The other morning I was running along the MGT and I almost got hit by a bike that cut super close around me (for the record I was on the correct side of the path). Anyhow, the old dude running towards me says: “You shouldn’t run with earbuds in. You are going to get hit because you can’t hear.”
(Which was super ironic since I still had my earbuds in so not sure if he expected me to read lips.) Me: “Dude, I can hear you just fine.”
I would have heard that cyclist, too, if he had rang his bell or said “on your left.” Given that I was running in my Chicago marathon shirt and am in way better shape than he was, he probably should have realized that I’ve been at this awhile. Seriously, dude: Keep your stupid comments to yourself!
Anyhow, I was so miffed that I posted my thoughts on Facebook. Sadly, but not surprisingly, many of my female friends have also had similar experiences.
“I get it, too. Typically from older men,” said one of my friends.
“I got mansplained to on my workout this morning,” said one friend. “It made me so mad I ran faster.”
“I feel like in the last few months it just went overboard in frequency,” said another running friend. “We all need to run together more and show ‘em we could kick their butts on the course!!”
Why do men—older men in my case, but apparently men in general do this—think it’s OK to give us unsolicited advice? In addition to the earbud comment I have been told, among other things:
- not to run too close to the middle of the path on the MGT,
- not to run by myself on trails
- and my favourite, run with a light.
The last one, in itself, is solid advice, but did you really think I intentionally set out to run in the dark without a light? Or maybe, just maybe, I misjudged my distance or speed and got caught closer to twilight than I planned (not complete darkness) as did the guy running ahead of me to which I noticed you didn’t offer your “friendly” advice!!!!!!
I don’t think I come off as helpless or clueless. In reality, some of these men aren’t much older than me so I don’t think it’s a “dad” thing, either. Honestly, this is almost as annoying as the guy who rides back and forth by you a few times before he tells you he likes your running skirt. OK, the latter is a little more creepy than annoying, but no less welcome.
I am a strong, smart woman who doesn’t need a man telling me what to do. So please keep your comments to yourself or don’t be surprised when I tell you what to do with them.