Friday, May 4, 2012

Why Do You Assume I am Training for Something?

The Captain and I were out on a 4 mile training run a couple of weeks ago, about 9:30 a.m. on a Wednesday morning.  It was on a quiet trail that meanders for many miles through the city, and the particular section we were using that morning was through an agricultural area... lots of market gardens, smallish hobby farms, small lakes and forested areas.  Very pretty, and during the week, very quiet.

When we entered the trail there was a couple, a bit older than us I think, stopped and looking up a tree, watching a woodpecker at work.  We greeted them and kept going.  Immediately they fell in behind us and the man asked us what we were training for and I answered him without hesitation and without giving it any thought.

Then, assuming it would be rude not to return the question, I did.... and he spent several minutes outlining his race schedule for the next few months... and then the woman took off past us, and so he did too and off they went.  He looked back several times to make sure we were not coming up too close behind them and I made sure we didn't... I actually convinced The Captain to slow down a bit to let them get well ahead.  I recall reading on of Mizz Zippy's posts about people not liking you to pass them after they have passed you.

I wonder why that fellow assumed we were training for something.  Couldn't we just go out and run for the love of running?  I did that for over 20 years, with never a thought to entering a race. 

Or was it just that he wanted to tell us about the training he was doing himself, and his way of introding the topic was to ask first, so he could tell later?

Quite amusing, I think.  And perhaps next time someone asks me what I am training for, I won't be quite so quick to return the question!

Are you always training for something?

Do you ever spend weeks or months or even years, just running for the love of the run itself?

What do you think of the term JUNK MILES?


  1. This is too funny, because I had a post I wanted to write about the same subject...I almost always get asked what I am training for, and until two weeks ago, I wasn't training for anything - and when I responded as so - I got a "well why not? I guess you will have to change that!" - but why, why do we always have to be training for something and no just be running to run?

  2. Great post as usual Elle. And before I forget, I wanted to tell you that I also really enjoyed your other post about when are runners ever satisfied...I sometimes wonder the same with myself, when will I stop setting new goals to meet and feeling an interest in becoming faster. Some days, I feel like I'm done taking running so seriously and then some days my enthusiasm is reinvented.

    All winter/spring, I ran with a training group that met every Saturday morning, just because I loved doing the long runs so much. At that point, I hadn't signed up for a marathon yet, I was just running because I liked the long runs. And then eventually, I decided that I wanted to have a marathon at the end of all that running, so that's when I randomly picked the OC marathon because it matched up with a vacation and it was a few weeks after Boston, which is what my training group was training for...but until I figured out that I was going to do that race, everyone thought I was crazy, just running to run.

  3. That's funny. I think he just wanted to talk about himself. I am usually training for something, even if it's 6 months away... I mean, I guess I am not "technically" on a training plan, but I am running to keep up my endurance so once I get on a plan I will not have to work as hard. So sometimes I am training for a race I don't even know I am running yet. But it's out there, so I am staying fit. This is actually "running for fun", but I need to have a goal in my mind, so I tend to have a possible race in the future. Even if I don't end up running it, I was keeping up my "training" because of it. I don't know if that makes sense.

  4. I don't think junk miles exist for me anyways. Anytime I am out running, it is good for me. I find that people often ask leading questions so they can talk about themselves. I know many people who do that. So funny, you should have passed them. It's like the person in traffic who tailgates you, passes you, then slows down. What? Why did you pass me if you were going to go slow? Have a great weekend:)

  5. I bet that guy just wanted to tell you all about HIS race, and that was his way of doing so! I used to run just for fun, but once I started racing I loved it and now races are my goals most of the time.

  6. Sometimes other people are hard to figure out! According to one of my twitter feeds, running up to 2.5 hours a week extends your lIfe expectancy by approx six years! Next time tell him that! :)


Love it when you leave me a comment!