Runblebragging, Nobody Likes it

Runblebragging = Run + humblebragging

Humblebragging is a type of false modesty where one boasts under the guise of a complaint or false humility. It was coined by Harris Wittles, an executive producer, comedian, and writer of Parks & Recreation. Runblebragging is humblebragging about running. Despite my mixed feelings of running-related portmanteaus, I couldn’t resist coining one myself.

Some good humblebrag examples:

I’m wearing a ponytail, rolled out of bed from a nap, at a bar w/my guy, and guys r still hitting on me. Like, really ?? @AmesLauren

Can we start a media campaign to question how I got into Columbia, too? Still scratching my head about how I got accepted & demand answers! @AnnieDuke

Spoke to a full room at Michigan Law today. I’m going to pretend that the impressive turnout had nothing to do with the free food. @radleybalko

Nobody likes a humblebragger because of the lack of sincerity of the statement coming from the braggart. Runblebragging is specifically about running/racing boasts with a big old helping of disingenuous humility. Social media is teeming with it. Look, we’ve all runblebragged, intentionally or unintentionally, at some point and this post is not about calling anyone out. So if you read below and recognize yourself in it, you’re not the only guilty one (I probably did it too). When people runblebrag ALL THE DANG TIME, it’s annoying as heck. Yeah, yeah, we get it. You’re hot stuff.

Runblebragging is TOTALLY different from SF Road Warrior‘s excellent post on the right to your disappointment on how runners get to be disappointed when races do not go well for them. No matter what time you run, even if it’s a fast that many people would kill for, you get to be disappointed if that race did not go as you had hoped. The difference is is the sincerity or the authenticity of the feeling. If you truly disappointed because you know you had trained for a better race, but it wasn’t in the cards for you, you get to be disappointed. Runblebragging is pretending that you’re not fine with the time, when in reality you actually are, but you’re presenting it otherwise in order to seem #sohumble.

I came up with some fun runblebragging examples. While I may not have seen these specific statements, I’ve certainly seen my share of statements like these from runners.

  • Can you believe it? I accidentally won a race. It was meant only to be a training run.
  • Guys, I don’t know how it happened, but I PR’d!!!! I haven’t trained for five months and haven’t raced in ages, but I pulled a PR out of thin air. #cantbelieveit #miraclesdohappen
  • Nothing like running with Olympians to make you feel slow.
  • I ran that race sooo slow [insert pretty fast time here] because I was pacing a friend/using the race as a training run/couldn’t handle the [heat/humidity/rain/snow/wind].
  • Oopsies! I ran those intervals faster than I was supposed to! #coachdontbemad
  • I’m soooo tired from waking up early to go running [insert a bajillion] miles. Totally #worthit.
  • Oopsies! I ate all the food after my long run.
  • I’m so sweaty and gross from the hour-long [insert mega-expensive boutique fitness class here].
  • I couldn’t leave after a race right away because I had to wait FOREVER for the awards ceremony to begin.
  • Ugh, I can never do that race because I’m always training for Boston during that time of year. #alwaysmissingout
  • I look so big next to these elite runners.
  • Look at this huge salad I ate instead of a burger for lunch. Yikes! Who am I? #newyearnewme
  • I pigged out on ice cream because #balance.
  • Ugh, I spent all my money on #Nike #vaporfly.
  • Gasp! I can barely breathe during the training run at #altitudecamp. #highlife
  • I think my Garmin is broken because there’s no way I ran this fast.
  • Hey, Timing Company! Was there something wrong with your timing mats because I was recorded with a really fast time?
  • Argh, the shelf in the bookcase broke under the weight of all the trophies.
  • Ugh! The problem with getting faster is that the workouts get tougher.

How do you runblebrag?  What runblebrags have you seen from other runners? 

19 thoughts on “Runblebragging, Nobody Likes it

  1. I was literally laughing out loud. I read one fairly recently that went something like this: Gosh! My legs were like LEAD around mile 16. I could barely lift them AND had to stop at a porta potty at mile 20. I wanted to quit. I didn’t PR but I did manage to sneak out a win! Yeay! My first marathon win!

    I wish I was kidding.

  2. This is a hilarious post! A lot of these are also first world problems. I caught myself last week thinking, “Ugh, it’s SO HOT” in Taiwan, when reality, it was like 70 degrees. And this was during the bomb cyclone! So I kept my thoughts to myself. 😉

  3. Those are great! I’ve heard the one from Brian before many times as well. I just laugh to myself and let them go on. I figure most people like this are either insecure or looking for attention (or both).

    • Or have delusional ideas that only long races are worthy of doing. I don’t think there’s enough credit given to people who run truly excellent times at shorter distances. Longer is not always better. 🙂

    • Yes, we always like to go away to someplace warm for a few days at least in January. It breaks up the monotony of bone-chilling weather. It would have been even nicer if we had coincided our trip with the bomb cyclone, but I’m not going to complain.

      • Have a blast. If you are staying in the area where all of the resorts are, I highly recommend heading west. There is a sidewalk that runs along the island and this area becomes far less commercial. There are beautiful homes and national parks along the way. And then suddenly, you are in the dessert and there is a lighthouse!

  4. Shit, I’m guilty of a couple, lol, but I don’t do it intentionally to brag, I swear!! I think “oops, the intervals were faster than they should’ve been” was actually in my last week recap, lol, but it’s effing hard sometimes to get the paces EXACTLY where they should be and I’d rather be under than over. And I totally shared my chimichanga and menudo after my long run, too—but I eat a ton of shit after all my runs so that’s just norma. I “feel” like I can tell when someone is sincerely surprised about something or if they’re runblebragging and more often than not, it’s the latter. I like to think that “I” don’t come off as one because yeah, true runblebraggers are annoying and I’d hate for people to think I’m like that. When I posted my recent PR though, I just put it out there, F*ck yeah, I made it happen!!! LOL!!
    Jealous you’re in Aruba!

    • I know you don’t! I wouldn’t be friends with you if you did runblebrag.

      I’m like you, I have a hard time getting the pace for intervals, especially short ones, right and just like you, I’d rather be under than over. I think it’s about the intent more than anything. Are you (not you specifically, but the general everyone you) blogging this because you’re documenting your training process or because you’re trying to brag without appearing like your bragging (and failing at that)? It’s about authenticity and I think readers are pretty good about sniffing out disingenuous behavior. I love your writing and I wouldn’t want you to change anything. You lay everything out there and you write what you feel and I love that.

      I can’t wait to read your new HM PR post!!!! *dances in anticipation*

  5. I just read this comment in one of my facebook running groups and thought of this post: “12 discouraging miles… I think I’ll go drown my sorrows in a package of chocolate chip cookies!”

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