Pity Us Runners – the Boston Globe

My friend David recently sent me the article, Pity us runners, written by Jennifer Graham of the Boston Globe.

The point of this article is beautifully summed up as: Well, consider the typical marathon training program, which goes something like this: Run. Run more. Run more and more and more. Rest a few days. Run a distance that killed a man, and even if you throw up and your toenails fall off, keep going.

At first, I thought, “Ha ha.  Funny.”  But then I thought, “Maybe Jennifer has a point.  Maybe I have a serious problem.”

Case in point, yesterday my coach told me I need to take 3-4 days off — at least — and go see my PT.  What did I do in response to his sage advice?  I ran for an hour.

I have a 50-miler in nine days.  I can’t take time off.  Fellow reader, you would have reacted the same.

The reason Coach wants me to rest is the piercing sharp pain that has suddenly overtaken my left knee.  What do I think of this pain?  Like most of you, I know I can run through it.  Of course.  Run through it.  No big deal.

I believe this to be true even AFTER I loudly, and unexpectedly, yelled out on Tuesday’s run because it felt as if a knife had been jammed into my knee cap.  I am sure it’s nothing.  Will go away by tomorrow.

Another case in point, I said the following to my friend Carrie last weekend, “I think I might stick to marathons next year because they are short.”

If you don’t see the ridiculous nature of that statement, you have a bigger problem than me.

(Click on the photo to link to the article.)

Boston Globe Article
Boston Globe Article - Pity Us Runners. Click to see the whole piece.

4 Comments Add yours

  1. Cynthia says:

    Hilarious, but true (and I certainly would know). I overheard Leor say after STTS something to the effect that he takes a week off of running midseason to rest. That takes a lot of discipline and confidence (of course he has confidence though!). I’m still suffering from PF and assorted odd foot pains that are serious enough to alter my gait and threaten new injuries, and I just found out that last year(!) I dislocated a bone in my foot. The story goes on and I’ll write up what I’ve learned in a bit, but my advice is to do what your coach tells you. You should be tapering by now anyway, right? But of course I just got in Ohlone from the wait list, so you can see how bright I am. I’d do the same as you and consider running for an hour an easy day.

    Hope it’s nothing and passes quickly! I’m still debating doing some event at Quicksilver, so maybe I’ll see you there.

  2. runrunrunrun says:


    You dislocated a bone in your foot!! Holy cow!! I am stunned.

    If you do QS, let me know. I may switch to the 50K. I just read that if you start in the 50K, you can move up to the 50M mid-race, but if you start in the 50M and stop at the 50K, you don’t get credit as a 50K finisher. If my knee hurts I’d rather drop than keep running.


  3. Cynthia says:

    Yeah, it didn’t particularly hurt to run on it though, so I didn’t take time off. Should have. The consequences have plagued me for most of the last year.

  4. Cynthia says:

    Oh, and good idea about switching to the 50K. Best to keep your options open.

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