I had a chat with That Guy over the weekend. You know the one. Shoulders back, chest out, biceps curled at every opportunity. The one who – with no prior niceties – suddenly asks you in a booming voice about your half marathon time (that you never mentioned, but presumably your husband did, in an act of misplaced pride) with a condescending little grin of glee because he cannot WAIT to get to the real reason for starting this conversation: his own studliness.
What? No! How do you even know about that? I don’t want to talk about it! I’m not here to be your goddamn blank human screen on which you project your own narcissistic glory! …is not what I said. Nor did I say “ooh, my time is DEFINITELY not as fast as YOUR time!” I said, “Um. 1:45?” With a small inner sigh I waited for what was going to come next. Sure enough – the condescending grin got a little wider, the dude nodded with raised eyebrows as if to say “not bad for a little woman,” and said, “Uh huh. Yeah, I just ran the Nürnberg half. I didn’t really train or anything, because I don’t have time with the all the kung fu, but I ran pretty fast anyway.” He puffed out his chest a little more (how do they do that? Is there an extra air pocket somewhere?) and stretched out his arm, examining it to make sure it still had muscles.
Oh. OK. So you didn’t really work at it, but still did pretty well? Two thumbs up, dude! Awesome! I tried to look just impressed enough to be polite. Then we talked about kung fu.
I’ve had this conversation with so many guys (always guys. Sorry.) and you see it in running forums a lot. “I didn’t run for three months before my goal marathon but I still ran it and finished in under 6 hours!” And then all these other people are like “OMG congratz you are so badass!” Everyone should run when and where and whatever distance they feel like – I don’t really care – but I just do not understand the mentality of bragging about an accomplishment you didn’t really work for. Fine, you finished the race. You weren’t dead last. Yay. Don’t you wonder what you could do if you trained?