Does it Hurt to be Beautiful?

Sunday was a busy day for me and Monday night I went to see The Avengers with friends (It’s AWESOME!) so I am blogging a bit late. Our run on Sunday was a recovery run of 5 miles, with a magic mile. My time was a touch slower than my last MM, which I’m actually fine with.  It was 9:07. Using Galloway’s method of taking the last 4 MM times, throwing out the worst and averaging the rest, I get an average of 9:10, which predicts a marathon pace of 11:55 min/mile or a 5h 12m marathon.  We still have one more magic mile to run before the marathon, so that prediction will probably change a little.

Just yesterday, I finally bit the bullet and signed up for the marathon itself. I’m not sure that it’s been very clear to my friends or my readers that I hadn’t gotten around to that yet, but I hadn’t.  Part of my dilemma was deciding whether to start at 5am with the walkers or 6am with the runners.  Since yesterday was the last day to sign up at the slightly discounted price, I made my decision and registered for the 5am start. I did this to lessen the pressure I might feel to hurry up to make it to the finish line before the party is over. I also thought it might be nice to get a head start on my friends who are traditional runners, so that I can see them when they pass me, rather than having them jet out in front of me, never to be seen again. I enjoy those times when the traditional marathon training class shares part of a route with us and thought perhaps it would be nice during the marathon itself.

This coming Sunday is our 23 mile training run.  It really doesn’t seem like much more than 20 miles did, so I’m not worried about it.  My Mizuno shoes are breaking in well and have been serving me nicely on the short runs, but I think I’ll appreciate being back in my more familiar Asics for the 23 miler.

I had a little brush with a shin splint in my right leg last week, but it seems to be gone now. For a few days I would have a fairly random pain in my right shin every once in a while during the day. It wasn’t severe or particularly frequent and I think it was caused by the boots I wear to mow the lawn in causing a problem with my arch. It’s hard to be certain of course, but using my foot rubz ball and stretching/rotating the ankle seems to have fixed it right up.

Today I learned that I don’t really have a great tolerance for running in the heat yet. It will come in time, I’m sure. NOAA says it’s 85 out right now and my route was fairly sunny. I didn’t bring water, since I was only going out for a short run and I regretted it.  Halfway through my run I opted to stop at the grocery store and use their drinking fountain before heading back home. I’m not sure if that made my run better or worse, since my stomach got a bit upset on the way back, but that may have had to do with the fact that I ran a bit too fast for a little while, which I explain below.

Finally, before I explain the title of this post and the reason for my overly fast running in the heat, let me just alert you to the fact that I am a feminist. That means a lot of different things to different people and this blog isn’t where I want to go into exactly what it means to me, but part of this post will make more sense in that context.

Does it hurt to be beautiful? That is what the 50 something strange man yelled at me from across the street as I was turning onto the trail that takes me home this afternoon.  So many things flashed through my mind just then.  Is he dangerous?  Is he going to follow me?  Why does he think he has the right to yell at me or judge my appearance?  He must be sorta blind, given that it’s really hot and I feel seriously haggard.  What I yelled back was a simple, Yeah, sometimes it does, before turning and running down the trail. 

I’m sure he didn’t catch any of my meaning. He probably assumed that I meant that I dislike running in the heat, which is true. Or that beauty is hard work, which can be true depending on what is meant by beauty in a given context.  What I really meant, right then was that yes, being hollered at by a strange man on the street did hurt even if only psychologically.

Since this man was unknown to me, I cannot guess at his motivations or what kind of person he is. He may have been perfectly harmless and nice or he may have been a danger. It’s impossible for me to know. What I do know is that his question was unwelcome and inappropriate and that I ran a good deal faster than I should have for about the next half mile, until I was certain I was well away from him.

Dearest readers, if you see a person run by and feel the need to call out to them, cheer them on. I can’t speak for all runners, but I sure don’t mind being cheered on. In fact, I love it. But don’t ask questions or make comments regarding their level of attractiveness. Just don’t.  It’s pretty gross. And that’s all I’m going to say on the topic today. If you want more information on why it’s not acceptable to yell stuff like that out to strangers, please go read a dedicated feminist blog like Feministing, Feministe, or any of the thousands of others.

The Missoula Marathon is in 53 days!  I’m officially signed up and I’m really looking forward to it!



6 thoughts on “Does it Hurt to be Beautiful?

  1. I imagine he was probably just trying to pay you a compliment, but you’re right, you have no way of knowing, and especially given what’s going on in Missoula right now, your concern is justified. The guy should kinda know better.

    • Probably so, but it was still unwelcome and inappropriate. That’s one of those things that some dudes just don’t get. Just because you think someone is pretty doesn’t mean you have a right to tell them that. They may not want to hear it.

  2. Runners seem to be an easy target for weird or unwelcome comments. “Run, Forrest” seems to be a favourite, and more offensive/abusive/downright baffling things are shouted from across the street regularly.

    My problem was always how to react.

    I’m tired, sweaty, out of breath, and my minds on other things. By the time I’ve thought of a pithy or withering reply I’m usually 20yards down the street, and it comes out as “yeah……well……..uurgghh arr froggdeerdd!”

    I find now that the best response to anything is just a smile and wave. If they were trying to be friendly I’ve been friendly back, if they were otherwise I’ve not risen to their barb.

    Great blog as always Joni. Those 53 days will pass quickly enough.

    • I don’t always even process what’s been said to me until I’m a ways down the street. I recall one evening when I was running through our downtown area and a man outside a bar said something quite rude to me, but I was two blocks away before my brain unscrambled what he said and I actually understood it. But today I was actually on a walk break when the man called out, which gave me time to process and reply before running off.

      Thank you, Barry! You’re quite right. It will be July 8th before I know it! 😀

  3. Random shout boy aside, I’m excited for you! This is a HUGE accomplishment and not one I’d have undertaken. GOOD for you!

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