I hope I didn't lose too many readers in the long break between "Runners Who Want to Improve" and "Runners Who are Passionate to Improve." If you've been checking every day to see when this next post would come out, I apologize, but I also think you need some more hobbies.
Runners Who are Passionate to Improve are generally crazy. Have a conversation with these runners at your own risk. It will most likely lead to an intense discussion on the benefits of heart rate training, the glycemic index of their lunch, or how they manage to get a run in before work by "showering" in the bathroom with a package of baby wipes.
Honestly, these people often come across as more than a little strange. When they're not reading about running, talking about running, or running, they're on an internet message board in an intense debate about whether or not the lactate threshold is something to be concerned with or merely superfluous data.
Runners Who are Passionate to Improve are also likely to spend an inordinate amount of money trying to get faster. The newest running watch? Check. Super-lightweight singlet, the latest running shoes, and sweat-wicking, blister-preventing socks? Check, check, and check. An internet coach who pours over their training plan, gives them feedback on their workouts, and offers dietary advice? Check. If they think it might net them a couple of seconds in a 5k or a couple of minutes in a marathon, they're likely to dip into the wallet at the expense of car maintenance (they'll run to work), vacations (does a destination marathon count?), or paying their water bill (they'll shower at the gym).
Another quirk of these runners is often a wholesale devotion to certain styles of training. If you're wondering what non-periodized multi-paced training is, and you like to listen to someone talk about it, find one of these guys and you'll be sure to hear way more than you ever wanted to about the subject.
OK, maybe these runners aren't quite that bad. In fact, these are people who, if you're interested in running, are pretty fun to talk to. These are people who are often up for a run when you need a training partner, and are great to have on your team if you're running any sort of a relay.
Speaking of improvements, today I'm running the Valentine's Day 5k at Lake Harriet. It'll be my first "race" since the Whistlestop Marathon in October. Honestly, I'm not super excited for it. I've been making very slow progress rehabilitating my broken knee since I started running again about a month-and-a-half ago. I had a good doctor's appointment, but I'm still only running about 15 minutes in a 30 minute run/walk session. My doctor (who's been on one of my favorite web shows) took an x-ray and said everything was healing well.
Though I've been making steady progress, I can't seem to get past the five minute run, five minute walk for 30 minutes. I did a four minute walk, six minute run once, but the next time I tried to do it my knee acted up. So, today I'll be run-walking the 5k that I finished second in last year. Oh well, maybe getting a different view of the race will be fun. Maybe I'll even find a "Runner Who's Passionate to Improve" in the 30 minute range to talk to.