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The Unspoken Rules of Being a Badass: A Runner's Guide

What to Say on Marathon Monday? Well, Anything!

CBS News correspondent Jim Axelrod wrote an article in the New York Times a couple of days ago complaining about people at his job asking him how fast he ran his first marathon.

Axelrod in the piece refers to the day after a traditional Sunday marathon as ‘Marathon Monday.’

He seems quite perturbed in the piece by his co-workers congratulating him and then following it up by asking, “So, what was your time?”

There was no way this fine fellow, whom I would charitably describe as no stranger to the buffet table, could have had the faintest understanding of what a good time for a 46-year-old first time marathoner might be. Or a bad time, for that matter.

I’m certain that if I’d answered, “3:15:20” or “5:05:47,” it would have been met with the same blank stare as when I told him “4:30.” That’s because he had no earthly idea what the difference might be.

Ouch! I’d hate to be the co-workers who refused to ask or talk to him about his marathon.

I think it’s important to remember that although your marathon might be a huge deal to you, that it means very little or nothing to your co-workers and perimeter friends.

Often they are just being casual and humoring you with interest after watching you limp around the office.  It’s only natural to ask, “What was your time?” or “How long did it take you to do that?”

To the non-marathoner, they usually have no clue how long it takes to run such an obscene distance.  Often times it is more impressive to the person asking the question when you reply with how many hours it took you to finish a marathon.  The mortal friend just can’t conceptualize how someone could run for that long.

For the record, Axelrod ran his first marathon, the New York City Marathon (2009), in 4 hours and 30 minutes.  A very solid time for a 46-year old, first time marathoner.

Jim just needs to relax though about people asking him about his time.  It’s part of the running and marathon game, even more so to non-marathoners.

Also, when you’ve run a really good or fast marathon you want people to ask.

It’s always better to be asked than to blurt out or boast how fast you completed 26.2 miles.

He will likely find out that if he continues to run marathons that people will stop asking him about them all together.

Next time you see Mr. Axelrod ask him what time he ran his last marathon in!

So what are your thoughts on Marathon Monday etiquette?

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This post was written by:

- who has written 1052 posts on Run It Fast®.

Joshua Holmes has completed 197 marathons/ultramarathons while running 100+ miles 43 including races such as the Badwater 135, Western States 100, The Last Annual Vol State 500K (3x). His favorite races to date are the Vol State 500K, Badwater 135, Barkley Fall Classic, Catalina Eco Marathon, Chimera 100, Across The Years, Savage Gulf Trail Marathon, Strolling Jim 40 Miler, Tunnel Hill 100, RUTS, EC100 and the Flying Monkey Marathon in his home state of Tennessee. Follow @bayou Follow @joshuaholmes on Instagram

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2 Responses to “What to Say on Marathon Monday? Well, Anything!”

  1. Josh Watson says:

    I have never ran a marathon, but I was a competitive powerlifter who grew tired of the often asked “How much do you bench?” At first I told people. Then my answer simply became Not Enough! So if I do run a marathon and I get asked that question I will more than likely respond Not Fast Enough!

  2. Beth says:

    haha. I have heard this so many times. More than ever after completing my first 100 mile race. For the most part, I have learned how to answer this without really caring whether or not the person really is thinking about my time or what they are asking. It’s all fun because for the most part, I don’t take myself seriously anyway.

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