1. Look at this crazy duck I saw over the weekend!
I was in downtown Naperville on Saturday and saw this bird along the Riverwalk. Isn’t it nuts?! I scoured the internet (i.e.: did one Google search) to try to figure out why it looked like that. I think it might be a domestic Mallard? I didn’t realize people domesticated Mallards, but apparently that’s a thing, and I guess sometimes people breed them to have white feathers…or something like that. I didn’t really understand the article, so I don’t know what I’m talking about 😛 But regardless, it was quite the unexpected sight!
2. Has anyone ever used the Chicago Public Library’s eBook borrowing? Ever since I started working at my current company (…two and a half years ago), I’ve had a pretty dramatic decrease in the amount of reading I do, because with my new job came a new commute, and that new commute usually required a lot more standing on trains than the commute to my first job in Chicago required. I’ve found it’s much easier to hold my phone than it is to wrangle an actual book when I’m standing on a train, and that has naturally led to a lot more Twitter and Facebook and a lot less reading. I know that you can get an app on your phone to get eBooks from the Chicago Public Library, though, so I’m interested in trying that out. If you have used eBooks from CPL (or if you get eBooks from your local library), I’d love to hear about your experience!
3. And now, a rant.
I am well aware that the majority of people are not long distance runners. I understand that to people who are not long distance runners, the distances I run on a regular basis are incomprehensible. I recognize that people who have never gone through marathon training will likely never understand how I could ever consider a 10 mile run, never mind a six mile run, to be 1) attainable and 2) easy. It does not bother me that people who are not long distance runners might have no desire to run long distances themselves, now or in the future.
It does drive me up a freaking godforsaken wall that a person with whom I have routine contact feels the need to constantly–constantly–express how flabbergasted they are by my marathon training. That every. single. time. they ask me how many miles I am running today, ran yesterday, or plan to run later in the week, they insist on responding to my answer with, “*insert number here* MILES?!?!?! I don’t know how you do it!!!!!!” It also drives me up a freaking godforsaken wall that when I provide an answer to a question about long distance running–for example, that if I go out for an 18 mile long run, the point is to not slow down between mile one and mile 18, in response to being asked how much a person slows down over the course of that distance–this person wholeheartedly refuses to believe the answer I provide–in this example, that it is impossible that a person would not slow down during an 18 mile run, that they would almost certainly start out at an 8:00 pace for the first mile and drop down to a 10:00 pace (“basically walking,” according to their assessment of paces) by the second mile)–followed by an assertion that if they were ever to try to run more than one mile, they would most certainly slow down by mile two and/or die.
Look, I get it. (Kind of. I do not get the need to editorialize on other people’s pastimes, since I’m certainly not offering up any commentary on my opinions of their pastimes.) Even though I’ve been running for seven years now, I clearly remember when I was in middle and high school, when I firmly believed my body could not cover more than two miles at a time and that a 5K was 100 percent beyond my ability. I clearly remember being unable to comprehend how a friend could run 13.1 miles when she announced that as her summer plan during college. When you’re not running long distances, the distances that other people, especially people who seem normal (i.e.: not professional runners) can cover is mind-boggling.
But just because it’s mind-boggling doesn’t mean you need to commentate on it time and time and time again!! I have plenty of other people with whom I have regular contact who are able to ask me about my running (“When’s your next race?” “How’s marathon training going?”) without informing me that what I’m doing must surely be impossible or that they “don’t know how [I] do it.”. I am perfectly happy to talk about my running or training with people who are genuinely curious, or at least have the tact to pretend that they’re genuinely curious. Talking about it with people who seem to be baiting me for the purpose of expressing affronted incredulity drives me NUTS.
Have you ever borrowed eBooks from the library?
How do you (kindly) deal with unsolicited feedback about your hobbies? My approach thus far has been “answer all questions in an exasperated tone and hope they get the hint,” but it has so far proved to be an ineffective method.