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More on "Great Job" - in the real world!

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13

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  • thepetiterunner
    thepetiterunner Posts: 1,238 Member
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    It makes me sad that people take things said in what I assume to be an encouraging spirit, as belittling. I think that speaks more to their insecurity than the person doing the encouraging. Most the time that's simply what reactions are, right? Reflections of things we believe to be true?

    I guess I'm one of those annoying runners who wants to wave or nod or at least acknowledge other runners that I pass, whether at home runnin' 'round the 'hood or when I'm traveling or at a race. I love the camaraderie of runners and it's one of the things I find most unique about the running community. There are so many times when a kind word from a stranger, when I'm struggling on a run, has lifted me and given me a second wind.

    Recently, while I was in Las Vegas for work, I got some runs in early in the morning. One of those mornings, a total random (and adorable) guy who was running WAY WAY faster than me, came up from behind me, but slowed long enough to give me a little fist bump before taking off and blazing through the rest of his run. It made my day.

    I would walk on air for the rest of the day, even though I know that it just means that the endorphins hit for him right there.

    It was pretty awesome. Then I got to watch him run away from me in perfect form, at least until he disappeared into the horizon anyway.
  • davemunger
    davemunger Posts: 1,139 Member
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    It was pretty awesome. Then I got to watch him run away from me in perfect form, at least until he disappeared into the horizon anyway.

    Anthony Famiglietti lives in our town -- he was on the US Olympic Team in 2004 and 2008 in steeplechase and is still wicked fast. He can finish a 5k in under 14 minutes, but he still takes the time to give pointers to regular runners before and after the race, and always says "hi" or "good job" when he blazes by you during a workout.
  • Carrieendar
    Carrieendar Posts: 493 Member
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    I only ever say hello or good morning or the like ; I feel too shy to compliment anyone besides a friendly hello. In races , I don't think I've ever said much, i do say thanks when I grab a cup.
  • sarahz5
    sarahz5 Posts: 1,363 Member
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    I always feel very uncomfortable passing someone who is clearly struggling or very slow or walking during Ragnar relays, because everyone is spread pretty thin, and there is no relationship between running ability and where you are in the pack, so it's usually me, that person, and the road or trail. I get nervous and stumble over myself not wanting to make the person feel bad, but it almost always comes out wrong. The one that will tear at my heart for life is when I said, "nice run, runner!" to a woman who was walking. I think I may try the lovely suggestion of "good morning!" or "pretty dark out here, huh?" next time. :laugh:

    Workouts seem pretty different, because you have no idea what distance or effort the person is doing. I just use a "good morning" or "hi" when bikers come by or on the rare occasion that I pass another runner (usually going in the other direction).
  • UrbanRunner81
    UrbanRunner81 Posts: 1,207 Member
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    I am late to the party. I always took "great job" or "you're looking great" as encouraging. I never thought of it be snarky.

    On just day to day runs I will wave, smile or say hi to other runners and that's it. Sometimes I don't at all because I am not in the mood.
  • PrairieRunner2015
    PrairieRunner2015 Posts: 126 Member
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    I'm not offended at all when someone says that to me. I find it to give me a boost for the exact reasons you said. "Hey somebody noticed I'm putting in a great effort! I may not be in the same condition as them (They're faster than me) but they were able to recognize the effort I am putting forth in my run. Perhaps I have a little more to give even!"

    Some people are overly sensitive about things such as this. To each their own, but it'd be a better world if people would check their initial feelings and look into the reasoning behind what is said (Was the intent with malice or not? If you don't know, then don't worry about it or just assume the best, you'll be happier..).
  • dementedA
    dementedA Posts: 5
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    You know what? Life's too short to worry about this. If they complement me, I take it as such. What benefit is there in doing otherwise? Somedays I'm the one who is in shape and finding it easy. Others I can use all of the encouragement I can get. Whatever! If I'm running, I'm there! I'm not competing against you!

    Granted yes, I might use another person's pace to push me, but that's neither a complement nor an insult! Moving on.
  • davemunger
    davemunger Posts: 1,139 Member
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    You know what? Life's too short to worry about this. If they complement me, I take it as such. What benefit is there in doing otherwise? Somedays I'm the one who is in shape and finding it easy. Others I can use all of the encouragement I can get. Whatever! If I'm running, I'm there! I'm not competing against you!

    Granted yes, I might use another person's pace to push me, but that's neither a complement nor an insult! Moving on.

    What I'm more concerned about is if I'm the one doing the complimenting / supporting. Just want to make sure that any support I offer is actually taken as such.
  • jessspurr
    jessspurr Posts: 258 Member
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    Ok, actually, I DO take a little offense to the faster runners saying stuff to me as the pass me like "doing good" or "keep going". I ALSO take full responsibility for my feelings and know that they in NO WAY mean "it's a miracle you can even run a mile you fat *kitten*! You CAN finish this 5K without kicking the bucket if you REALLY try!" My own insecurities are the reason I take offense (although I always smile and give a thumbs up to whoever spoke to me- they would have no idea that I actually just projected a lifetime of self- esteem issues on to their comment! ) I feel stupid even admitting those comments meant to be encouraging and cohesive make me feel small, but just thought I would add my two cents!
  • likitisplit
    likitisplit Posts: 9,420 Member
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    Ok, actually, I DO take a little offense to the faster runners saying stuff to me as the pass me like "doing good" or "keep going". I ALSO take full responsibility for my feelings and know that they in NO WAY mean "it's a miracle you can even run a mile you fat *kitten*! You CAN finish this 5K without kicking the bucket if you REALLY try!" My own insecurities are the reason I take offense (although I always smile and give a thumbs up to whoever spoke to me- they would have no idea that I actually just projected a lifetime of self- esteem issues on to their comment! ) I feel stupid even admitting those comments meant to be encouraging and cohesive make me feel small, but just thought I would add my two cents!

    I don't know you but I love you.

    That was my first few months of Couch to 5k. That's when I *learned* to take honks and hoots positively.

    Have you done a half yet? There's something about a half that negates any amount of suckage from any runs afterwards. You might be total crap as a runner, but you ran for 13.1 miles and that's something.
  • jessspurr
    jessspurr Posts: 258 Member
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    Ok, actually, I DO take a little offense to the faster runners saying stuff to me as the pass me like "doing good" or "keep going". I ALSO take full responsibility for my feelings and know that they in NO WAY mean "it's a miracle you can even run a mile you fat *kitten*! You CAN finish this 5K without kicking the bucket if you REALLY try!" My own insecurities are the reason I take offense (although I always smile and give a thumbs up to whoever spoke to me- they would have no idea that I actually just projected a lifetime of self- esteem issues on to their comment! ) I feel stupid even admitting those comments meant to be encouraging and cohesive make me feel small, but just thought I would add my two cents!

    I don't know you but I love you.

    That was my first few months of Couch to 5k. That's when I *learned* to take honks and hoots positively.

    Have you done a half yet? There's something about a half that negates any amount of suckage from any runs afterwards. You might be total crap as a runner, but you ran for 13.1 miles and that's something.

    I'm registered for my first half the end of July! I'm up to a 12 mile long run too! So yes, remembering that I CAN actually run fairly extraordinary distances (to non-runners) is important! I'm just so new to running and pretty insecure about it. Mostly just because my body does not look like a "runners body" so I ASSUME (which we all know what that does!) that people that comment to me assume that I am completely un-athletic and this is the first time I've ever ventured outside. But that is SO STUPID. Really, who cares? Nobody. just me being silly! Encourage away! It will help me come to terms with my issues!! BTW, I love you too! :flowerforyou:
  • DymonNdaRgh40
    DymonNdaRgh40 Posts: 661 Member
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    After inciting a blistering flame war in the general forums on whether it's sometimes insensitive to say "great job" about a workout, I've returned to the relative safety of the Long Distance Runners forum to ask a real world question:

    If you are running along in a race or workout and someone comes blazing past you at a much faster pace, is it cool or rude if they tell you "great job!"

    I tend to think it is cool, like "wow, that fast guy thought enough to say something to a fellow runner."

    But maybe it's meant more as a subtle dis, as in "well, obviously you'll never be as good as me, but good for you for trying."

    What do you think, Long Distance Runners?

    Honestly, it would make me smile. The compliments I receive when I run just make me feel good. To me, it's cool.
  • SillyC2
    SillyC2 Posts: 275 Member
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    I would take anything like "great job" or "good going" positively.

    But I wouldn't try to make jokes or be real creative. From time to time, I've misinterpreted a joke as an invitation to engage in some friendly trash-talking. I LOVE talking trash, but it's not too common among runners. So I'll jump at the opportunity. Ah, but on occasion, I've been wrong.
  • sarahz5
    sarahz5 Posts: 1,363 Member
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    I think there are really two issues: (1) do you feel like it's an insult when a faster runner encourages you, which I think most people can admit that they know other runners mean well, but the more important issue is (2) do you feel motivated or encouraged when a faster runner says something to you? What feels better, having someone blow by you and not say anything, or having someone throw out a kind comment? If my comments aren't actually helping, I don't want to make them.

    I feel pretty certain that any negative feelings I get are just inherent to being passed, not related to any comment the person makes. I think I would most appreciate a smile and a non-run related comment, like "hi" or "beautiful morning." There is definitely a sense of "good job" - FOR YOU, when someone speedier passes. Clearly, it would not be a good job for the speedier person. :laugh:

    Because honestly - they have no idea whether I'm having a "good run" or doing a "good job". :laugh: I could be dialing it in, or maybe I really undertrained, or whatever. It could be a typical age-group winner walking as you speed past.
  • Cooriander
    Cooriander Posts: 2,848 Member
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    I do appreciate the encouragement, and I need it :heart: :flowerforyou: since I am in a slow phase right now, it is low risk that I will offend anyone :laugh: but when I do, I'll try to return the favor while being careful to spot the people who does not need it. :tongue:

    Good thread!
  • jessspurr
    jessspurr Posts: 258 Member
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    What feels better, having someone blow by you and not say anything, or having someone throw out a kind comment?

    Great point! just this morning I had someone pass me on the road and didn't smile or say anything and I like that WAY less than I like a "good job!" I suppose I would prefer someone to make a non-performance related comment like "good morning" or "great day for a run", etc.
  • sarahz5
    sarahz5 Posts: 1,363 Member
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    What I also think we can all agree on is that it is nasty and rude when a faster runner tallies you as a kill. :laugh: I'm preparing to be kill counted this weekend at Ragnar. Do not enjoy. :wink:
  • HornedFrogPride
    HornedFrogPride Posts: 283 Member
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    Runners who compliment other runners (faster runners in the hypothetical)--or try to be positive--always mean well, right? Don't we have to assume that to be on the safe side and to avoid a LOT of confusion? Yes!

    So that leaves your other three options with the blazing runner passing you:

    1) chase the faster runner. FARTLEK! or
    2) challenge the other runner to race then (or later) or
    3) let the faster runner get the boost of self-esteem by speeding by you that day (but not the next one!;) Yes, sometimes we runners let other runners "win" even when we have the capacity to run faster and possibly challenge the apparently-faster runner.

    Not every run is a race. Not every race is winnable. But every run is worthwhile despite who passes you on the trails. That means even your kids!
  • Linli_Anne
    Linli_Anne Posts: 1,360 Member
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    I'm honestly hoping that some fellow runners will offer me some encouraging words this Sunday.

    I won't have anybody along the course route to personally cheer for me - I'm just going to ride on the coat tails of others and absorb the support that is out there for them. :-)

    I actually started to worry today that what if I don't have anybody waiting for me at the finish line either? Will a course volunteer hug me and hold me and tell me I did a great job...please?
  • ZenInTexas
    ZenInTexas Posts: 781 Member
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    My personal favorite is the high five. Usually this can only be done if you coming from opposite directions but if you're doing an out and back race or loops then there is opportunity. No words needed, just high five. It's the ultimate boost.