In recent weeks there have been some top-notch programs on RunnersRoundTable. As I listened to Julie’s episode on Eating Disorders — I was on the treadmill — I was struck by a thread that connects it from two recent shows:

The thread is normalcy. In the Nutrition episode, for example, guest Nancy Clark, a nutritionist, emphasized the reality that we are unique. Focus on a good balance in what you eat and the body will take care of the rest. Don’t sweat the stuff at the margins. Your weight? If you’re eating properly and getting exercise, it is what it is.

I feared that the Vegan episode would be proselytizing, but there was none of that. Just people who have changed what they eat and feel better about it. Me? I’m not convinced. But while I eat meat, I don’t eat it that frequently.

Tonight, Julie’s guests spoke of their eating disorders. Again, though, and not to simplify, they felt that there was something wrong with what they were and they took drastic action to make themselves “right.” It was frightening. (And it was noted that men with eating disorders (Dave Dunham was on the show) are grossly underreported.) Not simple issues for those who suffer. Part of it to this layman is, as I say, the conviction that she’s “wrong.”

As runners, of course, we’re forever looking for an edge, an improvement. I have books, just by Matt Fitzgerald, on “Brain Training” and the optimal body weight (which turns out to be the weight at which you run your best), not to mention this training approach and that.

It’s good to remember, though, that in the end, we shouldn’t sweat the margins. The body’s an amazing organism. Treat it well and it’ll treat you well. Julie wondered tonight, “what is the line between dedication and obsession?” I hope we can know it when we see it.


It’s a bit of a struggle over at RunnersRoundTable. Those who created it and kept it moving with shows virtually every week, especially Toni Harvey in London, decided to pass the torch, but that has resulted in gaps, notwithstanding the efforts of Mark U. and Amanda L. RRT can use your help. If you’re interested, let them know.