Non-Running Friends

I have several friends that do not run and happily display their 0.0 with pride.  That’s fine and all, I have nothing against the non-runners in my life, but I’ve found that non-runners are vehement about their opposition to running, so much so that just hearing about my running adventures makes them question my sanity, “You ran HOW MANY MILES and paid HOW MUCH for a race???  You raced last weekend and now you’re racing again and you have another race in TWO WEEKS??? That’s just crazy, Laura!  I don’t get it!!!”

Yeah, well, I don’t get why they DON’T run.  I’ve spent most of my posts here on reasons why you should run and why it’s awesome and why I love it yet, on the other hand, the non-runners have their reasons too…

Thank you, non-running friend Mandy for this little gem!

1) Running is boring.  That’s the one I hear most often.  And I agree, sometimes when I’m alone and on set for 10+ miles without music, without company, yes it can tend to get boring.  With music, a running buddy and gorgeous scenery to boot, boredom is banished.  I believe those that think running is boring aren’t adding the right components- if you’re on a treadmill, yes that’s tearfully boring, but if you take it outdoors and run with a friend you may be surprised at the difference.

So, I don’t accept that excuse, non-running friends!  Change it up, challenge yourself, make a rocking playlist, grab a running buddy and you never know what joy you may find!

2) Running is hard.  When ever in your life did you start something new and find it easy?  When?  NEVER.  Running is hard, the non-runners are right about that, even being a seasoned runner with 5 years of practice like me, it can still get incredibly difficult at times but, just with any other sport, you practice, train, learn, repeat and it just gets easier.  With running, practice doesn’t make perfect, but it certainly gives you the confidence to keep going harder and longer.  (That’s what she said… sorry, couldn’t help myself.)

So difficulty level excuses don’t confront me either- exercise in general is hard and no one improves in the comfort zone!  Running is hard because the pay-off is so great.

3) I don’t run because I’m slow. Okay, yeah, well I’m “slow” too but I truly believe that miles are miles are miles no matter how they are accomplished.  We all cross the same finish line and unless you are an elite or Olympic hopeful, we are ALL slow!  I never compare myself to my fast friends or their speed goals, we all have different body types and ability levels and that’s just life.  Truth be told, I despise speed work, it’s hard and I completely hate running in circles on the Oval of Doom (aka track) so I never really get faster but I don’t care about that!  Just accomplishing the distance- be it 3.1 or 26.2- is the ultimate goal.

So, speed is relative, being slow is a poor excuse, I don’t accept that either.

4) Running takes too much time. Well, then, adjust your goals so that you don’t have to run more than you would want to!  Not everyone who runs trains for marathons and/or half marathons and those are the distances that require a significant time commitment.  I know people who are happy only running 5Ks meaning that they are never running for more than an hour, ever, and that suits them just fine.  And, some people are content NOT to race!  Hunh!  Imagine that!

So, take the time you want to take, running for hours on end is not a requirement of the sport.

5) I look like an idiot when I run.  Okay but who’s watching?  If you are casually jogging down the street or even running a race, the ten, fifty, hundreds, thousands of other people are- trust me in this- NOT watching you.  If they are, it’s only because they want to be running too.  Running is such an internal process that the last thing I think when passing other runners is, “Wow, she sure looks like an idiot.”  More like, “Hey, that chick’s running skirt is  super cute,” or, “Whoa, those are some bright ass neon compression socks!”  Dr. Phil truly said it best: “You wouldn’t care so much about what people think about you if you knew how little they did.”

So, you look like a fool when you run?  Well, join the club and get over it!

In conclusion, dear non-running friends, I hope that you can find it in your hearts to listen to my running stories with an open heart and without judgement of my choices, yourself or your own abilities.  It is completely okay with me that you don’t run and you’ve got some pretty good points, but please don’t put me down for doing so.  As friends, let’s support each other and be happy for one another’s accomplishments- I’ll support your hate of running if you support my love of it.

And, if you ever want to give running a try- you know who to call.

How about you, do you have any non-running friends?  How do they relate to your running endeavors?  Do you ever feel judged or chastised by your friends who don’t run? If so, how do you handle it?


14 thoughts on “Non-Running Friends

  1. This was inspiring Laura. I too am a “non-runner” but would like to give it a try. You would be proud, i have gotten up the last 3 mornings (at 5am no less!) and gotten my butt to the gym and run/walked for 20 minutes on the treadmill. Yay! It has been hard only because I have been a slacker on the exercise in the summer, but now that the rain is back 😦 and winter is here for the next 9 months, I am more motivated than ever to “get my running on”. I am considering training for my first race, distance not yet determined. I would love to chat with you more and have your support, so count me as someone who supports your love of running as I plan to see if I become a lover too! xoxo,

    • Great job, girl! Now keep on keeping on- YOU CAN DO IT!!!! And anytime you want to chat running, you just let me know! And thank you for reading, commenting and for the support- I appreciate it more than you know. 🙂

  2. Who has heard of statements like “30 minutes of cardio/vascular exercise 3-5 times a week adds years to your life”? It is this fact that got me running. Health. And the best part is, while adding years to your life, the days you live now are also better, more full of energy. That is what motivated this non-runner to start logging miles. And so it was not even about how fast, or how long, but just “did I get my heart rate up for 30 minutes?” So non-runners, there are a million reasons as Laura blog is devoted to defining. Why not choose the simplest: to feel good.

    • Well said, hubby! And I am so proud of you- you went from a non-runner to a 5K to TWO half marathons back to back and I am glad that you and I can at least agree on *something*. :p

  3. Great post! I think the vehemently anti-running people are Negative Nancies (or Neds, let’s be gender neutral here). You know, the kind of people who poo-poo everything, who think it’s all about THEM. It’s the same kind of person who, when I tell them about my graduate degree, they get all defensive and say, “Well, I’ve always wanted to go back to grad school too, I just haven’t found the time yet.” Uh, good for you?? I understand not being 100% interested in training or race details, but it’s another thing to be negative about an activity that’s as positive and healthy as running. Luckily, I don’t have very many people like that in my life, and when I’m around them, I totally avoid the topic altogether. It’s hard though, when I’m training for a marathon and it’s taking up so much of my time. I’ve become a rather boring conversationalist. 😉

    • Hahaha- compare/contrast- totally!!! Yeah, I could try harder to avoid the topic but running is so much of my life, especially since joining TNT. And, as a big part of who I am, I can’t help but talk about it! I’m quite the share-er. 😉 So you, Andrea and I can hang and give ourselves the okay to talk about running for hours on end and not feel judged and that would be super awesome.

  4. Yup, a lot of my friends think I’m nuts, but a lot of them think it’s cool too (even the ones that I could never get out the door to run a step). One day they might. Really, I don’t care what they think. It’s how I relieve stress and keep from going nuts. I am one of those runners that really doesn’t have an interest in racing that much (probably why I have bailed on 2 halfs now) and that’s ok with me. I feel good and free when I run and I feel bad for all those who don’t try it at the least. How can you say you don’t like something if you don’t give it a good try? I’ve been running for 11 years now and it’s only gotten easier and I’ve only gotten better! I’m not always the most motivated or dedicated, but I ALWAYS come running back to running. 🙂 Great post.

  5. Nice post Laura… While you respond to the excuses (yes, they are excuses) you hear for not running, I can’t escape the most important reason for why I run- and it has nothing to do with me.

    My Dad is an awesome guy. He worked hard, provided a great upbringing for my sister and I, was involved in our activities, etc… I try to emulate him in how I go about my business as a husband and father.

    My Dad also struggled with his weight his entire adult life. Crash diets leading up to vacations, and 4 months later complaints about the pants not fitting right. Then do it all over again. Why was this the case. The daily pattern I saw was that, after a long day of work, it was pretty much come home, kick back and watch TV.

    Through my 20s and early 30s, I did just that. My idea of a successful day of work was to come home and relax all night- maybe a beer or two while I watched TV, after all, I earned it! Even more importantly, this is perfectly acceptable because it worked for my Dad.

    Then I had kids. And my boy started growing up. I looked at him, and could feel myself looking at my father through his eyes.

    Then the voices in my head started… “What kind of an example am I setting for my son?”

    Make no mistake- at that time in my life I was pretty heavy (255 lbs at 6’2″) and it showed. Nothing fit right, I didn’t look good, and I did not feel good. And I could close my eyes and see my son struggling with the same issues I was dealing with right there in another 30 years.

    Time to break the cycle, I thought to myself. And I started running. No crash diet was going to work- this is a simple input – output equation. Reduce input, increase output.

    Today I weigh 205. I almost feel comfortable enough to take my shirt off in public. I play hard with my son, and make sure he knows that I exercise- I talk to him about it. He sees me get on my gear and head out the door. He sees me 45 minutes later drenched in sweat, breathing hard, and with a big smile on my face.

    I hope that he takes that as an example of what to do. Exercise and running should be part of life. I hope to reinforce that as the years go on as I am better able to maintain my health and able-bodied activity- hopefully to be a positive grandparent role-model for his children.

    I guess my point is that as a parent, it is never just about you anymore. I run to set an example for them.

    • Thank you for the thoughtful comment, Jeff, and kudos to you for your determination- your hard work has certainly paid off! I hear you’re a pretty fast runner too! 🙂

      This entire blog is about why I choose to run and why I love it so- I have so many reasons why I run. Every day is a different reason. I agree, setting an example for the little ones in addition to living longer for them is another super important reason to run.

  6. I’m slowly but surely winning over the non-runner friends one at a time. One is running her first half this weekend and there are at least 6 of us running a half together next year!

  7. So far Laura my Non-runner friends are not like that they do question about paying for the race over running without having to pay but not like what you received. In fact, they say I’m their inspiration and some say they started running because of me. It’s nice to hear and that I want to motivate and inspire them more. Thanks for sharing this.

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