they won’t understand your goals and that has to be ok

this saturday i had a long run, 15 miles, 13 at goal marathon pace, a warm up and a cool down mile. the pacing was not an effort i couldn’t maintain, and i walked away with more confidence that i will sub 4 hours in marseille.

when my mom asked me what i did on saturday, there was no way to put that into words. or there weren’t few enough words to put that into. or the words weren’t right. if i’d gone out on a great date, gotten engaged or impregnated by a marriage minded dentist with a 401k, the sense of ‘toni just did something really great for her life’ would have hit home.

it’s not that my parents aren’t proud. because they are. i face timed my mom when i crossed the finish in paris, my first marathon, and we both cried- how on earth had i done that, we wondered? when i beat my PR by nearly an hour in chicago, my sister was at mile 3, 12 and 20- smiling proudly, and shocked when i stopped to hug her each of the three times. after the NY marathon my brother sat on the couch with me, my lips still purple, saying i’d made it look effortless.

they’re proud. but they don’t get it.

and they’re probably really sick of hearing about it. and that has to be okay.

these goals are for me- but it’s hard not to rely on the encouragement of the people in your life. i would love it if my mom would say ‘oh, 15 miles at goal marathon pace? that’s fantastic, just push it a little harder next time, that’s what trainings for, to see what you can do on race day’ but she’s not going to say that. she’ll listen to me til her eyes glaze over and we can go back to talking about netflix.

because people ask me what i’ve been up to and i want to talk about tempo runs and miserable speed workouts that i’m so glad i completed.

because i’m undatable and in bed by 10

because i genuinely want to talk about sneakers

because my dad will never ask me if i managed a negative split

because my sister does not care if i’m so tired i could scream. she’s pregnant. she’s tired.

because i’m still not proud of myself and i have to see what else i can do

and i have to be ready because when i break four hours, and when i eventually boston qualify, and complete a 100 miler- because i will do all of these things; they will reply simply ‘that’s so great! have you been watching ‘The American’s?’



  1. That’s why you have this blog and us!!! 😀 But in all seriousness, everything you said, I can relate to and many can. I think that joining a run club and being around people who are obsessed like I am has made it easier to not hold that against my family. They just have different interests and there’s really no way they could “get it” since they don’t do it.

    But with my running friends, it’s non-stop running talk. My long runs of 15 miles…it’s done with them talking about running. It really helps having that outlet.

    I remember you said you went to a group run. Have you gone back?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s so true- writing about running and meeting other people on my running team has been a HUGE amazing part of my life. I feel really lucky to be able to run with a group a few times a week, it pushes me harder, and also shows me that there are other people crazy enough to meet in 20 degree weather to run through slush.


  2. Haha this is soooo running lifestyle problems. Agree with helly that you will find others that share the same passion. All of us that train days and hours run into this situation. I think having a balance is good. I have friends that I talk to about running. But I also have friends that I talk about sports. Its good to have a balance so we are enjoying more than just 20° running through slush lol

    Liked by 1 person

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