Umm, wow. I haven't blogged since November! Oops. I promise I'm running. A lot!
I think there are a lot of misconceptions about running. Even runners have ideas that aren't always true about stuff they haven't experienced. This week someone said something about ultra running on a running forum I'm on. I was offended by it and my feelings were hurt. To quote, she said: "I know I want to be faster, but I want it to be EASY. Apparently these are not compatible goals, lol. Maybe I should be an ultra runner instead of a marathoner." Ummm, wow. So running an ultra marathon is easy? Of course I understood what she meant. Yes, the pace is generally much more relaxed in an ultra vs something shorter. What she doesn't get is that running slower over a longer period of time is not easier than running faster for a shorter period. It's just different. She was talking about heart rate and that if you are running slower, your heart rate is typically lower. Well, maybe. But when you are going slower because there are 50 billion rocks and a ton of hills I don't really know if that is true. Trust me, when I walk up a really steep hill with big rocks my heart rate is pretty high. There are people that run 100 mile races. I think a vast majority of them walk a lot. Do you think there is anything easy about that race? Definitely not. And had I run 100 miles or even attempted it you can bet I would have been far more upset by that comment. What an undertaking! To insinuate that because it is slower it is easier diminishes the accomplishment.
The fact is, there is nothing remotely easy about running long distances. I suppose you get to a point where it isn't quite as hard, but it isn't easy. When you get comfortable you strive for more. You try to run faster or you do a tougher race. I don't think any runner should ever look at what someone else is doing it and judge it in any way. The trail I run on a lot is really tough. It's technical and hilly and just plain hard. Does that mean I think someone that runs a paved running trail has it easier than me? No, I do not. I think they are doing what they want to and are probably a heck of a lot smarter than me.
I guess I think people shouldn't judge what they don't know. To me, running a marathon on the road is not the least bit appealing. It's not because I think running 31 miles on dirt is easier. It's because that's what I prefer. Heck, I would prefer to run 20 miles on the trail vs 2 on the treadmill. Anyway, I have a lot of random thoughts rolling around in my brain about this. Mostly, I just think people should be more careful about what they say. You can't always know what will offend someone and what won't and you can't always even worry about it. However, if you are on a forum full of runners and insinuate that any type of running is easier than another it's a pretty good bet someone is going to be offended.
I'm running a bunch this weekend and then will likely take a week off. We are going to Wyoming during the holidays and as much as I would like to run there I will likely wimp out in the cold and wind and not run at all. We'll see though.
Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!