In the Navy, we have a semiannual physical readiness test (PRT), the test is maximum situps in 2:00 minutes, 2 minutes rest, maximum pushups in 2:00, 10 minute rest, and lastly a 1.5 mile run. As fitness tests go, it's very mild. Anyways to the point of the post, every cycle there are a couple guys that run at the front of the pack that inevitably never really run. Last test (a few months ago) I came in 2nd place in 9:05, only 5 seconds back. In all reality, I probably should've beat him, but when he took off at the start, I let him go, thinking he would die, like people usually do. I closed 45 of the 50 second gap on him, but couldn't get that last 5 seconds....oh well, learning experiences...
Anywho, a couple days later I was talking to him and he was saying that he wants to run sub-8:00 on the next PRT (november), and I was trying to convince him that is ALOT of time to shave off in only 5-6 months - hell it's 40 seconds per mile! Anyways, I've seen him a few times since then, and he tells me that he is running here and there, only going 'up to' 6 miles, which means that most of his runs are shorter than that.
There is another guy that I work with who has your typical runner's build - 5'11/140-150lbs - he is fresh out of high school where he did alot of rollerblading, he says up to 15+ miles a day. The streets here are cobblestone, so he can't blade anywhere. On the last test he finished behind me in 9:12, and has said that he wants to run the Rome Marathon with me. He runs shorter distances quite often (3-6 miles) but I've never really seen or heard of him doing more than that (this island is so small, you KNOW when someone runs that much, you can't help but see them). So on the 1/2 mary I ran last month (VERY hilly course and warm/humid) he was there too, when he asked me what I planned to run, I told him 1:45 - half of my goal marathon 3:30. He replied by telling me that 3:30 is slow and he is planning on running around 3 flat...I responded by telling him not to underestimate the distance. During the 1/2, he drops out after leading through 3.5 miles (about 1 minute ahead of me). After the first mile, he was running the same 8:00 miles that I was. In his defense, he had been playing basketball for awhile prior to running the 1/2, but none the less, it just goes to show how he overestimates his abilities.
I love to hate these types of people because I know that they are not willing to put in the work to REMAIN quick/fast. Anyone that played a major sport in high school is fast by Navy standards when they join, but once age/having a real job/etc... starts catching up with them and they realize they have to actually work to stay at the pace they were running, they stop training all together and procede to wimp out from then on during all PRTs by saying, "oh, I just don't care, that's all." They seemed to care when they were at the front of the pack and not trying.
Anyone else experience this?