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June 08 2012 / Emily

Things people say TO runners…

Running is a major part of my life, so it’s something I talk about rather frequently.  I get some interesting responses.

This morning on my way to work I was thinking about the things people have said to me.  Now it turns out there might already be a facebook group for this same concept, but I’m posting nonetheless.  Apologies to my subscribers who may have seen an accidentally published previous version of this post.

Things People Say to Runners:


I get tired driving that far!

I can’t – I have bad knees.

You’re going to ruin your knees!

But people die running marathons.

I couldn’t even run one mile. (Reply: you could, if you went slowly.)

Wow – I could NEVER do that. (Similar reply: you probably could, if you start slowly.)

You pay how much to run races?!  Why?

How far was your marathon?

Did you win? (especially when seeing a medal)

Well why do you run if you don’t win?

When are you running the Boston Marathon?

Running is boring – wouldn’t you rather do something fun?

Me: oh I shouldn’t eat that, it’s unhealthy.
Them: you run like 100 miles a day, you can eat whatever you want.
Me: umm, not even close.

(after I mentioned interval training with walk breaks interspersed): Oh, well it doesn’t count if you walk.

Aunt: You really do need your toenails.
Me: They are unnecessary relics of evolution, you don’t actually need them.
Aunt: No, you really do need them.

A marathon – how long does that take you?  Like 2 hours?

I’m training for a marathon too – just a short one, though.  A 5k.

But the best thing they can say: you inspired me to start running! 🙂


What about you, fair readers – what kind of interesting/funny things do people say to you about running?



Leave a Comment
  1. Deepa Reddy / Jun 8 2012 12:33 PM

    Nice article, as usual. I think I said most of these and to you, hmmm…But I’ll say it again – you really did inspire me to start running and for that I have to Thank You! 🙂

    • Emily / Jun 11 2012 10:11 AM

      thanks 🙂 and I’m so glad you’re enjoying running!

  2. George / Jun 8 2012 12:55 PM

    Evolution? Pshhhttt.

    • Emily / Jun 11 2012 10:11 AM

      I know, I know. Maybe someday I’ll be able to convince you of evolution.

      • George / Aug 20 2012 4:55 PM

        Ha, somehow I just saw this. Love it 🙂

  3. Darrel Wells / Jun 8 2012 12:58 PM

    These are great, Emily! I’ve heard most of them……… I hope to hear the last one someday, too!

    I did hear – second hand – a comment made about me: when a young guy at work learned I was a distance runner, he said, “that guy can’t run that far… He’s OLD!”

    • Emily / Jun 11 2012 10:12 AM

      I’m sure that young guy wouldn’t stand a chance next to you! I have gotten some strange looks when I tell people I won’t be able to qualify for Boston for another 30-40 years… they wonder why the heck I’d still be running then.

  4. Shauna / Jun 8 2012 1:09 PM

    Great post Emily! When I was training for my marathon I got a lot of, “I could never run 1 mile” too. I always tell people “you would be surprised what your body is capable of doing if you’d only try.” I also don’t think many people know that many races, including marathons, allow you to walk. So I always mention that too if they are so anti-running!

    • Emily / Jun 11 2012 10:13 AM

      Exactly! Sure most people couldn’t just up and run a marathon tomorrow (or a half, or shorter distances) but that’s why we train for it. It can be a slow process, but it’s attainable for so many.

  5. hinsone / Jun 8 2012 5:26 PM

    I love the quip about the toenails.. LOL.. I haven’t heard a lot of comments, but thankfully I have had some people tell me they run because of me. Blows me away.

    This also reminded me over the other side.. funny shiz we runners say… I got stuck in horrible traffic one time and it took 20 minutes to go one mile and I’m getting all fidgety, not from being in the traffic but I’m like ‘I CAN RUN FASTER THAN THIS!”

    My response to people who cay they can’t do something is always “If I can do it, ANYONE CAN.” Want to see a fat guy slowly run a half marathon, I’ve done it and you can too!

    • Emily / Jun 11 2012 10:31 AM

      After enough time with assorted missing toenails, I’ve definitely concluded you really don’t need them. Oh, I’ve definitely daydreamed about pulling to the shoulder in stopped traffic and just running home.

  6. Kim / Jun 10 2012 11:11 AM

    I love the list of comments. I’ve pretty much heard all of them plus some really interesting ones said to me about being blind and running with a tether and a guide…even other runners come up with stupid and funny comments when they see me out running with whoever I’m running with that day 😉

    • Emily / Jun 11 2012 10:33 AM

      I can only imagine the other sorts of comments you’ve heard! The tether thing surely brings the most attention, especially since it’s probably not terribly visible to other people from any distance.

  7. David H / Jun 10 2012 6:24 PM

    Great list, great post. The one I hear a lot is the one I use to say a lot, back before I realized how wrong I was …. “I really should run, I just don’t have the time.”

    • Emily / Jun 11 2012 10:34 AM

      thank you! it is amazing how we can make time for something we enjoy. I’m sure I’ve said that too – along with not being able to get up before dawn and other excuses. Won’t pretend I don’t still use them now and then though. 🙂

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