As much as I love running, there are a few things I don’t like about it. I only plan on talking about one of these things, but I know some people love bullet points, so here’s a few of them:
- Cute running clothes are expensive.
- Running too much often leads to injuries which prevent me from doing more running – things like watching too much TV never prevents me from watching more TV (which is why we all love TV).
- When you’re out running, there’s no good way to advertise how long of a run you’re on.
Right now I want to focus on the last bullet point. The fact that I can be on mile 49 of a 50 mile run and not a single person who sees me know this frustrates me to no end. Of course I’ve never gone on a 50 mile run, but surely if I had, at mile 49 I would have looked/felt like I was very close to death. The uninformed observer would see me struggling to maintain a heartbeat and finish my run at the same time, and probably make the incorrect assumption that I was terribly out of shape and had no business running, instead of rightly knowing that I was actually doing something really awesome that they could never even dream of doing.
I guess at this point I should mention that the only reason I run is to brag about it and impress people. I have a whole blog about running so this should be obvious, but I mention it anyway just to emphasize how frustrating this issue is for me.
This problem came to the forefront of my mind on Friday, when I went to run on Leif Erickson. Normally I love running on Leif, because the mile markers solve this problem for me. There’s no way of knowing how far somebody’s running around mile 1, but once you’re out around mile 6 or 7 you’re welcome to exchange knowing smiles with the other runners that you pass by, because it’s clear by how far out you are that you’re on a badass run and are a generally impressive person. The first time I ever ran 17 miles, I was doubly-rewarded: not only did people get to see what a great runner I was out near mile 6, but upon completing the run, a man started chatting with me and asked how far I went on Leif, and I got to proudly announce that it was 17 miles. But other runners rarely stop you after a run to ask you how long you went, so it’s important they know some other way. Usually they don’t though, and this upsets me.
So on Friday I set off to run on Leif Erickson. I wanted to do a 10 mile run there, but since I sold my car I couldn’t drive there, and since I wanted to bring Pascal I couldn’t bike there. I’d have to run 3 miles there and back, leaving just 4 miles to do on the trail – just 2 miles one way. This sounded like a fun plan, until I actually got to the trail and started running, and realized I looked like just some chump going out for a tiny jog. Worse, when I was running back down to the trail head, this woman I had passed earlier started considerably picking up the pace to give her run a strong finish. Normally I do the same, but at that point I still had 3 miles to go so I didn’t want to burn myself out. Instead I had to keep running at my regular pace and look like some asshole who can’t even run fast at the end. All I could do was hope that she would get in her car and see me continuing my run as she drove away.
The only thing I can really think of to fix this huge problem is for Nike to invent some kind of t-shirt that has a digital display that’s linked to Nike+, showing everyone around you what distance you’ve run, and how much further you intend to go. If you have a better idea, please let me know. I’m desperate for a solution that lets people know how great I am for as much of the time as possible.