Tuesday, May 5, 2015


It has happened to all of us at one time or another. We run a personal best, turn in a great performance, earn an age-group award, or defeat that "special someone," and we are elated.

Within moments it begins to rain.

No, not precipitation from the sky, rather a deluge of excuses.

That "special someone" seeks you out after the race to tell you, "My hamstring's been sore all week. I didn't think I'd be able to run this race/

"I've been down with the stomach flu."

"I was catching you."

"That pasta didn't agree with me last night."

"Too many beers.."

"I don't run well in the heat (cold, wind, rain, high or low humidity)"

"This is my third race this weekend."

Want more?

I devoted a chapter, entitled, "Excuses, Excuses" to the subject of, well, runners' excuses,. in my first book, Running Shorts. www.muldowneyrunning.com

Runners are great people. We are passionate about what we do, and sometimes we fall short of our goals. That's why we have our support group. Your spouse, or significant other, needs to be your excuse sounding board. Your training partners probably know you better than anyone. They are usually empathetic to your excuses, many of which may be legitimate.Don't portray yourself as a sore loser at a race. If there, indeed was a legitimate reason for your less than expected performance, accept it, and give props to those who had a good race.

One of my oldest running partners, Brian Tonitis, says, "It only counts when you pay the entry fee."

Training is the practice field; your race is your game day. You've conducted rehearsals and the race is your stage performance, your musical recital, your victory speech.

Don't water down your performances by over-racing. Rather, choose your races judiciously, and make each race your own world-class performance.

Oh, and when you're on the receiving end of, "I just ran this race as a speed workout," just grin and think to yourself, "Excuses, Excuses."