.
Kyle on the other hand, was a bit of an unknown. You see, Kyle is a sandbagger. He says things like, "I don't have any speed," or some variation of that an average of 17 times per conversation. He might even point out how much faster I have been than him over the last 12-18 months.
What he won't point out is his 5k or 10k PRs. I'm not sure what his 10k PR is, but I know his 5k pr is in the 14:45 range...and no the course was not short!
As the workout progressed, I realized I was going to be outclassed in our last set of 300 meter repeats; and I was right. By the first turn of each lap I was 5-10 meters behind, and by the finish I was half a straightaway behind. I'll be honest, it was a little disappointing.
Then I looked at my watch, 50, 48,51 for the last 3...or 4:25/mile pace with short rest; suddenly my mood changed. I didn't have a bad workout, I was just running with guys faster than me!
I view the opportunity to run with these guys as a privilege for two reasons. First, one of the best ways to get faster is to run with people faster than you and second, Chris and Kyle or the only two people I know who are bigger running nerds than myself.
So if you're reading this and you're a solo runner (like I used to be), find someone to run with. If they're faster than you, don't worry; it won't hurt anyone. The neat thing about running is that no matter how fast you are, unless you are Usain Bolt, there is always someone faster; but we all have the same goals.