Eight Negative Aspects of Ultrarunning That we Face From Time to Time

willy-wonka-ultraOnce again, inspired by the Angry Jogger, there are some negative aspects of our chosen sport/hobby/addiction that do fall into the negative category.  Let’s look into those and determine if they outweigh the positives, shall we?

1.  Time.  Many of us have a pretty decent balance between “life” and running, but there are certainly times when our training or racing schedule gets in the way. Your friends’ springtime wedding? Uuuh, that’s the same weekend as this race I signed up for a year ago and my name was picked in the lottery. Sorry, I’ll be in the mountains.

2.  Trash on the trails. Nothing can ruin a nice long run on the trails more than seeing cans, bottles, or worse, empty gel packs from other runners.  If I weren’t out running, I wouldn’t have seen that.

Cut costs by wearing less.
Cut costs by wearing less.

3.  I’ll steal #8 from the Angry Jogger and use it here, albeit with a bit more work-friendly language: The endless fads that make running more complicated than it really is. Most of us got into this sport because it’s so damn easy. Shoes, nutrition, and a pair of shorts (or not.)  Then we go to the running store and are faced with endless choices and new whizbang gimmicks that muddy the water.

4.  Coming up with new responses to “I wouldn’t even drive that far!” Laugh it off and move along? Try to convince the person that yeah, they could if they tried? Thank them under your breath for staying off your trails? What to do, what to do…

5.  Money. Sure, somewhat related to #3, but with race entries rising in cost and gas nearing an all-time high again, this is no longer a cheap sport. Sometimes deciding to register is more determined by cost than it is by distance, readiness, scenery, etc.

6.  Doctors. Whether it’s your annual physical that shows your pulse at a zombie-like 44bpm, or them advising “no activity for a week” because of a vasectomy, arguing with docs about your running generally doesn’t go very well.

Sandals? Probably not.
Sandals? Probably not.

7.  Black toenails. Sure, many of us wear them as sources of curious pride, but for the ladies or distinguished gents wearing sandals, they can be a bit…gross.

8. The inevitable Dean Karnazes/Born to Run book discussion. This is a tricky one as you either come across sounding like an indifferent and pompous jerk (“ya know, a lot that book wasn’t accurate”) or you get sucked into a conversation that feels like you’re talking with some high school friend from 20 years ago about something you sort of remember.



So what did I miss? Do the sometimes negative aspects outweigh the positives?

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