A Mild Case of the Crazies

"Runners often straddle the line between crazy and insane"
- Prefontaine

If you're an endurance athlete, then you've no doubt been called crazy by friends/family/coworkers. You probably enjoy it, after recalling an epic race or killer workout. Maybe you just don't talk about training with non-athletes any more because you're tired of the stares. But at what point do you start to believe it yourself?

While conversing with a friend, who happens to be a cyclist, I came upon the realization that I may have crossed the fine line that Prefontaine talks about. As I was trying to explain my recent cougar sighting, I realized the more I kept going, the crazier I sounded. But I think it's like in Catch 22 - you can be taken off the fly list if you're crazy, but you have to ask to be evaluated. And if you ask to be evaluated, then clearly you are not crazy (bonus points if you've read the book). So as long as I know that training for a 50k race is not normal, then I'm not crazy. Right?

I think I prefer the approach of hanging out with people training for 50- and 100-mile races, or full Ironman races, then my 50k and 70.3 seem completely within the realm of normalcy. And as for my cycling friend, he has done several back-to-back century rides. His response to my ramblings was "At least your adventures are entertaining."

It is what it is.


Samantha said...

Welcome to the crazy farm! We've been waiting for you!
If I had a dime for every time I've heard...."You're nuts", I could retire right now!!
Story like you told your friend to me are just not unusual. I figure endurance athletes are a different breed of human being so it would only be right to assume our lives mirror ourselves somewhat.....AND PERSONALLY I know I'm crazy! :)

Sara Cox Landolt said...

Fun post. I have theories about the "you're crazy" responses. Sometimes I think it has more to do with the person saying it, than with me.

It's just a different definition of crazy, right?

:-) Sara