And the world will know

I had a slight altercation at the lunch table. Tiny. Maybe.

The thing is, I’m happy to mock and be sarcastic and facetious. It’s in my nature. But generally speaking, I do so in a manner that’s not really singling people out or trying to make anyone feel bad about themselves. I elevate self-deprecation to an art form and ultimately I’m a member of the “you do you” school of thinking.

I work with someone who I actually really like generally speaking, they’re a great person, but at lunch I felt the need to stand up for all my running people in the face of someone who doesn’t run making judgements about runners. Someone else I work with has started using the treadmill at the gym. He’s more in the weightlifting camp and has no desire to be a runner (his dad is a sub 3:00 hour marathoner so he’s familiar with the world of running) but wanted to do some cardio and was asking me about my pacing when the offending co-worker offered his assertions. Here’s how the conversation went down and you can tell me if I was grossly out of line.

“So what do you run when you race? Like what’s your pace?”
“For a half marathon, I can get into the 9ish range, for a 5k I’ve been known to go into the low 8s on a good day. I’m working on getting my marathon time down.”
Offending co-worker: “Well, I pretty much draw the line at double digits. Once you’re over 10 minutes you’re not running you’re just leisurely jogging. I mean, I run a 7:30 mile.”
Me: “Oh, really? You run a 7:30 mile? Did you run that for the whole Cherry Blossom 10 miler or just the first mile until you started hobbling because you hurt your knee and had to walk the rest of it? When did you run that marathon at a 7:30 mile? OH RIGHT NEVER.”
He got really offended and I said, “fine, in the future we’ll just stick with your arbitrary system of defining who is and isn’t a runner, a sport in which you no longer participate. Feel better?”

Listen, everyone gets their own opinion and if that’s the criteria he wanted to use he can use it but that doesn’t preclude me from disagreeing with him about it or from saying that I think it’s arbitrary and meaningless and pointing out that he was never really able to run multiple miles at a time so get down off your high pace horse.

Now I would like to hear your arbitrary opinions on my arbitrary opinion about his arbitrary opinion!


16 thoughts on “And the world will know

  1. I think if you’re going to dish it out and throw your comments out there, whether solicited or not, then you better be able to take whatever comes back at you. Not being there, I don’t know what his tone was, but it sounds like he was being pretty obnoxious about it, If I had been the one who had asked you about it in the first place, and was struggling with my running, I would have been grateful to know that you had my back when Mr. I’m A Badass and I Know It and So Should You opened up his big yap. And I ran a 7:30 mile once. Then I woke up. It was nice dream.

  2. BOOM. {Drops water bottle, walks off.}

    If you’re going to put it out there, you’d better be able to take it. I would have called bullshit on him as well. Pace inflating? I mean really. Get it together. WELL DESERVED. 🙂

  3. On behalf of us “leisurely joggers” because I’m still in double digits, thank you. I probably would have proceeded to punch said offender in the face and/or throw something at him.

    It’s dumbass comments like that that honestly make me feel REALLY shitty about my running. Running vs. jogging isn’t about speed, it’s about effort. I’m sorry that my busting my ass pace isn’t fast enough for you to consider is running. Talk to me after you do 39.3 miles in 2 days (…of course, maybe I should wait until I actually do it to say that, but still!)

    I hate being slow.

    • Kellie, we’re going to be SO AMAZING in January. I was thinking of you while I was running this weekend, Goofy will be easy for you but you have to do the 1/2 even slower than you think you should and I think you’ll pleasantly surprise yourself during the full. We’ll talk strategy when you’re half comatose right after that Central Park 1/2 marathon in October.

      • I LOVE how you just used the words Goofy and easy in the same sentence! And I don’t think it’s possible to go any slower, although I was thinking run a mile, walk a mile, and photo stops. But we we’ll talk after the race. I’ll probably agree to any strategy in my delirium…

  4. Ew. I’m sure it’s really easy to feel all self-righteous when you can bust out sub-8 miles without thinking about it (or if that’s what you tell people) but it really, REALLY shouldn’t be hard for people to understand that a runner is a runner if they’re running and participating in race and training to improve, not just when they hit certain time marks. It’s so frustrating to keep finding people like this when all you want to do is discuss a shared interest.

    • What irked me most was the way the statement negated anything over a 10 minute mile, that that is inherently easy for everyone and feels like a leisurely pace, because that bullshit right there. “easy pace” is a subjective, fluid kind of thing not a hard number.

  5. People need to learn to keep their opinions to themselves. I snapped on someone last week too when they shared an unsolicited negative opinion.

    And as far as who’s a runner and who’s not, here is the definition of jogging I found:

    Jogging is a form of trotting or running at a slow or leisurely pace. The main intention is to increase physical fitness with less stress on the body than from faster running, or to maintain a steady speed for longer periods of time.

    If jogging is “increasing physical fitness with less stress on the body” or the ability to “maintain a steady speed for longer periods of time” then I’m fine being a jogger. Honestly, who the hell cares!

  6. If that guy’s system was standard, I wouldn’t be considered a runner at all. Granted, the terminology jog vs run doesn’t really mean all that much to me, but for someone to make a generalization like that is not cool. Everyone’s got to start somewhere, and some people, no matter how hard they work, will NEVER run a 7:30 mile. AND THAT’S OK!

  7. First things first: glad no one had to post bail, because someone should have decked that ass hat. Second: I definitely call BS on his 7:30 pace… whatever. Third: as one if those slow and plodding runners (because I stopped ‘training’ for 4 half’s after my first, I’ve gotten slower rather than faster/easier), that CAN run single digit if I want to, but am almost always in the 10-11’s so I can respond to my chatty-Cathy XC runner daughter who sometimes runs with me (my speed work, her recovery – bitch), I SOOOO appreciate you standing up and saying something. We run because we like it, we race against ourselves (other than those few elites that are always lines up getting ready to start when I’m still parking the car). Ugh. Good for you and thank you.

  8. What a jackass thing to say!! Ugh. Yeah I don’t think you can braggity brag about your pace for running ONE MILE when the discussion was about something completely different. Glad you said something to set him straight!

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