Sunday, July 01, 2007

A fine nine

I can hardly believe it myself. Yesterday I ran [OK, ran/walked] 9 miles with the Chicago Endurance Sports training team. We used a run 3/walk 2 interval and it was perfect. The run took us about 2 hours and 10 minutes.

This puts me well within range of a half marathon. Based on yesterday, I think my back is "back" to normal - which is not to say perfect, but good enough.

Part of this, I think, is that fact that I've been doing at least one "sort of" hilly trail run every week for the past 5 or 6 weeks. And that I've been doing some cycling in addition to running. Yeah, I know, it's called "cross training". But I LIKE to ride so I don't think of it as training.

Some folks have written to me about the "We are not Joggers" ad that was in Runner's World. I won't mention the manufacturer's name because that just gives them more publicity. It was, in my view, about the dumbest thing a shoe and apparel company could do. I'm sure there was a bunch of 30 year-old ad people that thought it was clever. It wasn't. It was just dumb.

As George Sheehan wrote: The difference between a runner and a jogger is the signature on a race application. If you are willing to line up at take your shot in an event, you are NOT a jogger. And, by the way, there's nothing wrong with BEING a jogger or a recreational runner/walker.

The ad was just stupid. Enough said.



Imamamma said...

Just got back from a 2-mile run/waddle. Love reading your blog, as always! Nice work on the 9-miler!

Hadn't heard about that awful ad, but must admit I googled the phrase and was dismayed. Showed hubby (he wears *those* shoes) too. I kept telling they're ugly, now I can nag him because they're rude too!

Anonymous said...

Yeah, the ad is pretty stupid. Here is the text of my email to the company:
I am writing to express my disappointment at your "We are not joggers" ad campaign. I used to be a loyal customer of your running shoes, but this ad has made me reconsider this status. As obesity levels in this country rise, discouraging people from exercising by mocking "joggers" (read, slow people), is not only unnecessary, but unconscionable. (I always thought runners were among the most socially conscious athletes around, maybe I was wrong.) In addition, I have never understood the threat certain runners feel their sport is under by the inclusion of those slower than them. Attacks against these "joggers" has always felt petty and small, and your ad sounds the same way--not the type of company I want to be associated with.

So I say let them run, jog, walk, or exercise whatever way they want, and in whatever shoes they want. I'm going to stick with running, but I'll probably reconsider what brand of shoes I do it in.


Wes said...

That's exactly what they got from me, too, John! I like your definition much better. That is what I live by. That is what I use when I talk to other runners.

Mary Christine said...

I LOVE it! I AM a runner because I actually sign my name and show up at races! No matter how slow I am. Thanks for inspiring me (again)!

Anonymous said...

I've read your column in RW and just visited your web site. My wife and I are training for the Walt Disney 1/2 Marathon in January 08. Our times are about 10 minutes per mile for myself and about 12 for my wife. Since running is a competitive sport, many people can get hung up on times and records. But really the only person I'm trying to beat when I race is myself. If I can just finish a 5k 1/10 of a second faster, that's a major accomplishment to me. I realize I may never break 7 minutes (my fastest 5k is about 8:10), but in the end it doesn't matter. What does matter to myself and should matter to all the other runners or even "joggers" out there, is that we lace up and we do it. That in itself makes us all winners.

Stefanie said...

I couldn't agree more. Those ads have made me very mad. I will definitely not be buying their products.

Anonymous said...

Hi John,

I, like everone else found that stab at advertising personally insulting. If that company wants to taylor itself to the "elite" then I say let them. They will just remain a mediocre company with about average sales.

The truth of the matter is that whether you run a 4 minute mile or a 12 minute mile to each person it feels the same. I wonder what the great Fred Lebow would say to an add like that after a lifetime of trying to bring the joy and satisfation of RUNNING to as many people as possible.

There is no room in my world of running for elite mentalities. I alone define what running is to me and that is all that matters.

To everyone out there "Just keep running"

Dawn - Pink Chick said...

I'm a member of a website that also wrote and article on this ad -

I hadn't seen the ad until I read the article. They've got it all wrong. Lacing up your runners and getting out there makes you a runner not the shoe. The shoe doesn't make me a runner, I make me a runner and I love it.

Anonymous said...

I don't wear Pearl Izumi shoes because they don't make any shoes that I like, but I've enjoyed their ads. The ads are a nice contrast to Reebok's condescending "Run Easy" ad campaign that makes fun of hard work and dedication--in print, on billboards, and on TV, no less. (Reebok doesn't make any running shoes worth my attention either.)

People need to get a sense of humor and perspective and stop wasting time being "offended." I've been a "runner" for 3 years tomorrow. I've worked hard, lost 70 pounds, cut 14 minutes off my 5K time, cut 2 hours off my marathon time, and qualified for Boston. Am I supposed to be offended by the Pearl Izumi ads because I often run on the treadmill or use my iPod? No. It's an ad campaign designed to attract attention. Guess what? It's worked. Everyone is talking about them.