Saturday, April 28, 2012

Them's Fighting Words!

The other day, I read an article by Susan Lacke at Competitor Magazine titled "Running is Running". The point of the article is that, if you run, you're a runner. There is no magical time that you need to achieve and no certification is needed from a professional board of runners. The other main theme of the article is that there is a great, supportive running community out there (just check out all the running blogs or the forums at I've also met some great people at races and have found that friends and co-workers that run (I had no idea some of them ran) support each other.

There was one item in the article that ticked me off. It was a statement from an anonymous coach who said, "40 minute 10K: If you’re faster than that time, you’re a runner; if slower, well…you’re not". That guy is a chump! I guess that means that only the one (1) person out of about one hundred in my age group at the last 10k I ran was a runner (and it wasn't me). In fact, there were only 16 "runners" out of the entire (large) field according to that dude. I completely reject that thinking as ignorant. One of the great things I've learned is there is a good, supportive running community and I don't need the approval of those who don't think I or anyone else are "real runners".

If anyone implied that I or someone I cared about was not a runner, that's a reason to go. The other reason to throw down would be if someone called me the "J" word, and not my name. I am referring to the term "jogger". Now, I'm not talking about someone who is not a runner who might ask if I'm going to go out to jog. That's innocent. I'm speaking to elitist punks who bash people online or in person about their speed or lack thereof. I got all riled up reading about that coach and guess what? That hasn't even happened to me. Almost unanimously, people have been supportive of my activities. I just don't like even hearing about running jerks, elitists and punks (I'll spare you the other words I could use).

Anyone who has "offended" me has done so without intention or malice. After I ran my first race of last year, my Dad asked how I did. I told him I finished a 5k in just under 30 minutes. He seemed surprised that it took me that long - "What is that, like 10 minutes a mile? You were faster than that in high school." Ya think so Pop? I had to explain / remind him that I was in high school 18 years ago and I had been training for only about 6 weeks at that point. He didn't mean anything by it, but I had to explain that training is a process and that nothing just happens on its own. You need to work hard and the results should come. I'm still not as fast as my slowest race in high school, but a year later, it's in my sights.


This week I had a training run with Lil' C, did a "fast" evening 5k and today I ran 10 miles (even though it was cold and I didn't feel like running that far). I intentionally went "slower" today for a couple reasons, one of which is that I want to get re-accustomed to running for a long period of time (I guess I could have accomplished that by running further, but I'm trying to build back up to half marathon-like levels).

I have at least 2 5k's coming up in the next month or so (Sylvan Shuffle and Open Door Julie Run) and I'm now planning to do a 10 mile race at the Solstice Run in June. I needed a short break from racing as my schedule isn't allowing it as much, I need to keep up training and it just gets expensive, but rest assured, I will be back racing soon in pursuit of PRs, glory and bananas!


  1. Man, I know what you mean......if you run, you're a runner. There are always going to be those out there who feel the need to assign titles on others based on their "speed" (or lack thereof), but the more I get out there, the more I admire ANYONE who gets out there to run.

    Every time I race, I know before I start that I'm going to get beaten by kids, little old ladies, people in costumes.....and I could care less. Does it make me less of a runner? Maybe to those (self-annointed) "elites", but I know that I'm out there doing my best and having fun doing it. It's annoying, but those types will always look down on others....if that makes them feel better about themselves, fine....whatever!

    Now get out there and run....I'll see you on the road!

  2. yeah that guy definitely is a chump. I hate when people think that a certain time makes you more of a runner than another. Or if you take walk breaks during a marathon, that doesn't make you a runner. Or whatever else they decide. I'd like to see if that person can actually run 40 minute or less 10k. A lot of the time the people who make those comments aren't even true "runners" (whatever their definition is) and give people slack because they can't do it themselves. So annoying!

  3. A 40 minute 10k? How many people can actually run that fast?! It's a shame that someone can be so... mean. As a somewhat slower runner myself, I feel like I'm constantly having to remind myself that I'm every bit as good as the person who runs 6 minute miles, or the person who can BQ or run an entire marathon without stopping for one walk break. I don't doubt that those things are hard, but someone who finishes a marathon in 5+ hours (or, GASP! a 10k in over 40 minutes) usually faces many more "demons" than the speedster. It's much, MUCH harder to finish a race when they're breaking everything down and the award ceremony is long over than to finish first.

    Ok, enough ranting. Good luck on your 5ks!