On I went, out of the wood, passing the man leading without knowing I was going to do so. Flip-flap, flip-flap, jog-trot, jog-trot, curnchslap-crunchslap, across the middle of a broad field again, rhythmically running in my greyhound effortless fashion, knowing I had won the race though it wasn't half over, won it if I wanted it, could go on for ten or fifteen or twenty miles if I had to and drop dead at the finish of it, which would be the same, in the end, as living an honest life like the governor wanted me to. -Alan Sillitoe, "Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner"

Friday, July 8, 2011

Things I've read in the past few days that have made me happy

So you should read them, too:

-An amusing review (by a man, no less) of the so-called "Healthy Living" blogs. He manages to capture perfectly why I feel such disdain for so many of these blogs.

-And oldie but a goodie: Washington Ran Here's take on charities, specifically Team in Training. I feel like she says a lot of what many of us think but feel too intimidated to say. (Stick around her blog and read more of it, too. She's good.)

-Emilie discusses why women shouldn't feel the need to apologize to everyone they run with about being slow. I've done the "Oh, no, really, I'm much slower than you are!" dance that she describes before.

-And finally, Bridget talks about a similar (and more annoying, if you ask me) problem: runners who complain about how slow they are, even when they're enviably fast.

And have a good weekend! What will I be up to? Fingers crossed, not much of anything. Maybe going to see a movie. Oh, yeah, and a long run. The schedule calls for 16 miles - hold me accountable!


  1. i plan on reading ALL of these linked posts since i don't feel like moving today. the offer still stands if you want to run 7 of your 16 miles with me...but there will be some hills.

  2. These were nice reads.
    1. I don't think that only women apologize for being slow...I have essentially done that when running with people faster than me.
    2. I don't like the charities one though, just because someone gets in via charity doesn't mean they aren't a decent runner.
    3. The healthy living blogs guy must have looked at the same blog I was looking at...I was wondering why this girl had so many random pictures of herself/friends and a big contact me button.
    4. I agree with you there about fast runners complaining.

  3. It's funny that I apologize for NOTHING outside of my running activities, but as T knows, I'm that "omg, I am not very fast and don't want to hold you back" runner. And while a swampy 7 miles the other day was 10:30+ miles -- taking that 60 seconds slower advice to heart, dammit! -- I've also done a 2:05 half, so I hit a jealousy-inducing speed on Bridget's scale(which I think is generous). So I'm guilty on several of these counts, though not the healthy living blogger transgressions since I don't have a blog and if I did, no way in hell would I ever label myself a healthy liver. My liver is working a hell of a lot harder than my legs, I can tell you that much.

  4. @Kate - I think I'm totally going to promote myself as a "healthy liver" from now on. I've been in training for that my whole life - well, since college, at least. I love it!

    @Aron - you'd be shocked to discover that ALL of the healthy living blogs are very, very, very formulaic. Seriously, they follow the exact same path, always. And re: charities, I think we're looking at it from different perspectives. No, not every TnT runner is "recreational," but that's what the charity promotes themselves for - people who never thought they'd be able to run a marathon. (She does make that distinction.) And this is one of my pet peeves, too: as much as I love, love, love recreational runners and encourage anyone to run, I like running to be taken seriously as a sport. I'm not the first to point out that it's one of few sports (maybe the only one?) where people like me can participate in the same exact sporting contest as professional, elite athletes. Ultimately, for me, running is a selfish thing. I'm not criticizing charity runners, but I prefer to keep my charity work and my running separate. Charities have all but taken over some races, and I've seen way, way, way too many unprepared charity runners.

  5. "ALL of the healthy living blogs are very, very, very formulaic."

    To this I would only add another "very." I hit on most of the similarities (requirements?) in my post, but the ones that strike me as truly bizarre (albeit humorous) are the FAQ and "questions from readers" pages. I mean, I don't want to offend anyone here, but what is there really to ask of someone who put on some weight during college, lost it at age 25 or so through exercise and maybe a little less alcohol, and now eats veggies and runs 10 or 15 miles a week and goes through digital cameras at a furious rate? I'm just now seeing the "wow" in that. One of these enormously and inexplicably popular blogs is maintained by someone who talked big about training to qualify for Boston, only to show up and jog the race with her sister and take a million pics along the way. How is it that people see such types as role models?


    It seems there are two large camps of healthy living blogs: either the "I gained some weight in college" (which I agree is NORMAL) or its corollary, the "I had an eating disorder but now I'm *completely* healed except for that small bit where I still obsess over food in a public forum on this blog."

    One of the things I've been meaning to complain about is how irritated I get by those same bloggers who then give advice that they are COMPLETELY UNQUALIFIED to give. It's one thing to be all, "this is what I did; your results may vary," but too many of these people instead are all, "listen to me, you MUST do this with your training/eating/life. Here is some unsubstantiated info I am regurgitating as gospel from wikipedia about barefoot running/speedwork/nutrition."

    And then people actually listen to them? I think that's one of the secrets of healthy living blogs: many of the readers are not actually healthy. It's some sort of bizarre pseudo-aspirational health porn.

  7. I just want to hug you so many times for all these links, and that has nothing to do with the fact that one of them is to something I wrote.

    When it comes to "healthy living blogs", all I can say is that I wholeheartedly agree. I don't understand their appeal, I don't like looking at 10 pictures of the same bowl of cereal at different angles, and I'm not sure why, in spite of their lack of content, they are so popular and generate so many comments. I'll be completely honest: I would love for my blog to get that many readers and comments, and I'm totally jealous. At the same time: I really hate when I have to describe my blog as a "healthy living blog" because I can't come up with a better to quickly explain what it is. And I totally worry that I'm that "I'm getting over an ED listen to me obsess about everything while claiming to be fully recovered" girl. God I hope I'm not that girl.


    EVERYONE: read Emilie's blog. She is NOT that girl.

  9. Emilie, I think that all of the blogs with such formulaic, banal content and banal "you go girl" comments are generated people who somehow crave positive attention that either they've never gotten or that they got in spades from mommy/daddy and now that they're grownups, have figured out no one gives a rip about how great you are on a daily basis. The blogs I read every day? (or at least whenever they post) They're thought-provoking, varied, honest and not just a whimpered plea of "love me."