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"

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

At least I can still lay on the couch and eat ice cream

Yesterday I spent largely in my pyjamas. By the afternoon when I wasn't feeling any better, I dragged myself (sans bra, sans showering) to urgent care where I was told that I did not have strep throat, despite my throat being bright red with white spots. And extremely painful. Worse? I can't talk. I can sort of croak, but it's barely audible. And did I mention it hurts? Kind of all over. I can't swallow but I also have dull body aches.

In other words: I haven't run and I'm cranky.

Which is why I'm going to vent about a pet peeve that I've seen in some running blogs lately: apologizing for your "low mileage." Comments like, "I know that my 75 mile weeks aren't much compared to good runners," or "I only run 50 miles per week and I know that many of you run much more than that," or "Some of you might laugh when I say that my 90 mile weeks are a lot."*

Stop it, okay? We're all different. We all peak at different levels - some of us get injured at 35mpw, some of us can run 150 and be fine. We all have different schedules - some work full time and juggle parenthood, some have loads of time, some prioritize drinking with our friends over running. And it's all okay. No need to justify why your mileage isn't high enough (especially if it's a humble brag). 

Running is awesome in that you get out of it what you put into it. For most people, experimenting around with different levels of mileage and different forms of cross-training produces different results, and a little bit of experience can make you fairly good at predicting what you'll get out of what you are putting in.

In the immortal words of Jersey Shore, "you do you." I mean, if Lauren Fleshman make the finals for the Olympic Trials at the 5,000 meters while training 10 miles per week, can't we just acknowledge that everyone is different?

Related: I have a new training plan. I'm modeling myself off of Lauren Fleshman. Anyone have an Elliptigo I can rent or borrow?

*I've seen this mostly in the blogs I read that are written by women. It's interesting to me that a few blogs that are written by men seem to have an opposite situation: instead of apologizing for what they didn't do, they rejoice in what they did. Planned to do a 20m long run and only ran 6? Awesome! 6 miles in the bank! (That sort of thing.)


  1. I hope you feel better soon!

    I have been running less lately because of my schedule and it's been a struggle NOT to say something about it on my blog, but only because it bothers me so much that I was running more before I got so busy... and tired... and just wanted to sleep all the time. (read: I am lazy)

    I know what you mean though. I have seen the brag about the "low" mileage and think it's annoying.

  2. Those rapid strep tests have a high rate of false negatives. I've learned this the hard way over the years. If you aren't feeling better in two days, I'd go back to the doctor. Feel better soon.

  3. Poor T, please feel better rapidly. As you know, I'm a big proponent of going to urgent care facilities post-shower, so if you didn't shower it must have been bad.

    As for the mileage... the only time I EVER see it mentioned is A) the lady humblebrag or B) the male fistpump. I guess there are rare occasions when someone's really being self-deprecating, but that doesn't bother me at all (probably because I'm guilty of it.)Most of the bloggers I read don't really mention how many miles they tallied for the week... unless, in the male fistpump category, they're truly psyched about it.

  4. Good PSA. That phenomenon seems present on the lrc marathon threads too -- some guys run 100, 70, 50, whatever, and nobody apologizes.

    Take care of yourself!! Hope you feel better soon.

  5. Bummer that you're not feeling well. I hope you get better soon!

    PS - I agree wholeheartedly on your point about mileage. In fact, I agree so much that I shared it on my FB wall. (Then again, I've started un-following self-depricating and/or borderline eating-disorder blogs... so the instances of "poor me and my lowly training routine" appear less frequently in my reader.) ;)


    "Planned to do a 20m long run and only ran 6? Awesome! 6 miles in the bank! (That sort of thing.)"


    1. Whatever do you mean? ;)
      I'm not referring to anyone in particular... ;)
      And if you believe that, I have a bridge in San Fran I'd like to sell you...

  7. and excuse my hideous grammar plzthx