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"

Monday, October 10, 2011

That moment when...

...you come up on a runner out for her Sunday run in the park and you get really excited because you realize you're going to actually pass her and then as you pass her, you realize that your "competitor" only has one leg and is running on a prosthetic.

...you pass a woman running on a prosthetic and think to yourself, "Whatever. She's handicapable. One-legged people can run pretty damn fast these days" and you still feel some victory from passing someone.

...you see a woman run next to you and are instantly grateful to realize that your sports bra fits you, and it fits you well. You then watch that woman bounce away, thinking "ow, ow, ow, ow, ow" in cadence.

...you see a grey-haired woman running lightly and quickly, passing you by. At first you think that she's quite talented for her age. Then she turns around and you realize that she's about 7 or 8 months pregnant.  Prematurely grey, or pregnant at an advanced age? Lots of both in NYC.

...you realize that you are chafing, and you are chafing badly. Someone please remind me to put Body Glide under my arms next week before my last 20m?

...you suspect that the New York Times is obviously reading your blog, because otherwise why would they run a story about running coaches being unnecessary just days after you blogged looking for input about running coaches? (Props to the article for head-on tackling Ryan Hall's "God is my coach" thing rather than just glossing over it and giving Hall the credit for self-direction.)


  1. When I lived in NYC and did all the NYRR races, there was a guy with a prosthetic leg that used to pass me at roughly the halfway point of every single race. EVERY TIME. He was pretty bad ass.

  2. I forgot to put bodyglide under my arms too this weekend. It is very unpleasant, but it's always the place I forget.

  3. Oh yeah...the old forgot to put bodyglide under the arms thing.... Ouch! Same goes for running without a sports bra. Triple ouch...

  4. What about the juggler? I always like it when I pass him....

  5. Oh, I hate passing (or seeing) the bad sports bra girls. It's always just so painful, and I hope that I don't look like that and just not realize it.

    I think the article makes a good point about coaches. Not everyone needs one, and if you have one, you really need to have a good relationship with them in order for it to be effective (i.e., give them LOTS of data and feedback). The times I've used one have been when I had specific goals and either didn't know how to train for them or didn't really feel like figuring out how to train for them myself. Some people do it for the accountability, since you've got a second set of eyes on your training. I think it boils down to, if you have one, know why and what you're hoping to get out of it and then do everything in your power to make sure that you are getting that out of it.