After a recent re-watch of Hannibal (the NBC show based on the Thomas Harris books, not the terrible movie) I got thinking about the 7 deadly sins since in the third season, Hannibal talks a lot about Dante, The Devine Comedy, and by extension the 7 deadly sins.
So on a recent run, I left the house with the idea of the 7 deadly sins floating around in my head (thanks Hannibal). As often happens with me, at some point in the next hour, my mind naturally drifted to thinking about what the 7 deadly sins look like to runners.
Isn’t that how everyone’s mind works?
There are no ideas my mind can’t put together if my run is long enough…
What The 7 Deadly Sins Look Like To Runners
“I’m a terrible runner. I finished in the bottom half of my age group. My running buddy finished 10 minutes ahead of me.”
Envy is so often about comparison. How someone else is thinner or faster than you.
But remember you don’t know that other runner’s story.
How much work they put into their finish time.
How many laps of the track were required to get them that finish time.
“It’s OK that I sit for 8 hours at work, I’m going to run 10 miles this weekend”
Sloth doesn’t seem like a natural fit for runners, but it can often be truer than we’d like to admit.
We (ok, I) may use ‘I need a rest day’ as an excuse to not run on a day when, in our heart of hearts, we know we could run, we just don’t want to.
We can use our running as an excuse to sit around all day at work even though a 3 mile run in the morning isn’t nearly enough to counteract all that sitting.
“I’ll grab 2 bananas, 3 yogurts, and a handful of granola bars at this race finish. After all, it’s free!”
Please don’t take more than your share of the post-race food and beverages!
Races (all too often) run out of finish line stuff. If you are greedy and take more than your share, the odds greatly increase that runners coming in after you will be faced with lots of empty food tables.
I still get angry thinking back to a local half marathon. On a hot day, I finish (near the middle of the pack), only to be told they’d run out of water. I then proceed to walk around the finish area and see runners with a bottle of water in each hand and a third under their arm. Many were with non-running family and kids who all had water bottles from the race.
Yes, it’s on race directors to have enough stuff and be well supplied, but greedy runners can make this much worse.
“I’ll have that fourth slice of pizza, I ran a lot this week.”
This is a big one for me. I know I shouldn’t reward fitness accomplishments with food.
But I do.
The evening of a long run (after I’ve already done my ‘real’ refueling post-run), I’ll usually have something that isn’t very good for me (most commonly pizza and/or cupcakes).
I tell myself it’s not so bad since I did a long run that morning and I’ve earned some not great food.
But I know I’m kidding myself.
This is one of the big reasons that many runners don’t lose weight while marathon training.
“How dare my knee not feel better! I took one day off from running! I never should have gotten injured in the first place.”
When I first started thinking about wrath as it comes to runners, I was thinking about something external. Runners getting mad at those damn Lime scooters on the sidewalk or drivers who aren’t paying attention.
But I think a better fit here is internal wrath.
Getting mad at your body for getting injured or not healing quickly enough.
Getting upset at the results you didn’t get from the track workout you didn’t do.
“I can’t run too hard today, I’ll get too sweaty and I won’t look cute enough to do a #sweatyselfie “
Very few runners look great after a long run. I very often look like a drowned rat after 10+ miles of running.
But how you look shouldn’t be your priority.
How you feel mentally and physically is so much more important.
But in this day and age of Instagram and #sweatyselfies, not wanting to ruin your hair or makeup on the run (because then your Insta may not get as many likes), can easily get in the way of your run.
You don’t need me to tell you that’s backward, right?
“I feel so great when I’m running, I’m going to run every day! I’m sure my body can handle it, and my husband won’t mind”
Some runners can get waaaaay obsessed.
They decide they are going to run at least 2 miles every day, rain or shine or injury or scheduling conflict.
An obsession with running can take over your life.
It can damage relationships.
It can damage your body. Overuse injuries can do so much damage to your body.
Go ahead and love running.
Be obsessed with it even.
But don’t be a crazy-stalker-type who denies all others and who ignores the damage that obsession might do to others or your body.