We’d Like To Say We’re Sorry, But We’re Not ~
Women runners tend to act ashamed of or apologize for some things you never hear men runners apologize for.
Ever hear a guy apologize for wanting to get up early on vacation to do a long run? No, neither have we.
Ever hear a guy apologize to his friends for not drinking or going easy on the alcohol because he wants to get up early the next morning for a training run? Nope, us either.
Ever hear a guy apologize to his running buddies during a race when he picks up the pace so he can get a PR? Not us.
Yet, women runners will often apologize for these things and plenty of others. Why is this?
Well, we aren’t sociologists, but we all know that more women than men tend to apologize for taking time for activities related to their personal goals that may set them apart from a group.
But it’s time to start setting the example instead of following the crowd. Let everyone know that your personal goals and interests are important, that you aren’t ashamed of them and no, you won’t be apologizing for them.
Here are a few obvious things we women runners should stop apologizing for:
1. Postponing a girl’s night out until AFTER you’ve done your hard workout. As runners, we straddle social groups that include runners and non-runners. While the non-runners may not get it, we have to be unapologetic about our commitment to our personal goals and priorities. So if the planned GNO or party is the evening before your long run, you’re gonna take a raincheck. Delayed gratification is part of running and it’s a type of strength to stay focused on what it takes to reach your goals.
2. Taking the rest you need after a long run or tough workout. There’s a very personal and important reason you chose your running goals. Resting and recovery after the workouts are crucial to your physical body and often your mental wellbeing. So if you need to take off a weekend day or evening to fully recover, don’t apologize and don’t let others try to shame you into doing what you know you don’t want to do. Get some rest and enjoy feeling happy and satisfied with your workout.
3. Stretching in public places. After a tough workout or run, it’s not only good to stretch, but your body often aches for it. We used to feel self-conscious getting some looks while stretching in line for a movie, an airport, an outdoor festival or even doing a few toe raises or short lunges waiting in line at the grocery store. But we’re no longer shamed into stopping because stretching is important recovery. If we feel tight, we’ll stretch wherever we are if it isn’t causing problems for other people. Not only do you not need to apologize, you don’t even need to explain it.
4. Eating what you need to eat, when you need to eat it. Obviously this doesn’t just cover runners, but we often have shifting fuel needs, depending upon our workouts. If someone asks you about what you’re eating, you can just smile and say, “Yep, this is what I need to eat now based upon my workout schedule.” Feeling good is at the top of the list, so there’s never a need to apologize for that.
5. Having black toenails, or muscular thighs or calves, or some other body situation that becomes noticeable because of running. Well, of course we shouldn’t be apologizing for this even if we aren’t runners. There is no standard of physical “goodness” or beauty or perfection, so don’t buy into one and don’t be ashamed of what the power of running has brought to you. Some of the physical stuff may be temporary and some may be permanent, but it just-doesn’t-matter. So wear those strappy sandals with your black toenails or calloused feet; wear the tighter skirt if it makes you feel good; wear the off-the-shoulder top that shows off your newly toned runner’s arms. But — you must accept the compliments you get!