My husband hates how I answer questions. I don’t blame him. I take every question I’m asked pretty seriously and don’t like to humor people with superficial answers. Therefore, often when you ask me a question, the answer will be another question thrown right back in your face. I swear, this is not to be annoying, I just want to make sure I know what I’m answering. Plus I like to speak the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Inaccuracy can be a pet peeve of mine.
This morning I was thinking about the running questions people ask me, mainly in my real life, and often. The FAQs that people probably thought were just a way to start some friendly small talk with me, except they didn’t realize that I take both running and question-answering not-so-lightly. Sorry if I’ve been a bit of an annoying b*tch if you’ve asked me any of these. Today felt like the perfect time to share my thoughts on some of these questions. Thanks to Amanda @ Running with Spoons for letting us think out loud and let it all hang out!
How fast do you run?
How fast do I run? You mean like when I’m being chased by a coyote or the day after a 20 miler when I’m doing a light shuffle while listening to a paleo podcast? Because there’s like, a really big difference. I get it, people who don’t run don’t understand that you don’t just run one pace all the time. But I just don’t know how to answer this question, ever, and it makes me sound either dumb, mean, or confused. Sometimes all three. I run under a 7 minute pace in speed work, my marathon pace will hopefully be 7:50, 10k pace should be 7:15ish, easy run pace a little under 9. That’s a lot of numbers, so I’ll just stop now. But really, I could give you more numbers. My warm-up pace, long run pace, tempo pace, 5k pace, humid pace, recovery pace 🙂
How far do you run everyday?
After I fumble on the speed answer, the same person, or someone nearby will usually ask me how far I run on a daily basis. I usually answer back “it depends on the day” which is obviously true because sometimes it’s 5 miles and sometimes it’s 20+. Again, I get that people who don’t run think that runners just run 10 miles every day or something but it always seems a bit too complex to get into explaining the purpose of different distances. I mean, people have written books on this sort of thing so I can’t be alone in this. The follow-up to “it depends” is usually “how far did you run today?” and I then I just give the answer, followed by “but I run different distances every day.” I know people don’t really care and I’m the only one in the conversation taking an interest.
Where do you run?
Oh man why did you ask this? Do you really want me to start talking about my hill routes, my easy routes, my long routes, my dark routes, snow routes, etc? Probably not, so I usually just answer this with “different routes around the area.” It’s true, and yet again, it all depends on the day and the purpose.
What time do you run?
This is easy. Usually at 5:30 or 5:45 every day. Yes, that includes Saturdays when I’m marathon training. And yes, that was me you saw on your way to the gym.
You run every day, right?
It’s interesting that people seem to assume “serious” runners run every day. I run 5-6 days a week, and even when I was clearly over training I still rested one day per week. The human body should not run 7 days a week, I believe. Others might disagree, but I’m sticking to that. When I tell people 5 days they almost look a little confused. Trust me, there is plenty of running one can do in 5 days a week 🙂
What do you eat before you run/what’s good pre-run fuel?
Either nothing or a banana. But keep in mind the time I run. I do not advocate not eating all day if you run later on. I also believe people over think the pre-running fuel issue. Do what feels right for you. This is a personal preference. Although, I’ve never gone wrong with a banana, personally.
How do you train for a marathon?
It’s a long story. Too long for school pick up. Here’s where my head was at when I created my current training plan.
Are you running NYC?
Because I live just out of NYC everyone asks me if I’m running the marathon each year. I’ve applied to the lottery, but haven’t gotten in yet. So no, I’m not running NYC. This year I’m running Philadelphia. I’m considering spectating NY this year though!
How is this (X:XX) pace?
None of us should be competing against some gold standard (we are not Olympic athletes, and if you are, clearly you did not ask me this) so there really is no “good” pace. It’s all about effort and improving from where you began. Pace is relative depending on so many factors. In short, only you are the one who can answer that question! You see, I used to be a therapist. So I give the running-question equivalent of “how does it make you feel?” So, tell me, how does that pace make you feel?
All my fellow runners out there – do you get these questions often and how do you answer them? What are some other running FAQs?