Monday, August 28, 2006

Bring It On

Adeel, of And With Your Help, I'll Get That Chicken, writes a provocative piece today about the worthiness of the "50 marathons in 50 days" phenom that is currently all the rage.

And how those feats usurp truly stellar athletic running performances. In fact, I didn't even know half the people he mentioned. (But then, I'm all about me.)

Here's a taste:
Running one marathon or a dozen is not that impressive. It takes very little ability to run a marathon in the 21st century, and even less training, it seems.
Whether you agree or disagree, his words are bound to provoke some reaction. Drop by and tell him what you think.


Kilo said...

It takes very little ability to run a marathon in the 21st century? Did something change at Y2K? Was it harder 7 years ago?

I do rather see his point, though. I ran my first marathon last year and I can't say that I have much for running abilities. I run slowly. My genes do not predispose me to winning events, not even age class wins. I ran that marathon with very little ability, it's true. Just a lot of training and perserverence.

But I'm still proud of it. The blogosphere was proud of me, too. That's my biggest problem with his article -- that the blogosphere congratulates the mediocre. Well, yeah. We bloggers are average people. Middle-aged, middle-class family people for the most part who live our lives and enjoy running, too. Running often lends itself to good blogging and philosophizing. We write about ourselves and comment to others who are like us. We are happy when a fellow blogger succeeds at something that was a challenge for them.

Elite runners really never enter the picture. That's a whole different world. They run at their own elite level where fractions of seconds matter and doping makes all the difference. They do this as a profession. They are sponsored. They have almost nothing in common with me, and I have nothing to say about them in my blog, other than, 'Oh. Wow. Fast.'

So my beef with his post is his condemnation of the blogging community. Since when did I become a reporter? I write about what interests me and nothing else. Let the real reporters figure out a way to make elite running exciting and interesting. Not my job.

Oh -- Hi Jeanne! Long-time reader, first-time poster. Love your humor! I can't wait to read about continued training and upcoming race report. I'll be cheering for your success the whole way!

Running by.... said...

Maybe it takes very little effort for someone that's already athletic and in good shape--but seriously, take a random person off the streets and see if you can get them to complete a marathon with "little ability and even less training".

I don't buy it.

a.maria said...

who the hell is adeel? first off. and second...

eff that. if he doesn't appreciate/like what people blog about, then... STOP READING.

David said...

So what elite runners have their own blog anyway? If they do, somebody else is probably ghosting it for them. After all they are elite and do not have time to write.
We are writers (or aspiring writers) who write for ourselves and our adoring blog public. It has nothing to do with becoming an elite athlete. If it has any value it is in finding out something to keep us from killing ourselves while exercising.

Adeel Ahmad said...

Hey Jeanne, thanks for the plug. I guess my comment here signifies my reading your blog.

running by, it's not very hard to complete a marathon. I think you know this to be true. It's about as hard as, I don't know, finishing high school. It's long, boring, painful and full of tears, but most people who want to do it can do it. Stand at the finish line of a major city marathon sometime: do the people coming in at the back of the pack look like they have much ability? Many of them will have started training about eight months prior, if they're doing it for charity. I don't mean it pejoratively, but as an observation. I have no doubt that it takes just about everything they have to make it to the start line, never mind the finish line.

maria, thanks for the sentiment. I think the same argument (if doesn't appreciate/like what I write about, then... STOP READING) applies to your comment about what I wrote. I hope you don't criticize anything you see on TV, any music you hear, conversations you hear, and so on.

The Other Jen said...

Pffft. He assigns a higher value to running fast than running far?


Does he find Olympic sprinters more impressive than Olympic marathoners? The marathoners are never going to be as fast, you know. Does that mean they're not working hard enough? Not digging deep enough?

Running a marathon (or fifty marathons) doesn't qualify as "training hard and pushing the limits of human performance"? Sheesh, what does it take to impress the angry chicken blogger?

I'm sorry this Adeel is pining for the company of more sprinters in the blogosphere. But belittling the efforts of others isn't really the best way to make friends and influence people.

a.maria said...

oh believe me adeel, i don't plan on ever reading anything you spew forth again. you can be sure.

Rae said...

How rude!! I don't even know this guy and thankfully don't read his crap but I certainly won't in the future!!!!!