Etiquette expert Lizzie Post, great-great-granddaughter of Emily Post, knows a thing or two about the rules of the road—and the descendant of the famous decorum diva is a runner too!
Q: My speedy friend only runs with me on (what she calls) her “slow days.” I know that it’s the truth—her normal pace is much faster than mine!—but it stings when she says it. Am I being too sensitive?
I would let this one roll off my back. It’s annoying that your friend makes these comments, but if you can accept them and not let them bruise your ego, then just chalk it up to different perspectives. If you find you just can’t shake the sting, it’s time to say something. “Sarah, I know you’re a faster runner, but I don’t feel great when you talk about our runs together as being slow.”
Another way to frame this might be to ask her for support. When she comments that she’s looking forward to a slow run, say, “Hey now, I need all the encouragement I can get! Let’s leave the ‘slow’ out of it, even if it isn’t up to the pace of your usual runs.” Clueing her in to what you experience when she says your runs are turtle-paced is fine as long as you leave room for her to apologize or respond. Most of all, if you want to keep running with her, end the discussion on a positive note and schedule your next run.
Have a question for Lizzie? Email firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet @womensrunning with the hashtag #ProperForm.
More essential advice:
Can You Tell A Running Buddy To Ditch Her Headphones?
For That Buddy Who Only Talks About Running