I’m going to let my Runner’s World subscription lapse. I’m not cancelling it in some sort of angry huff. Nothing’s getting punched. No one’s getting set on fire (this time). This is a big step for me because I normally do many things in an impulsive huff which garners numerous Stern Looks and the occasional Right To Remain Silents and the odd Put Down The Gas Can Or We Will Shoots.
I just don’t think I get much value out of Runner’s World anymore. I’ve had the subscription for at least four years – probably longer – and I dutifully read every issue. It didn’t take long before I realized, as all RW readers eventually do, that most of the features are souped up retreads like a TV sitcom. (Hey, have you ever seen a family sitcom in which the father of the family is a bumbling idiot and his put-upon wife has to suffer all his foibles wearily but gladly? Sure you have. It’s every sitcom.) I guess I’ll go without the biannual Secrets to My Best 5k where Expert A basically confirms what Expert B suggested six months earlier (and the years before that with Expert C, D, E, not F, but G. F was a real bozo.). I like the food and nutrition sections but I don’t do the family grocery shopping and, when I’m in a restaurant, I can’t remember what they said about this piece of fish versus this other piece of fish anyway. Mmmm, mercury! Maybe? Who knows.
But what will I do without the latest show review? I guess continue to ignore them as I always did. The same shoes, just the newer version, receive the Editor’s Picks every time anyhow.
Some of the magazine covers are cool. I mean, the magazine covers with Kara Goucher and the other female running glitterati are cool but then they go and spoil it with all the male posers with painted on abs. Jump back into your Abercrombie & Fitch catalog fellas. No one needs that. I’m in the book store often enough. I can put down the magazines in the high upper left hand corner of the shelf and wander over to see who’s on the RW cover (as long as I don’t expire the five minute wait loitering limit they imposed - for me.)
I don’t have anything against Runner’s World. In fact, the feature articles are often entertaining. I love reading about the history of the sport though, if I’m being honest, there isn’t nearly enough runner on runner knife stabbings.* Who doesn’t like to read about the former Boston winners and Olympic champions? Articles on runners who have overcome significant injury, disease, war, and thresher accidents make some issues into the Hallmark Channel of running magazines. But those stories only occupy 3-4 pages. Is it worth it to subscribe to an entire magazine for 3-4 pages a month? I can cherry pick those off the shelf whenever I’m facing a long car ride or, since it’s only a couple pages, a short car ride to the liquor store.
I feel like I’m turning in my Official Runner Badge by letting my subscription go unrenewed. Aren’t we all supposed to subscribe? If I don’t have a subscription , do I become some sort of rogue, unlicensed bandit. Do I have to turn in my moisture wicking clothes and wear *gulp* cotton?!? Or worse, Ian’s cargo shorts?
If I don’t have Runner’s World, do I not read, er, run?
Runner’s World is a quality magazine although I think they may have reached a bit with the name. World? Nah, there are lots of running events in the world that they don't cover at all. Maybe Runner's City or Runner's Municipality or Runner's Tri-County Area but "World" might be a bit of a stretch. Although I do think it IS especially handy for the new or returning runner. For me, I’m just not getting a lot of value out of it anymore. It’s like when I cancelled my subscription to Bazoombas when I realized I was more of an ass man. Someone would find Bazoombas helpful, just not me. I didn’t try to impugn the entire Bazoomba community. I just stepped away quietly.
The subscription will passively expire in July. I will passively fail to send in a check for another subscription. Until then, I’ll continue to enjoy the nutrition advice. Who knows, maybe after six times reading it, I WILL remember what kind of fish to eat. Then, without fanfare, RW will suddenly stop coming like so many Bazoombas before it.
Unless they get aggressive and send me more unwanted issues and – God forbid - a BILL, then it’s time to get out the ole gas can.
*Would it kill them to include the phrase “and he let him bleed out on the sidewalk” in just one race recap? Honestly!
Good luck to Boston bounders Sean, Spike, Aron, and anyone else I may have missed. Looks like perfect weather. No excuses. Go get 'em!
But don't eat any airport tacos. Trust me.