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Marathon Small Talk

It’s going to happen sometime in the next couple weeks. You’ll be at an office or neighborhood holiday party and come face-to-face with someone you kinda, sorta know. Tina, from HR, whom you haven’t said three words to since last year when you asked her for a new W-4 form. Or Stu, the guy down the street who helped you jump start your car four years ago but whom you haven’t done more than wave to since. You’ll find yourself in a corner at a random party with Tina/Stu and they’ll attempt to break the awkward silence by saying, “Hey, how’ve you been? Are you still doing those marathon things?”

You respond with, “Hi there, Tina/Stu. Why, yes I am still running marathons, thanks for asking.”

“So, how far is a marathon anyway?”

 [This is when you know the conversation will go south.]

“Well, a full marathon is 26.2 miles.”

“Shoo-wee! That’s a long-ass way!! I couldn’t even do the point 2 part!”

[Just laugh politely at this.]

“How long does it take to run one of those things?” Tina/Stu asks.

“Depends,” you say. “The pros do it in a little more than two hours. Takes me about two and a-half times longer than that.”

“Shoo-wee! That’s a long-ass time!! I can’t even drive around in my car that long without getting tired!”

[Laugh politely again.]

“And how do you go about training for one of those?”

[Know that Tina/Stu is just making small talk and has no real desire to know this information nor will she/he be able to follow you if you delve deep into base and build weeks, fartleks vs. hill repeats, lactate thresholds and anaerobic capacity or the benefit of recovery runs. Stick with simple.]

“I just run a whole lot.”

“Wow. Sounds hard.”

“Yeah. It kinda is.”

Might I suggest that if find yourself in such a situation it might be easier to answer the “Hey, are you still running those marathon things?” question with “Nah. Now I just sit around the house and watch reality T.V.”

After all, that’s something everyone can understand.

3 comments to Marathon Small Talk

  • Carrie

    You must be crazy! You must have too much time on your hands! Normal people don’t do those things! You are so crazy! Couldn’t you find yourself a hobby? Is this a symptom of empty nest syndrome? Seriously, you’ve gotta be crazy. I got bad knees. I got bad feet. I got bad breath. You must be crazy! I can’t run 30 feet without wheezing. You are just crazy. I rode my bike a whole mile last week. Thought I was gonna die! That’s proof that you’re crazy! I do not have the time in my schedule to do such crazy things. Crazy!
    See you at the water cooler.

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