As marathon Sunday approaches, like many of you, I have been talking about it nonstop with the people around me. I talk to my family, my friends, my students, my neighbors, the cashier at the grocery store, the poor stranger riding in the elevator with me… anyone is fair game. I am just so excited to do this thing!
Some people I talk to understand my excitement as many were runners at one time. Those are the people I love to share my story with. They are supportive. They are sincere. They just get it, ya know?
Others, however, really just, well… do not.
Sometimes I have to bite my tongue when I hear their responses and repeatedly remind myself that the information I just shared them was solicited. Maybe they are annoyed by my bragging? Maybe they have never ran before? Maybe they truly are ignorant to the sport, but holy cow, man. It can be frustrating!
For example, here are some of the reactions I have gotten recently:
You must be crazy. You actually pay to run that far? Um, yes, I do, Thank You Very Much. It helps me commit to the sport, to set goals, and provides me wonderful race amenities on race day such as hydration stations, snacks and drinks provided after, published race times, and many of the other wants and needs desired if one attempts to run a full marathon.
I’ve tried jogging before. Okay. Let’s just get one thing straight. Although I see teens wearing huge hoop earrings, short belly shirts and jeans with more holes than denim fabric, we are no longer in the 1980s. In talking with a fellow runner about this comment earlier this week, we agreed that calling us “joggers” is actually kind of offensive to a runner in training. It implies that neon green terry cloth headbands and hot pink leg warmers are part of a slow bouncy “jog” that isn’t a sport, but is instead a, like, totally rad pastime. No. I am a runner, not a jogger. And they are not the same thing.
I ran a 5K once. First, a 5K is a very commendable distance for many people. At one point in my life about five years ago, a 5K was difficult for me. In fact, I was so incredibly proud of myself when I completed my very first 5K that I blasted it all over Facebook. That being said, a 10K, half marathon, and especially a full marathon, are NOT the same as running a 5K. These are all are very different distances. I know you don’t mean to offend me but implying that your 5K completion is the equivalent to my attempt at a marathon next week, does make me roll my eyes at you. And I may even have to invite you to go on a run with me soon.
Although I am certain most of you can relate to these responses, if you happen to be a non runner and are reading this post, rest assured that I am being sarcastic. Truthful yes, but also sarcastic. I should be happy you are just listening to me when I boast about my upcoming race, right?
Runners, what responses have you gotten that have rubbed you the wrong way? I am interested to know if I am alone in my sentiment, or if you can relate too.