Wednesday, October 25, 2006


Anyone else hate going to back to work after running a marathon? I’m not talking about the work-part or the walking-around-on-sore-legs-part. I’m talking about the having-to-make-small-talk-about-the-race-over-and-over-with-people-who-aren’t-runners-part.

It didn’t help that a co-worker brought in cookies and then sent an email to about 30 people telling them to stop by and congratulate me.
Co-worker #1: How’d it go?
Me: Blah, blah, blah, the last 2 miles were tough.
Co-worker #1: The first 2 miles would be tough for me. Ha. Ha.

Co-worker #2: How’d it go?
Me: Blah, blah, blah, 2:59.
Co-worker #2: 3 hours is a good standard right? It’d take me 10 hours. Ha. Ha.

Co-worker #3: What’d you do?
Me: What do you mean?
Co-worker #3: What was your time?
Me: 2:59
Co-worker #3: For how long?
Me: A marathon.
Co-worker #3: How long is that?
Me: They’re all the same. 26.2 miles.
Co-worker #3: Well I don’t know. Ha. Ha.

Co-worker #4 was probably the worst. She asked how I found the time to train. But what she really wanted to do was give me the run-down of each of her 3 kids and their sleeping patterns and why she could never find time to do it.

Another co-worker is really sweet, but I swear she was more pumped up about the race, both last week and this week, than I was. She was rattling off my time, place and the number of people who ran.

They’re nice gestures, but I’d rather not have the attention.

Here’s what I really find frustrating. I keep referring back to the 20K I ran in April because it was my best race or two of the year. I ran 1:17:57 and the first place woman ran 1:17:26. That same gal ran 2:49:30 at Chicago. There’s no way I should lose nearly 10 minutes to her in a race that’s 22K longer. Even if I was injured for part of the year, that’s ridiculous.

I gave “qp” a hard time in a comment for already asking about what’s next, but that’s how we operate. We finish one race and start looking ahead to the next. I don’t know what I’ll do exactly, but as I mentioned yesterday, I need to run this distance more frequently. Therefore, I’ll probably focus on something like Grandma’s again.

My friend Scott emailed me earlier in the week and he’s really excited to train together this winter for a spring marathon. While we’ve trained together before, it always seems like we’re focusing on different races. It’d be cool to follow the same plan for the same race.

Right now I plan on taking at least a week off, maybe more. While Scott’s email has me fired up to train, I also remember how beat up I’ve been most of the year. Winter is long around here and I don’t want to go through it feeling sore on every run.

When I do get back into it, I’d really like to try and train like last winter and get up towards 100 mpw again. I think it’d be really interesting to average 80-100 mpw for about 4 months and then run a marathon. Even without any specific hard workouts, I think the strength gained through that kind of mileage would be enough to run sub-2:55.

Finally, I mentioned that I met Dick Beardsley at the expo. He was at the New Balance exhibit and although it was packed with runners, they were more concerned with purchasing high-tech gear than talking to one of the all-time legends in the sport – especially if you’re a Minnesotan. I told him how much his Grandma’s course record inspired me when I was 12. Afterwards, I remembered I had just purchased the Marathon & Beyond commemorative edition of Grandma’s Marathon, so I went back for this autograph.

Quote of the day;

“Marathoning is like cutting yourself unexpectedly. You dip into the pain so gradually that the damage is done before you are aware of it. Unfortunately, when awareness comes, it is excruciating.” – John Farrington, Australian marathoner


jodes said...

Congrats on a great run! You don't know me. I somehow stumbled upon your blog. Just wanted to say that i can totally relate to the small talk after a marathon. Ridiculous! I've run a few marathons myself and dreaded the dumb questions.

I enjoyed reading your blog, put a smile on my face.

Andrew said...

I'm just the opposite. I come to work ready to expound.

Them: "Hey, Andy, about that file..."

Me: "In a minute. Let me tell you about my marathon..."

Probably why I'm left alone all day.

Anonymous said...

We've all been there with the"I get tired DRIVING that far" comments. What means the most to me is when people like my 15 y.o. son says "Wow, you beat alot of people" or when people actually know that you need to qualify to be able to run Boston.

Good luck with whatever comes next...

D said...

Yeah I just had my hair dresser ask (again and again and again) "now, how far is that one?"

Beware of that one particular co-worker - the one that knows your number and times etc - she appears to be stalking you.

I agree with Peter - my daughter brags about my running (and calls me crazy) to anyone that will listen. That is awesome.

Ryan said...

I can relate to your office conversations. It is a time drain and annoying, but they're all well-meaning. Hope they don't read your blog, 'cause then they'll not be talking to you at all!

So it' too early to think of the next race? 100mpw... good luck. Enjoy the rest. ANd thanks for your comments. I have you to thank for the kick in the arse.

A Deal Or No Deal said...

Is it really that bad? Have you ever tried talking to someone about a sport you know nothing about? I think it's inevitable to come across as a total idiot in many such situations, if only to the person who is very knowledgeable about the sport.

I definitely agree about the attention, but on the other hand, you would probably do the same if you bumped into, I don't know, Daniel Njenga. After all, 2:07 is fast...I couldn't run that fast for two miles.

A Deal Or No Deal said...

Congratulations on the race, by the way. I agree that a 1:17 20k should get you under 2:55 (1:21 or so for a half, doubled and add 10-12 minutes). If you don't understand how that woman ran so fast at Chicago, look at how Chelle can barely get under 40 minutes for 10k but ran 2:58.

Thomas said...

Well, I'm not in your league, but I get the same comments again and again.

How far is that? ... I wouldn't want to drive that far ... I couldn't run a mile ... and the worst: I expect you to finish in the top 10. Hahaha.

I wish someone would come up with a new comment for once.

Chad said...

Chicago Gal, glad you stumbled in.

Andrew, oh you're one of "those types."

Peter and D, I think I could handle those comments from my kids.

Ryan, anytime you need a kick in the arse, you can count on me.

Adeel, sure we all have similar conversations once it awhile, but I think it was the constant barrage of people stopping by that put me over the edge.

BTW, I never said I don't understand how that woman can run so fast. I don't understand how I can run so slow.

Thomas, how about "Did you win?"

Don said...

Running Times has a "Race Time Equivalent Calculator" that I use all the time: . It predicts a time for one distance from an actual time at another distance, and is apparently based on similar comparisons from lots of runners.

According to that calculator, your 1:17:26 translates to a 2:54:17 marathon. Of course it's imperfect, because all runners are different. But the 20k gal ended up on one side of the prediction, with you on the other. Do you know what you did differently in preparation? I wonder if she ran more 20+ milers, or ran another marathon a month or so before Chicago.

Anonymous said...

I totally agree with you on not wanting the attention. One year after I ran Boston, the admin assistant in our office got a giant cake, put my finishing time on it, and sent out an email inviting the entire office to come and congratulate me. I was so embarrassed, I almost walked out.
Congratulations on breaking 3 once again. Also a very nice foray into the runner interviews.

MB said...

i must comment:

There was a large poster sign printed out with my name, bib number finishing time, place set in all the BAA regalia window dressing for my arrival at the office a few years back from finishing yet another Boston. Then came the droves of hanger-ons wanting to hear the "story".

I thought to myself and office mates were probably thinking "give it a rest".

But, in the grand scope of things how often does one get lauded attention for the physical and emotional drama the marathon brings.

How often, do the repeated "Pro" "overpaid" sports athletes get attention. You know, football, baseball, basketball and hockey? Please they get way too much water cooler talk.

Zeke imagine if you were one of them! ah well then you wouldn't have to work would you.

Arcane said...

I'm with you on the work thing, but they mean well.

E-Speed said...

I feel ya on the post marathon questioning. I have no idea why it bothers me so much but I don't feel like talking to anyone about it, especially non runners. It makes me extremely uncomfotable and I have no idea why.

Glad someone else feels the same, I was wondering if something (new) was wrong with me.

brent said...

what a great picture to have signed, and the conversation that went along with it.

Chad said...

Don, I tend to look at the McMillan calculator. I have no idea what Julie Nelson's marathon training was like. I'm sure my injury didn't help, but it shouldn't have set me back 10 minutes either.

Jonette, I think I would have walked out. Seriously, I think next time around I won't tell any co-workers what I'm planning to do.

Liz, just wait till after the ultra-marathon, then you'll really get bombarded.

Brent, actually the conversation is kind of funny. The first time I talked to him he went on-and-on about the forecast for race day. Then I went back into the line after realizing I had this photo I want signed. He was talking about the weather again with the person in front of me. He probably had the same conversation 1,000 times that day. But he's still totally awesome.