Don't Run Unless You Want to Die

This will be a good post for you to read if you are tired of hearing about what everyone is thankful for.

I have a ton to be thankful for -- oodles and oodles to be thankful for -- but I will spare you a post about how wonderful my life is, and air my dirty laundry instead.

Strangely, I can write about this because despite the fact that every member of my family is aware of this blog, not a single one of them chooses to read it, so I can safely write about family drama without further instigating family drama.

From left: sister, me, niece, sister, mom

I can also write about this with some  degree of appropriateness because.....the family drama started with a discussion about running.

My Thanksgiving week began with so much promise....I was giddy with excitement over a 4-day weekend, could not wait to see my family and especially my two sisters who live in San Diego and my 4-month old niece.

These three are the ones I don't see enough.  I was eating pumpkin bread while trying to smile.  DON'T TOUCH ME GEMMA, NOOOOOO! (Because I was sick.  Read below)

San Diego sister-sandwich

Also trying to eat pumpkin bread while smiling

Tuesday morning I woke up sick.  This was aggravated by a long work day, still in the office at the time I should have been tucking under the covers.  By Thanksgiving, I had lost most of my ability to taste food, but really this wasn't much a bummer for me as I consider Thanksgiving food to not be awesome.  Seriously, if the food was soooooo good, then why wouldn't we eat cranberry sauce and green been casserole all year long?  (Answer: cause it's not that good).

The part that was a bummer was that I wasn't allowed to touch my niece, Gemma.  I was germy.


Still, I was happy, munching away on cornbread and sweet potato dishes and lentils, when my dad asked me if I ran that morning.

Yup, I did run!  As a matter of fact, I continued, I am running a marathon in 10 days!  (Yes, my family is clueless as to when I have a big race, unless it is in their home town of Napa.  They have supported my two marathons in Napa).

I didn't mention my hip issues -- I was hoping to bring that up at some point, as he is a doctor, and might have some words of advice.

How did my dad react to my news of a marathon in 10 days?  Was he excited? Encouraging? Curious?

Dad: You know, someone just died in the Baltimore marathon.  In fact, anytime there is a marathon with enough people running it, someone dies.

I have known since my first marathon in 2006 that my dad thinks 26.2 miles is unhealthy.  It doesn't help his opinion that I ended up in the ER 3 days after running the Napa Marathon in 2010 (chest pains, which were diagnosed as esophageal spasms).  So for a minute or two, I permitted a discussion about how to not be that person at a big marathon who dies (Answer: there's no predictability or warning signs, so you are SOL).

This conversation flowed into the next anti-running discussion.

Dad: You know, every single person who runs a lot has joint problems in their 40's, 50's, or if lucky not until their 60's.  There may be a few exceptions to the rule, but in my 45 years of experience as a doctor, all runners have trouble and pain by middle age.

I decided at that point I would not be bringing up my hip issue.  :(

This discussion escalated slightly as I tried to defend running.  I'm not going to share anymore details, as I will probably regret saying what I want to say.  Suffice to say, the rest of Thanksgiving sucked, really sucked, and it ultimately had very little to do with running and more to do with someone's pride (not mine).

After dinner.  Not in a good mood.


How do you handle people in your life who encourage you not to run?  After 15 years of running should I seriously just....not run?

Are you someone, or do you know someone, who has run for many years and is now over the age of 40?  How is your/their body holding up?  Do they have any regrets for running long distances?