I read, from time to time, Gina Kolata’s articles in the New York Times. A science and health writer, and a long-distance runner herself, Kolata often offers up articles of interest to us runner types.
The other day she wrote about how runners draw lots of ire from non-runners. As a lead-in, she mentioned the recent study citing long-term distance training as a potential threat to long-term heart health. Non-runners, it seems, are grabbing onto this and using it for all it’s worth. It seems they love to point out any potential proof that running is bad for us. (Ever have a non-runner tell you you’re ruining your knees? Yeah, I thought so). Which brought her around to the question of whether or not runners bring some of this ill-will on ourselves.
I can see how this might, occasionally, be the case. Let’s start with all our bumper stickers–26.2, 13.1 (140.6 if you’re a triathlete) and so on. Then there are our shirts. Runners (and again, triathletes even more so) love to wear their old race shirts anywhere they can. Boston jackets? You betcha. I am admittedly guilty here myself.
Monday morning at the water cooler is certainly a potential pitfall as well. Conversations about miles or races run, complaints about our aches and pains, and perhaps a bit of an air of superiority to go along with those miles makes us an easy target. As does our devotion to all things healthy–chia seeds sitting on a desk, for instance, probably won’t gain you any fans.
So with this in mind, I’ll do my best not to wax nostalgic about my last great tempo run, or talk about how my newest shoes delivered a superior performance during yesterday’s track workout when around non-runners. But I can’t make too many promises. Like most runners, I’ve got it and I’ve got it bad and removing all talk of my favorite past-time is a tall order.
Besides, I DID just get the best new pair of running gloves…
Ever think you go too far in sharing your love of the sport?