6 Things I Don’t Runderstand

What I Dont Understand About Running

I know a lot about running. I won’t even pretend to be humble about it.

I’ve been running for over 20 years and have done everything from tiny little fun runs to ultramarathons. I’ve coached and paced countless others to becoming runners.

I know what works best for me. I know what works for most people generally.

That said, there are a few things that I don’t understand about running.

Things that don’t make sense to me, and likely never will

What I Don’t Understand About Running

Or should I say… things I don’t runderstand?

Oooh, that felt good. I don’t let the pun lover in me out very often…

One Day Is Amazing. The Next…

You can get up one Tuesday, eat your usual breakfast, put on your usual running gear, run your usual route and feel absolutely amazing. Like you are light as a feather and like you could run an ultra right then and there.

The next Tuesday you can get up, eat your usual breakfast, put on your usual running gear, run your usual route and feel terrible. Like you are made of lead, like you are uncoordinated and a beginner who has never run a step in her life.

You can do the same things and feel amazing on one run, terrible the next.

Why? I have absolutely no idea.

There are many things you can control about your run, but ultimately, the run will decide how good it wants to be.

Tired?… Go For A Run

If I’m exhausted after a long day, it seems logical to consider canceling my workout so I can relax and chill in front of the TV, right?


Nearly every time I face this situation and I go for a run anyway, I come home with more energy, feeling refreshed and revived.

How can I work myself to exhaustion, and have that give me energy?

No idea.

I’m Excited To Run All Day …

More times than I care to count, if I’m out all day and can’t run, I’ll spend most of that time excited about the idea of coming home to run. Considering all the routes I could do, how great it will feel to get out and stretch my legs.

Right up until the second I get home and it’s time to put my shoes on.

I will, immediately upon getting home and finding my running shoes waiting for me by the door, lose all interest in going for a run. I will likely spend the next half hour procrastinating with chores to delay my run.

Where did all the enthusiasm go? No idea.

How Long Is Long?

I am continually baffled by how quickly my perception of how long ‘long’ is changes. When I’m not in marathon training, I think: “8 miles? Urgh, that’s too long to run on a weekday. No way. Too long.”

During marathon training? “Oh goody! Only 8 miles! I’ll easily be able to get that run in on a Wednesday and still be home before it gets dark!”

How can my perception of how long 8 miles is vary so much? No idea.

Stop Monkeying With My Shoes!

Running shoes wear out. I will have to replace my shoes a few times a year whether there is a new model or not.

So why do shoe companies change how their shoes fit every year!?

OK, so maybe there are incremental improvements in the area of foam technology. So I’ll give them the occasional new model, but every year?

It makes shopping for running shoes so much more stressful than it has to be.

It also makes it more likely I’ll change my shoe loyalty. I’ve worn Kayanos religiously for coming up on 15 years. I haven’t so much as tried on another brand of shoes in a decade. But the latest iteration (new and improved, according to Asics) are terrible. So I’ve started playing the field. Asics’ constant tinkering has forced me to cheat on them, and just maybe, switch my brand loyalty (the final decision is yet to be made).

If they’d left well enough alone I would have worn Asics for life.

Who thinks constant shoe tinkering is a good idea?

How Can That Person Beat Me?

I’m not a terribly fast runner, so I know many runners will beat me on race day.

In 99+% of cases, this doesn’t bother me in the slightest. I do my thing on race day and I know my thing means not being fast. No biggie.

That said, on race day, there is usually some runner who appears utterly unprepared to run. They are wearing jeans or khakis. Or some type of shoe that is not even remotely appropriate for running.

I expect serious and prepared runners will beat me on race day. But to be beaten by someone who seems to have stumbled into the race by accident?

That’s just insulting.

How can even that person beat me?


What about you? Is there anything you don’t runderstand?

What I Dont Understand About Running

6 thoughts on “6 Things I Don’t Runderstand

    1. It still surprises me every time! It’s currently my off-season between marathon training cycles, I’m totally intimidated by the 6-mile run I scheduled Saturday. In a few months, I won’t think twice about it!

  1. I absolutely agree with you on the shoe thing. That purple Kayano you’re wearing…I have the same one and it’s my absolute favorite. But I M now wearing a Saucony and although I like it, if Kayano went back to this design I’d change back in a heartbeat. Doesn’t Asics know they are messing with people??

    1. I know! I wish they’d at least keep a few ‘classic’ versions of the most popular shoes available. I’d be willing to pay more and do some complicated on-line order thing if I knew I could reliably get my favs.

  2. I am glad I am not alone in the perception of distance. I am about 18 months out (grad school took away all time for training) from my last marathon and getting mentally ready to think about training for another but have been thoroughly discouraged by how long a 6 mile run feels this past week.

    1. Right!? It throws me off every single time I start a new marathon training cycle. Good luck with your training, if you did it once, you can do it again!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *