I don’t normally do lists, I tend to fly off at a tangent too much to work through them consistently. This week though I have been reminded of some of those ridiculous questions and comments that come when people who don’t run discover you do.
What is the point of all this running?
Usually asked by people who do very little exercise, and probably should. Being the chap I am, this is something I have thought about. ‘What’s the point of all this running?’ There is no point. This answer doesn’t tell the whole story, it’s a bit glib and, when you look at most human activities that are not immediately concerned with survival or reproduction there is no point. Amoebas are very successful but they tend to not concern themselves with anything other than feeding and fucking ( or whatever their amoeba like equivalent is ). Of course the side effect of all this running is that come the zombie apocalypse, I will be safe in my compound long before the walkers have finished picking the remains of the questioners gristle from between their teeth.
How fast do you run?
The answer is nearly always, faster than you. Runners tend to ask what your 5 or 10k time is distinguishing them from the non running enquiries. I am never sure how to answer this, there are so many variables and by the time I have finished my first sentence I can see eyes glazing over. What I should say is “If you think that the shops a mile from the end of your road is either a 10 minute walk, or a days major expedition. You will have no idea what my pace means in the real world.” I am not that brave though and I usually try to explain that it depends upon how far I am going, if I am training or racing, doing a speed session or a recovery, not to mention weather and state of mind. In a way I am glad the eyes glaze over, a valuable lesson is learned don’t bother asking that one again. Sometimes though the same question keeps cropping up.
How far is that?
There are several different ways this one comes up, most of last year it was the first question asked after I had told somebody what I was doing at the weekend. There was pretty much a 1 in 4 chance of me saying ‘running a marathon’. Then came the question, how far is that? Well it’s not so bad the first 2 or 3 times you have explained a marathon is 26.2 miles but, after that it gets a bit wearing. Even worse, if you then tell the same person you are running a half marathon on another occasion and the same question is asked. I mean maths! It’s not hard to halve a number. What drives me to even more incensed pinnacles of ranting is if you say for example ” I’m running the Brighton 10k” and somebody asks this. It’s 10 fucking kilometres you numbnut! I’d accept it if people asked what 10k is in miles however, asking how far a race is when the distance is in the name is just bloody dense.
Are you doing that big run in London?
Do you mean, the London marathon? Of course they mean the VMLM they don’t know any others, maybe The Great North if they have a marginal interest. To be honest the question burns, how many of you have failed to get in the ballot? The only people that burn my butt more are those who get in on their first attempt at the ballot, have never run before and don’t do any bloody training just too wuss out. It’s just not bloody fair! Oh well I guess these things are sent to test our endurance and, as a distance runner that’s what it’s all about.
Have you been for a run then?
There I am, it’s 9:30am I am wearing shorts and a t-shirt with a huge damp patch in the middle of my back, flushed face, and steaming gently! No I haven’t I just got dressed up to skip under the shower briefly. There are moments when this kind of stupid can give amazing satisfaction though. I had been out at OMG O’clock to get a 13 mile training run in before I had to provide family chauffeur services, home, changed etc.. and was just heading out the door to complete my obligations when the local neighbourhood nogoodnik spotted me. Big shit eating grin on, like he had caught somebody out in a lie over where they were on the night of the murder ” Oh you’re not running today”. I could just see the headline on the local grapevine. No commitment, he didn’t even go out on Sunday,
knew he’d give up, no staying power. “Just got back from 13 miles” came my response. The frozen grin and the struggle in the eyes not to betray the disappointment at having not shown me up to be as slack and uncommitted as he was like nectar. If only tears had come, I could have bottled them to inspire and hydrate me on the next marathon.
Inevitably my question comes! What frustrating and or dumb questions have you been asked?