Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The Open-Ended Question Maneuver


Today was my first real opportunity to run since I suffered a stress fracture in my hip last September. Up until this point I've been limited to 20-40 minute easy runs, and let me tell you, it has been difficult to hold back. I love running.

This morning I was thrilled to see that my coach, Javier, had posted a 1-hour run with moderate pace and pushing up hills. Yes! I threw on my Newtons and ran out the door, sort of wishing I had company to share my excitement with. When I got to Central Park I started with Harlem Hill and felt amazing. I reminded myself to chill a bit because I still had to run for the hour, so I pulled back.

Well, it wasn't long before I was playing running leap frog with some Random Runner Guy. He would hold his pace just past my hip and I would then take my place back in front of him. Back and forth, back and forth, until we finally just ran at each other's hip for a couple of miles. I was grateful for my new best running friend but soon the competitive side of me took over. I heard his breathing was labored and saw his face getting redder to hold our pace. Then he started to push a bit harder and tried to pass me (clearly he was afraid to get beat by a girl) but I was still feeling pretty comfy. I considered breaking the rules and pushing past my "moderate" pace but decided that it wouldn't be worth another injury. So I unleashed the secret weapon... the "Open-Ended Question Maneuver" (thank you @texafornia).

"So what do you do for work that you get to run at 2pm?" - timed perfectly with the start of a hill.

"How do you like running in those New Balance shoes?" - I pull back a bit to enjoy my company.

"Oh yeah, what was it like recovering from that injury?" - raising my voice to project backwards.

I'm really not that mean. It was fun and I did enjoy the company. I can't wait to get out there again. I averaged a 7:25 min pace for the entire 6.2 miles! Not a bad comeback.

6 comments:

Javier said...

Way to Go!

ramster said...

so glad to hear you are back and comfortable running. I am pickign back up with my track work so I can try to run you down :)


(whats the zentri countermeasure to use against the open ended question tactic? Maybe the 'answer a question with a question' method, or the tried and true 'repeat everything the other guy says'technique?)

Anonymous said...

Texafornia here...

The open ended question technique doesn't have to be used for evil. It's just a way to slow others down so they can have the opportunity to run with you. :)

Jamie said...

Awesome run and glad to have you back in full force. I only wish you had given me a little more time to get my speed up so I could keep up with you...

Molly said...

haha. Congrats on the run. You know you liked being a meanie. What a funny tactic, I will have to use it sometime.

The Tri Runner said...

Open-Ended Question Maneuver - Nice!

I'll have to remember that one.