Monday, January 24, 2011

Athena vs. Clydesdale

So...this whole athena versus clydesdale thing has been on my mind since I started running. Okay...well that is a lie because I did not actually know that the terms existed in running until probably October when one of my race registrations asked me if I wanted to participate in the category...but don't worry it is optional. haha. Anyway...what is this whole athena and clydesdale stuff you ask? Well...typically prizes are distributed in the racing world among overall and age group winners. However, in bigger races they also often add the category of Athena:

and Clydesdale:

These are known as the "weight" categories for those runners that are maybe not so much the "typical" size. For men, these are the people above 200 lbs (clydesdales) and women these are the people above 150 lbs (athenas). Well...first of all...i am grateful they chose athena for women because at least that is a pretty-sounding name with a powerful representation (goddess). I am not so sure how I feel about the term clydesdale though...see above picture to see what I mean. Anywayyy...neither of these pictures look like they are running very far which is kind of frustrating to me. I see both sides of the argument...first...it is nice to have the categories because it allows everyone a chance to win. Lets be honest...it is tough to beat those gazelles running 4 minute miles and weighing 115 lbs. Plus I see no shame in the categories because...hey you are out there running some serious miles which is more than a lot of people can say regardless of what weight they are. However, on the other side...I truly believe runners come in all shapes and sizes. From day one I have been determined to be an "athletic" runner. I have always been a muscular girl so I really was never ecstatic about being skin and bones to have to be a runner. I do think there are national elite runners out there that live to this ideal (Shalane Flanagan for one...my running idol currently)...but sometimes it is frustrating to feel you have to be a certain shape, size or weight to excel (this goes for any arena of life really). It is interesting because I have read that each runner has an ideal racing weight which includes a certain percentage of body fat which is very important for running. Long and tough runs require body fat to be burned to do well so you need that percentage to be high enough so you can excel but low enough to not be a hindrance. I took this advice to mean...hey...i am a runner. Eat well but eat often. haha. Anyway...as little as I was truly bugged by the Athena category, I always wondered if I could honestly make it out of the category. When I started running non-athena-land was a good 23 lbs away....WOW. Well...I made it. I think I may be the most surprised of all but I am pretty happy with my weight and proud of myself for being healthy. Now I hope to maintain my weight (within about a 5 lb range) and truly dedicate myself to the skill and art of running. It is exciting to feel that hard work paid off...I am honestly scared out of my mind because I have never lost and maintained before but am hoping at this point in my life that can be different. I have found something I love and am blessed to have friends and family that support me in it. So...athena or no athena...I am most proud of hard work, my desire to push myself and my desire to achieve goals never achieved/pursued before but that I have had since a little girl :)

Happy Monday everyone! Will hopefully post again this weekend as Rachelle and I are running our first 10k in 3 months (!!) in pursuit of PRs :)

5 comments:

  1. I had wondered what the whole Athena/Clydesdale thing was all about. I think I saw the option of entering into those categories when I registered for the UV Half. Good to know! I believe we may be running in the same race on Sat. I am actually running the 5K though. :D Look forward to seeing you there!

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  2. ha ha this made me laugh. I hadn't ever condisered what these terms actually stood for. I do however think they should add a "minithena" group for those under 5'3. So friend you need to check out this blog www.hungryrunnergirl.com. I just spent the greater half of my work day reading it.

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  3. Good for you! Rock it! I know the feeling of maintaining the weight after loosing. FINALLY back to pre-BABIES weight. However, still in the Athena category. Ha!

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  4. LOVE you blog!!! Girl, you are totally going to get that 10k PR!!! I have never really thought about the athena/clydesdale thing until now! You are hilarious! LOVE your blog and keep running!

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  5. I AM OBSESSED WITH YOU!!! I had so much fun with you and I am so happy we are real life best friends now. Great job on your 10k and I can't wait for our ragnar race!!

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