You know the type. You find them at the local 5ks and marathons lined up at the front of the pack wearing a brand new foot coffins and a singlet advertising a company they wish would sponsor them. They scoff at the idea of people running for enjoyment and believe you have no business being out there if you’re not going to place in the top ten.
They post all their race PR’s in the signature lines on their emails and forum posts with the fervor of a grandmother displaying pictures of her grandkids over the davenport. The PR is clearly their measure of self-worth.
They endlessly talk about their training which is nothing more than running around a track again and again and again. Like we give a shit if you run 2,000 ten meter repeats or a ten mile tempo run. Here’s a hint- stop being a noodle-armed choir boy and develop the ability to do at least one pushup. If you get rid of that Kate Moss body type, maybe you’ll be able to stop shopping in the boy’s section at Target.
They often talk about their goal of qualifying for the Olympics in the hopes it will fill some void, to compensate for some inadequacy. The rest of us want to tell them ‘”If you’re not winning gold, shut the fuck up. The rest of us don’t care.”
Many brag about their college running career, even though they attended a division II school, or as the rest of the world calls it: collegiate minor leagues. Yes, its impressive you “made the team” along with a slew of others that couldn’t cut it at a real school.
The Point of This Post
By now, you’re either laughing or seething with anger. Mission accomplished! My inspiration for this post came from a re-posted link a friend shared with me on Facebook:
As someone interested in both CrossFit (and functional fitness) and ultras, I read it. I had a good chuckle. It seemed pretty obvious the author had absolutely no experience with either world other than as an outsider looking in. From that perspective, some of his comments were fairly accurate. He was seemed like a typical road runner that does nothing but run. As such, his criticisms weren’t valid.
Then I read the comments. As can be expected, some people, both ultrarunners and CrossFitters, responded with anger. I’ve seen this reaction to similar blog posts before. Remember the girl that wrote the anti-marathon piece a few months ago?
Here’s the deal- we shouldn’t get overly upset when people outside our community post crap. Take my rant above. Should quasi-elite runners be offended?
I’m a mediocre runner at best. I was never a scholastic or collegiate runner. I don’t train to be an elite. I have no aspirations (or ability) to qualify for the Olympics. My PRs at every distance are laughable. As such, my opinions of that community are completely invalid.
Tim, the dude that wrote the post, wrote a follow-up on his blog here: http://timtollefson.wordpress.com/2012/02/23/round-2-ultrarunning-vs-fox-news-fight/
I think it was pretty obvious the post was meant to be funny, but FAR too many people took it seriously. Instead of laughing at his douchiness, he’s been flooded with defensive comments. Why do we get so defensive, especially when someone from the outside criticizes us?
The beginning of this post was meant to serve a purpose- pointing out that it’s just as easy to use the same tactic to criticize Tim. I’m pretty sure I could outrun him in a 100 miler through the mountains, do more burpees, and beat his ass in a fist fight. He did play soccer, after all. Does any of that make me better? No, I just have other areas of expertise.
When someone from the outside criticizes what you do, shrug it off. It’s the criticisms from the inside that should be your focus. If Tim were either a Crossfitter or an ultrarunner, his opinions would matter. Since he’s not, chill out and be willing to laugh at yourself. If needed, take comfort that you’re not limited to drinking beer from cans because the glass bottles are just too heavy.