I woke up crabby today. Actually, that is not true. I woke up rested and feeling great, ready to tackle the tip of a home I live in because it was a week of being locked in my office obsessing about my project.
I reached for my phone, in the old days it was the paper, now I read my smartphone in bed while I wake up. Being Saturday with no plans until 9:50PM when my Night Race starts, I felt entitled to indulge in some laziness for a while.
I read about Putin and how he is behaving like a Nazi. (For the record, I am boycotting the Olympics unless they get moved to a country that doesn’t require the LGBT community to be slaughtered. It is the 21st Century and by my accounts, humans should have learned plenty about genocide by now.). I read about Penticton and what a drunken party town it is in the summer. Then I read this:
This is what made me crabby. A few weeks ago, my Fierce Friday had Karen London wrote about this issue, well, this is the same issue/different spin.
I was immediately transported to the 7th grade playground during gym class where Collin would shout obscenities at me while Mr. Gym Teacher (If I could recall his name, I would print it here) about me and my lard ass. How I should just curl up and die because I was so fat. Seriously, people are assholes. What is it about people who excel at something think it is okay for them to judge others? Based on ability, no I wasn’t athletic, based on effort, I worked harder than Collin. That should count for something, sadly it doesn’t.
I went through life hating jocks but wanting to be one.
That plodders article has Adrienne Wald saying this,
‘It’s a joke to run a marathon by walking every other mile or by finishing in six, seven, eight hours,’ said Adrienne Wald, 54, the women’s cross-country coach at the College of New Rochelle, who ran her first marathon in 1984. ‘It used to be that running a marathon was worth something there used to be a pride saying that you ran a marathon, but not anymore. Now it’s, ‘How low is the bar?’
Apparently, Wald has no idea AT ALL how the bar is set so people can meet their goals – not her expectation of what goals are. I find it ironic that her areas of expertise are Primary Prevention, Health Behavior, Physical Activity, Public Health Advocacy and Policy, Health Promotion, Weight Management, Tobacco Control, Wellness Programs, Chronic Disease Prevention. Sure she knows how to be healthy, she understands the secret. Sure there is a simple formula involved but I am willing to wager she hasn’t a clue how difficult it is.
Then there is Julia Given, a 46-year-old marketing director from Charlottesville, Va who says,
‘If you’re wearing a marathon T-shirt, that doesn’t mean much anymore,’ Given said on the eve of this month’s Baltimore Marathon, where vendors were selling products that celebrate slower runners. One sticker said: ‘I’m slow. I know. Get over it.’
‘I always ask those people, ‘What was your time?’ If it’s six hours or more, I say, ‘Oh great, that’s fine, but you didn’t really run it,’ ‘ said Givens, who finished the Baltimore race in 4:05:52. ‘The mystique of the marathon still exists. It’s the mystique of the fast marathon.’
Julia, it is fantastic that you are running a 4 hour marathon. BUT a marathon is measured in DISTANCE not TIME. When you run 26.2 miles and my pals run 26.2 miles, EVERYONE IS RUNNING 26.2 miles! How fast you get there is considered an individual goal. I know you scoff at the run/walk/run movement by Jeff Galloway (an Olympic Marathoner) and the Slow waddle movement by John Bingham, but seriously, 4 hours? If I wasn’t in the race you would be last because Elite Runners are running it in 2 hours. That’s right TWO HOURS and I suspect the sub 2 hour marathon is not far off. Julia, that makes YOU a PLODDER by those standards.
It is because of slow runners like me and my running mates that marathons,, halfers and 10ks are becoming a huge trend. I think this is a positive thing. People are moving more. The bottom line is, if I am willing to pay the crazy race fees, travel, spend my money on running shoes, tech shirts, special socks and fitness belts, why can’t I run the race too? Oh and by the way, it IS running. When I ran 1.5 hours without stopping, that was RUNNING – I just didn’t get very far because I am new to this sport. Most people are not born with super human ability, they have to work at it.
Oh, and Julia, you will never qualify for Boston. Why? Because you are a middle of the packer, by your standards, you are not a runner. However, you can add that to your list of goals, work hard and perhaps one day you will qualify. It’s good to have goals. It means the human race is progressing and evolving.
My goal? To run a marathon. A marathon is 26.2 miles. There is nothing in the rules about 26.2 at a 4:05 pace. However, some rules are 16:00 pace. That’s fine, it makes it doable and you know something else? It makes it harder for me than you. You want to know why? I expend more energy, therefore I am working harder than you therefore I am fierce and you are just ordinary.
Nothing wrong with ordinary, but try empathy, it will change your world for the better.