Wednesday, July 9, 2008

I'm No Longer Mainstream

For years, I've been a subscriber to a certain national running magazine.  It was directly from this magazine that I learned about Mamo Wolde and the plight of his fatherless children. Who are here now; playing soccer [Tabor], enjoying chemo-free living [Addis], and trying to find a job [Aberash].  By the way, Mamo will be briefly appearing (.8 seconds) in a Coca Cola commercial created for the Olympics.  So, it would not be an understatement to say that this magazine has changed our lives.
Nevertheless, I am finding fewer and fewer articles that appeal to me.  Sure, it gives advice on how to run your first marathon, your first 5K, and the best running foods. But it does so in every issue.  I know, first time readers and all that.  But more importantly, it speaks to a type of running that I'm not interested in anymore; intense, career altering, all-out-sprint-to-the-end, put-your-best-face-forward type of running.  The monthly covers are a poignant testimony to this world/running-view.  Take a look:

Besides the airbrushed foregrounds and the photoshopped backgrounds, we often have to cover these covers so the little boys in the house don't see them. I don't want that in a running magazine. Some of these people don't even look healthy.

Here's what I like to see on a cover; real people.

So, I'm leaving mainstream running this month and not renewing my subscription to this national magazine. I'm not protesting. I'm not even asking them to change. I just like it when my children see a magazine filled with other runners who look like their parents rather than like starving, sweat-glistening actors.


Andrew said...

Won’t you be disappointed not to have a new ab workout every month?

Dumped it a couple years ago - don’t miss it a bit.

Jenna said...

I used to model for cover of Runner's Digest and I don't even run!

Jenna said...

did you believe me?

SteveQ said...

I usually find bodies molded by sport more interesting than bodies intentionally modified by exercise (like bodybuilders). The only runners who ever look "normal" to me are 1500 and 5000 meter runners (marathoners are scrawny, sprinters beefy), but that may be because that's the distance I'm best at.

Matthew Patten said...

Never had a subscription. They periodically come free to my house, and I have the same lack of interest.

I find it funny that the years I followed a lot of the advice in those, I was not much faster (if at all). And I was always in pain and burned out.

I am on the "no stress" training cycle now. I don't think there is an article in RW about that.

The covers always crack me up. Good marathoners don't have the sculpted bodies which always appear on the cover. And if they do, they usually wear a shirt.

Lori said...

I ditto your thoughts on that magazine!
I can remember being so excited when it came in the mail-- back when I was in high school, but now it is pretty much useless to me. What happened to the level of writing Dr. George Sheehan represented...
Thank God for the internet.