It's about prejudice. So I'm not slim - I'm sure I've mentioned the "6 year old child" I carry when I run. But I can run. I graduated last December. I trained for the 5k I did April 8 (in 41 min thank you very much) by doing 4k three days a week for the month prior to the event. I've "accidently" run 7 to 9k having lost track of time when running. I am capable, and I know this.

Yesterday, I (bravely) went to my first meeting of a sponsored running group i joined. Before the annual meeting, there was a 5k fun run. I wasn't worried. Then this 'concerned' member latched on to me. Wanted to chat at the start of the run. It takes everything I have to run - I don't chat. The group (as i would expect) were way ahead, until after a couple of turns, I couldn't see them anymore. The guy, however, stuck with me, and guided my turns (I thought to the 5k) route. I was incredibly confused when he noted that the end was "just up ahead".

I know he was just concerned, but really - he assumed because I'm fat, I couldn't do the whole run (he took me to 2.7k instead - which I did, incidently in 21 minutes. He asked me a couple of times later, after the meeting how I was feeling (????).

I felt fine. Annoyed with him for assuming, and annoyed with myself for not telling him to bug off and that I'm more than capable of doing a silly 5k.

So today, I woke up wondering. Am I kidding myself? Should I even bother running? What's the point? I'm not losing weight, I'm just clocking miles that no one believes I can do anyway.

Sorry - a really pitiful vent - I appreciate you all - I do. Last night though, I arrived feeling capable, and left feeling out of my depth.


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54 Replies

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  • Oh no, don't let someones good intentions, however misplaced, put you off. I think you're very brave to join a group to run, could you try again and see if its for you before deciding on your own terms whether to carry on with the group. I sometimes feel a fraud running and being fat but we can and should run with pride ☺ we're out there doing it!

  • Oh - I wouldn't have joined a thing where I had to run with a group - I'm not a group running sort of person. This is a sponsorship club thing... I'm just whining because I'm thinking I was kidding myself when I decided to join in their annual meeting run... but you're right. We are out there. We are doing it. There are many, many, many skinnies who couldn't run to catch a bus. We could. x

  • To you both, I have to echo your feelings. Some people are just completely ignorant, though I'm sure his concern was out of kindness, even as you say misplaced. I have to say I hate the word 'fat' I'd rather call myself curvy. I think the word 'fat' is very demeaning and completely out of place. I am curvy (overweight) and part of the reason for my doing this program is to lose weight and get fitter and to also prove to myself that I can achieve the goal of jogging 5K - I am doing the Race for Life in July, as I do every year, but it would be so amazing to jog the whole course. I used to be concerned with what people thought of me when I was waddling around are working out in the gym but now I couldn't give a monkey's. I am doing something to get fitter, as all of us on this forum are. Don't let this ignorant idiot put you off, you are doing so well and we are right behind you all of the way. Be proud of what you are doing x

  • I really hope no one took any offence, I certainly wasn't and wouldn't call anyone else fat, I hadn't realised it might cause offence as I'm fine with fat as a description for myself πŸ˜•

  • Personally, not for one moment - it's just that I think it's such a horrible word, I'd much rather use words like 'curvaceous', 'cuddly' (actually, not sure about the last one!). Some ignorant people out there are all too quick to jump on the bandwagon and judge people by the way they look - i mean, how shallow is that. The media has a lot to answer for with all of these size 0 models etc... and banging on about 'you shouldn't do this, you shouldn't do that, bla bla bla'. Everyone is different and handles things differently. Sorry Woodsrunner, banging on, not intended ....! X

  • Phew! And you're right, if people tried to judge less and just accepted people for who they are and what they are trying to do - running for health, weight loss whatever it is, more people would probably get out there and do it and not be made to feel small or silly for running when then aren't the perceived 'right shape'. That's why this forum is so great only nice positive people trying to help one another πŸ‘£

  • too right!! x

  • Oh, Tori - i think I love you! x

  • Me too! x

  • Toriaox, Thanks so much - one day I hope to be curvy - for now it's more bumpy ;-) x

  • Bumpy, curvy, whatever, I'm sure you're beautiful 😁

  • What's it got to do with what others believe! You know you can do it, that's all that matters! Maybe a group is not for you at the moment, carry on going solo and I bet you will feel more positive on your next run..😊

  • Thankfully, running with the group only happens once a year. I score "points' for wearing the sponsored gear when in races, for following social media & volunteering, and then they cover the cost of certain races and I get free gear! I'm looking forward to my next run. In my heart of hearts I know it doesn't matter - it just kinda stung. kwim? (and thank you...)

  • 'Sticks and stones may break my bones - but words can hurt forever'

    That is the TRUE version of that 'Kumbaya' idiot saying. We are not robots and we do have emotions and sometimes its hard to separate cause and effect.

    Don't add injury to insult by feeling 'bad' about feeling bad. Feelings are real.

    as are the good feelings from Running and you will have MANY more runs than encounters with pushy interfering people which is what that guy was no matter what how he justified it to himself.

    'Kumbaya' my ancient Irish a--e, we don't ALL want to twang a guitar and sing simpering ditties through our nose! ;)

  • You are, of course, making assumptions on what he was thinking. Which is not really any different to what you imagine he was assuming about you.

    So what is the point? What conclusion did you come to? What are you running for? And if you are not achieving your goal, what can you do about it?

  • I made "assumptions" based on his actions and words - he made assumptions based on my appearance: that's what upset me - made me question myself. I actually think that's quite different. From my perspective, he behaved as though he was concerned I was going to drop dead from a heart attack.

    What's the point? The part of me questioning myself rapidly came to the conclusion that I had no place there. The part of me questioning myself was asking the same question: what am I running for? What's the point? The point is, running makes me feel better. Emotionally/psychologically (usually! lol) and physically.

    What can I do about not hitting my goals? Be more accountable - to myself and sod everyone else. (pardon my french)

  • Yep! Sod the hippy-dippy new-agey crystal flaunting tarot shuffling bellybutton fixated herd.

    We are Runners! (and nice people in out own inimitable fashion ;) )

  • Thank you, everyone. I do feel better. x

  • : ) I KNEW you would not succumb to the Dork side ;)

    You running this Saturday? What time? :)

  • I imagine my tormentors hooked up to all sorts of beeping machines, and the sum total of the diameter of tubes going into them exceeding the combined diameter of tubes coming out of them in the Cardiac Care Unit....

    It cheers me up at times like that :)

    Sometimes life sucks - but running can be one way of giving it the metaphorical v sign.

    You are - above all else - a RUNNER! You are also a heck of a nice lady 'cos otherwise that guy would have been devastated by what you could have said to him.

    Believe me - I have to endure on almost a daily basis some of the most batcrap ignorant people you can imagine. It does get me down sometimes - but what gets me out of it is knowing I am ten times the human being they are.

    I also chant to myself - 'I see Moron people! " :)

    Hey - whatever it takes to make sense of this at times brutal and unfair world, right ? :)

  • Unfortunately there are a lot of well meaning people, that say really or think stupid things and don't realize it. It probably started from a good place, but morphed into something hurtful along the way. I hope you'll join in their run again and not be put off. And keep on running for you, and nobody else. As you say, sod everyone else.

  • :-) The support 'round here means more, I tell ya.

  • Everyone else has said it really just offering a 😑 for you, don't let the b******s grind you down, you are a runner so keep doing what you do. Lots of love.

  • :-) Thank you, Shorty! x

  • Your not "kidding"yourself, if you enjoy running, carry on. If you prefer to run alone, do it on your own. As for the individual that stayed with you I say, fair play to him, he was only concerned for your safety and he obviously was not aware of your level of fitness or your running history, if this had been communicated prior to the start I'm sure his preconceptions would have been allayed. We're all guilty of "first impressions"

    Hope you find your mojo again and continue your running!

  • Not so Silly, are you Billy. x

  • Some folk just don't think.. simple as that. They look without seeing and just... assume.

    You know what you have achieved, you know what you are capable of, you know you are runner. Your friends on here know this about you too.

    You know what you want from this and you get it.. so.. as we say so many times, onward and upward...:)


    This is why I am a solo runner, because I am a wimp and easily sneeped

  • ah - but we could run together, OF - we understand each other. thank you x

  • Dear RuNananana. If you can do 5k, and more, then you are a runner! Well done to you. No-one can take that from you xxx. We are all very proud of you. And 21 minutes was good time xxx

  • thanks, nr - I do appreciate it. I thought 21 was a good time - thank you for saying that. x

  • I don't think I've ever seen so many replies! Just shows how supportive this forum is!

    I love that although I may be plodding along on my own, there are hundreds out there running with me and experiencing similar triumphs and occasional setbacks.

    Thank you everyone xx

  • oh no 😞 I'm sure he was only trying to help but he had no right to presume , don't be disheartened and keep running , hold your head high and go again next week and stick to the 5 k , you know you can do it you don't. Need to prove it to anyone else so sod them , xxxxx as a big girl myself you are an inspiration xx happy running

  • Secksy - I'll hit the road again - I will - you're all inspiring me here to get back at it. Thank you. x

  • Nothing to add to what others have said. Keep your chin up and keep going

  • I will.x

  • Your next post is the one to keep in your head. πŸ˜€. I am a lone runner. I will smile and be friendly before I run but I rarely talk. Just before the run you will see me politely excuse myself from the crowds and take my place at the back where I put my head down, avoid people and get ready. I know to some that might seem unfriendly but that is the way I run. Before that and afterwards I will chat away. If I'm running with friends I let them know that's what I do and tell them to leave me behind. (Hehe, everybody is faster than me). I understand your feelings but put it down to a lesson learned and next time just politely say with a smile and a laugh excuse me I like to run quietly. Have a great run yourself and see you at the finish line.

  • RFC - yes! That's very good - I'll have to remember that. You & me - kindred spirits!

  • I'm sure he thought he was being kind and helpful.

    He might be horrified that you were offended.

    Nearly every fast/experienced runner I've ever met - no, in fact all of them - have been enthusiastic and positive. But some have obviously not really understood what it's like to be a relative newbie as they've always been sporty. So they may say things that are a bit unhelpful but never, I'm sure, has that been their aim.

    Chin up! x

  • Thanks, Anne... x

    (still Love your name ;-) )

  • You are doing what you do and what right does anyone have to question or judge. You now know for next time that you have to stand up for your right to be a runner and if anyone gets in your way just casually raise your knee right in their most precious place :D

  • Oh Caroline - that actually made me lol.

    Thanks for that.


  • Do you think his intentions were to make HIMSELF feel good/useful/helpful? Or maybe he was exhibiting a kind of passive- aggressive behaviour ..making himself feel good by making you feel bad? Maybe that's unfair of me to make that comment as his intentions may have been entirely honourable-- it was just a thought to try and explain his behaviour . On another note ,I have to say that although I enjoy the 5k organised runs, I really prefer running on my own - just to be in my own bubble with my own thoughts in my own zone at my own pace etc etc. I would say forget about him and don't let it sting you anymore. If you prefer to run with your group - why not put some large headphones on with music as loud as you can bear and ignore anyone who tries to chat?

  • I think his intentions were "honourable", but his assumptions got in the way. I can't really fault him for being concerned - but it would have been better if he'd communicated. Something not everyone is great at doing.

    There seem to be a lot of us Bubble Runners on here - we'd be great running together :-)

  • You sound as if you enjoy running I think some people think they are being kind by trying to be helpful without asking if their help is required. Don't let him put you of. Go again next time and make sure you stick with the group preferably in a nice quick time and then enjoy the look on his face when you leave him standing

  • Next time will be next year, and I hope be carrying a six year old, and maybe I'll be able to keep up - and maybe I won't - Sod 'em :-)

  • Oh no no no! Do not be disheartened! You are a runner!

    He is (probably) a well intended but misguided random guy who should not have taken over YOUR run. That was very impolite of him!

    Running is an individual thing. Like you I am a slow runner and I think that makes it an even more individual thing. So, I like to run alone, no pressure, my run, my pace, my tactics. I am happy to run with others I trust, for example my son who runs (walks 😳) my pace, and goes by my terms. My terms are slow and steady, the run belongs to me. I make the choices.

    The random guy probably doesnt realise he took a passive aggressive approach where he made an assumption based on appearance. He would probably be very upset to realise he had denied you the run you wanted because of a specific characteristic he had picked out.

    But lets be clear, this is his problem, not yours!

    Be proud of what you have done and what you can do. Do not allow any prejudice to stop you doing what you enjoy.

    On behalf of us slow runners, I am happy to be last in a race to save others the embarrassment. Its the same finish line for all regardless of speed and i am competing against no one but myself and the couch!

    Please dont be put off. Us slower runners must keep going to support each other and to set a good example to those not yet off the couch πŸƒπŸ»β€β™€οΈπŸƒπŸ»β€β™€οΈπŸƒπŸ»β€β™€οΈπŸ˜€πŸ˜€

  • It's not about speed - it's about finishing, right?

    Thank you Jacs - your words help - everyone's are.


  • Yes, its about being brave enough to start, and tough enough to Finish! We are doing just great!

  • Hi RuNanana.

    If there's one thing in life that you are absolutely, absolutely in control of it is how you let the world's events and situations affect how you feel. We all have a choice on that. The well-meaning (but obviously very misguided) chap has made a mistake. Is it right that the way that makes you feel over-rides the feelings of satisfaction, pride, elation etc you have that comes from knowing you can run? And run flipping well, because a lot of us are still dreaming of running 5k at all - never mind in 41 minutes!

    I think your thoughts might be better placed towards working out how you make sure the chap's feelings of foolishness are handled when he finds out the mistake he's made. :-) Because he's definitely going to feel a little awkward. I'm sure you'll handle that with grace!

  • I actually thanked him! Ugh!

    You're so right - it's hard to remember that but at the end of the day, I know, msb.


  • As someone who has only got to week three, can I say that you are definitely a runner! I hold anyone who can run for 30 minutes in awe!

  • You'll get there - I promise! x


    I'll add in me pennies worth. You ARE A RUNNER... Laura says so. I sometimes feel a bit of a fraud. I've just finished C25K but I'm still jogging round very slowly in my own little world. I did my 3rd Parkrun on Sat... I mentioned that Id done my first parkrun at work a couple of weeks a go. The reaction was"who did you do it for?" "Do you want me to sponsor you...? ... we'll I'm doing it for a very important cause... MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

    You are running further than me, you've been doing it longer than me and you are probably fitter than me. Perhaps, and I know I am making massive assumptions, I have one advantage... I am a pretty antisocial person (according to my wife). I will use the word fat to describe myself. I go red in the face. I sweat buckets. i huff and I puff... and I couldn't give a monkeys chuff about what others think when they see me; because i am getting there. While people like yourself are leading others like me are following.

    Sometimes we can be too polite. Maybe this guy was genuine in his attempt to help... who knows. But there is nothing wrong with saying thanks but no thanks. You are doing this for you and I'm doing it for me , and my family!

    What others think... in the words of "Not the 9 O'clock News" ... I couldn't give a t$%s".

    Rant over... Happy running


  • I've got to get my line straight - and probably practice -but that works. "Thanks, but no thanks! I got this!"

    thanks, John - happy running to you too!! My first Park Run this Saturday!! whoot!!

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