Yeah……No. I’m Not Letting This One Go…Yet

A couple of weeks ago I received an email about one of my favorite blogger’s latest post.  The title of Olive To Run’s latest literary bit of genius caught my eye as I had seen the same subject pop up on Twitter.  Runner’s World had released an article about whether or not you should encourage another runner when you pass him/her.  Forgive me if you’ve already read this subject to death, but I feel compelled to throw my two paws into the ring on this one.

runners world

After reading both sides of the argument, I actually agree.  With both of them.  Here’s why.  And forgive me if my opinion offends thee.

Scott Martin (and no, I’m pretty sure it’s not the Scott Martin I went to high school with), was having one of “those” races.  You know the type.  We all have them.  The kind where we question why we didn’t just stay in bed that morning.  Martin was begging for mercy from a hill two miles into the race and got passed by a kid.  Now, that right there would be enough to aggravate me.  My fragile ego has a hard time dealing with much younger kiddies passing me during any race.  Honestly.  It just ticks me off.  Don’t ask me why, it’s just one of my weird idiosyncrasies.  But if I had been in the same position as Martin and been passed by a kid who sounded like he was out for a Sunday stroll, at the most inopportune time, and was called “sir”, yeah…I’d be crushed too.  Along with quite a few other not-so-kind adjectives.

mad bull


Now don’t be mistaken – I’m all for a well-timed attaboy or you got this.  I just don’t want it coming from some young, speedy gazelle who’s making my sweat-laden odor-rific effort look like it’s entirely unnecessary.  The only thing that will encourage is my will to go all-out ninja.  And kick you.  Hard.



HOWEVER…far be it for me to turn down a well-intentioned pat on the back from a fellow Team runDisney-er, WI.S.H.-er or anyone else who is at least legally old enough to enjoy the nuances of a well-constructed margarita, glass of Cabernet, or homemade brownie and ice cream.

wine and ice cream1

I’ll be the first one to encourage someone who looks like they’re having a crappy race, regardless of how much of a mess I am.  That’s what makes this insanity so much fun.  Camaraderie and encouragement is what keeps us going, whether it be during a race, in training, or on social media.  I love reading about peeps who just went out for their very first run ever.  Or someone who nailed a PR.  Or about a young girl who walks with crutches and completed a 5k.  Now THAT is the kind of stuff encouragement is made for.  And THAT is why runner’s efforts should always be acknowledged.  Unless of course, you’re not old enough to buy a beer.  Yet.

My fake ID didn't work.

My fake ID didn’t work.


Enjoy the ride.

Are you open to encouragement?  From anyone?  Do you freely offer it?


10 thoughts on “Yeah……No. I’m Not Letting This One Go…Yet

  1. That’s so funny! I had read that article too and while I was running the Brooklyn Half when I passed someone (yes, I actually pass people at my speed lol) there were moments when I wanted to give words of encouragement but actually held back because I didn’t know if that would make things worse for them! I hate not being supportive but after reading that article I’m just so torn about whether or not to do it.

  2. I have a bizarre code of conduct in my head regarding encouragement, in all of life, not just in running. I’ll preface by saying I know its weird, but it works for me.

    Encouragement or positive wishes have a “scope”. You only have the power to grant wishes or offer encouragement that is proportional to sort of the relationship that you and I have. For example: cashier at grocery store wishing me “I hope you have the greatest weekend ever!” is pushing their luck. At best, you have the power to wish me maybe a nice day, or a good evening, but absolutely best weekend ever? Overstepping your bounds, and your entire well-wish is null and void in my mind.

    Same for running. When a stranger says “you got this” to me, that implies you have some magic ability to go inside my head, understand everything that is going on mentally and physically, understand my goals for the race, and only after all that were you able to make the assessment that I do indeed “got this”.

    Compare that to “Looking strong, runner!”. You have the power to observe me in motion, and make your own assessment of whether you think I look strong or not. This is within your scope as a stranger passing me or watching me from the side of the road.

    Weird, right?

    • Like the ever famous Bud Light commercial…it’s only weird if it doesn’t work. 🙂 I wonder if species homo sapiens has just gotten so cynical that we have to actually THINK about even giving encouragement, instead of just throwing it out there. I love your view on this!

  3. I’ve read lots about this recently and I think it is rude to comment if you pass someone by. My race stradegy means I usually negative split, so I do end up passing people the second half. And I would be SO TICKED OFF if anyone told me “good job” while leaving me in the dust. Disney races are a bit different than normal races and you hear much more encouragement and it seems more acceptable since most are there for fun and not to race.

    • I think you hit it right on the head Pam! That being said however, being the WRD groupie that I am, I think I would probably just about pee my shorts if you or Christine deigned to say something to me as you left me in the dust, lol! 🙂

  4. Personally, it makes me a little sad that people get so upset from people encouraging them when passing. When someone passes me telling me “Good job” or “Keep it up” I thank them and keep doing my thing. My race motto has always been My Race. My Pace. so maybe because I’ve ingrained that mantra in my head I don’t get upset when people pass me.

    When I pass others, I try to encourage if I can muster up energy to talk. Usually, I’m so out of breath I can never say anything coherent but wondering if I’m offending anyone has never stopped me from giving some encouragement.

    I do, however, have to agree with you on the age thing. If it’s a kid, like a kid kid, like 12 and under, oh heelll no do not tell me good job. It’s similar to someone younger than you calling you “Sweetie” or “Honey”–nothing ticks me off more than that.

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