Runners Are F@€%ing Stupid!

I’m Denny, and I’m a runner.

Hi Denny.

I’ve been what I would consider a “real” runner for a little more than 4  years, and in that time I’ve gotten noticeably stupider. Or more stupid. Whatever.

In the real world, I like to think I’m a pretty intelligent guy, but since the start of 2012, my runner IQ has been trending downward as my mileage totals have gone in an inversely proportional direction.

Are Runners Stupid?


I Can’t Be the Only Stupid Runner, Can I?

Seriously y’all, how stupid are we?

Sure, there are numerous health benefits to being a runner. Running strengthens your heart and lungs. Running helps you lose weight and keep it off. Running helps tone and sculpt your legs.

Running also brings people together and can help to create friendships across generational, cultural, social, economic, and any other lines that exist.

But on the other hand…

Running beats us up!

Who among us hasn’t had to deal with plantar fasciitis on occasion? What about a barking IT band? And don’t get me started on shin splints or stress fractures.

So what do we do?

We go for a run and come home and sit in a bath tub full of ice water!


I’m sorry guys, but we’re just stupid!

Or better yet, we cover ourselves with compression gear, Chopat straps, or Kinesiotape to try and prevent our bodies from falling apart during our runs!

But wait, there’s more!

When dealing with an injury, we are even more idiotic!

Almost every runner I know coming back from a running injury does so too soon.

“Take six weeks off and then ease back into it”, the athletic trainer advises.

Instead, we say “Screw the pro’s advice, I’m feeling good after three weeks, so I’m jumping back in and now I’ve got to make up for three weeks of missed mileage!”

And we end up injured again.

Usually even worse than we were originally.

I am Costanza, Lord of the Idiots


Without question, the dumbest of the runners are the 26.2 mile and up crowd.

And I admit, with equal parts pride and shame, that I am a part of said crowd.

As of this writing, I am still refusing to join the “and up” crowd, but I’ve gone 26.2 miles in one sitting on multiple occasions.

And as I’m on a quest to join the 50 in 50 club, I have no plans of giving up on marathons any time soon.

Clearly, that proves that I’m no rocket scientist.

But I’m holding on to my last shred of sanity and not going past the 26.2 threshold and venturing out into “ultra” territory.

At least not yet…

Why Even Bother?

I don’t know how many times I’ve been asked why I would ever choose to run a marathon.

Before my first 26.2, my dad reminded me that he’s heard several stories of people dying after running a marathon.

Thanks for the support pop.

That’s kind of the story of the original marathon, you know. (FYI, more people die from not exercising than from overexercising, so at least us morons have that going for us.)

But instead of learning from Pheidippides, we keep running.

We buy more body glide and skin lube.

We look for Bio-freeze by the gallon and know which frozen veggies make the best ice packs for knees and calves.

And we keep signing up for races, torturing ourselves and spending money for a t-shirt and a finisher’s medal.

You’d think at some point we’d see the light and hang up our running shoes for good.

But seeing that we aren’t as bright as most of said running shoes, that will probably never happen…

Am I Way Off Base? Or Are We as Stupid as I Think We Are?

22 replies
  1. Howlindawgs
    Howlindawgs says:

    Thought shin splints, taped legs. Ran marathon with stress fracture for 2nd time (in 3:06)
    In hospital 3 days with Rhabdomyolysis after first 50 miler. Signs up for another 50 miler.
    Told not to run marathon 1 month after hospitalization. Runs marathon
    Runs “88 k” that turns out to be about 100k. Thunder rumbling at 8 pm. Decided to run last loop. Bushwhacking thru quagmire at 01:00 am. In thunderstorm.
    Falls at 20 miles into a 50 miler and breaks nose. Finishes race, signs up for another 50 miler.
    Runs hiking trail up hill in dark. At bottom realizes came down wrong side. Checks Google Maps and finds it’s 11 miles home and after 9pm. Thinks: “Good thing I’m a distance runner.” Enjoys peaceful run in dark (except regretting having drank all 1.5 liters H2O in hydration pack).
    Runs 50k from hell (Jay Peak), gets sick on second loop, DNFs. Signs up for next years race. Destroys soul and quads, vomits intractably, back to hospital for IV. DFL out of 14 finishers. Barely recovers enough to run 50 miler 3 weeks later.
    I never claimed not to be an idiot. Or to be sane. But I might just take a pass on that last 50k next year…

    • Denny
      Denny says:


      And totally describes why I think all of us, to one extent or another, are complete idiots! The things we willingly do to ourselves, our bodies, our souls…

      You’ve got that 50k in you. I know it!

  2. Kat
    Kat says:

    Yep! Card-carrying idiot here. And it feels like idiocy is a long, steep slope I’m constantly trying to climb, fighting the gravity of “sensible” all the while. I mean, wouldn’t it be easier – and more sensible – to just not put myself through all this so often? But no, I have to maintain my measly hold on the Slope of Idiocy.

    • Denny
      Denny says:

      Sure it would be easier to stop running, and some may argue it would also be more sensible, but would it be as much fun? I doubt it!

  3. Todd Middlebrooks
    Todd Middlebrooks says:

    I came across this post yesterday and couldn’t help but think about it again this morning as I put tape on my blistered foot so that I could get a morning run in!

    I mean, it was just a blister. I can’t let a little blister interfere with my training!

  4. Trevor Gray
    Trevor Gray says:

    Rocks are really smart. Just look at their lives. So simple and relaxed and full of consistency. It’s like they are born with their full potential realized. What a great life those rocks lead. I should aspire to that kind of life.

  5. vanessa
    vanessa says:

    Thank you for this!! As I was running a 1/2 marathon that took me on dirt and rocks for 3 miles, my worse surfaces, and it made me slow down to a pace I was horrified with, all I kept thinking was, “should I do that marathon at the end of the month??”

    • Denny
      Denny says:

      Hehe. Thanks Vanessa. This is, by far, one of my favorite posts! Glad you enjoyed it. What marathon are you doing at the end of the month?

      • vanessa
        vanessa says:

        I did the San Francisco Marathon last month, was thinking of doing the Santa Rosa this month, but that isn’t a very exciting one to do, so may wait until the Las Vegas R and R in November. Here is an idea for you to cover on your podcast, every time I do a race I meet someone from the Half Fanatics (which I am a member) or Marathon Manics. This is such a growing trend in running, doing lots of races and I feel most professional coaches like yourself dis runners for doing all these races but this is a great group of runners

        • Denny
          Denny says:

          Good suggestion! I actually don’t have a problem with my clients running a lot of races–as long as they are running them and not racing them! Check out a couple of QT episodes where I touch on the subject and let me know what you think: Ep 448 and 451 (which will be out on Friday).


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