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15 Things to Say When Someone Tells You They’re Training for a Marathon Other Than “Oh!”

So you’ve run into a friend for the first time in forever. You ask what they’ve been up to and they respond by telling you they’re training for marathon. You feel the air turn cold. Your stomach starts churning in knots as panic starts to set in. We’ve all been there! Here are 15 handy things to respond with when someone tells you they’re training for a marathon other than “Oh!”

1. Smile and Nod
Smile and nod and literally don’t stop. The longer you leave them hanging without any verbal recognition, the more awkward they’ll feel until they’re the ones who change the subject.

2. Reply with “Life is a marathon not a sprint, is it not?”
If you trail off dreamily and say nothing else, they’ll be forced to agree and end the convo immediately.

3. Start chanting an incantation
Begin a made up charm invoking their success in a strange tongue so uncomfortable they simply won’t know what to do!

4. “Ahhhh!!”
Close to an “Oh!” but more like a scream. If you do it forcefully enough, you’ll seem way too excited for them. A major plus with this one is the louder you are, the more off putting it’ll be.

5. Ask what their cat thinks of that
This one is a sure win. People LOVE talking about their cats. Crack this joke and you’ll subconsciously cause them to forget they were ever talking about marathon running in the first place.

6. Bring up the bleeding nipples
People fucking hate it when you bring up the bleeding nipples.

7. Mention the fragile mortality of life
Because what’s worse when you’re trying to receive external validation than someone bringing up the mortifying ordeal of being known?

8. Have a coughing fit
This one is great because it focuses the attention back onto you. If you have an induced coughing fit, you’re guaranteed to at the very least receive an “are you ok??” from the other party. This gives you the perfect in to seek out water and end all running-talk immediately.

9. Tell them about how your sister’s baby has started to run
This will shut them right up and make them change the subject immediately. People HATE it when you talk about babies that aren’t theirs.

10. Launch into the mythological history behind marathons in Ancient Greece
If there’s one thing that bores people more than historical fun facts, it’s ones that might not have happened at all.

11. Pretend that you’re having a premonition
Whether you decide to go full blown Cassandra or new-age lala tarot babe, pretending you’re having a premonition about the race is a strong way to go. Plus, you get to choose if you’re sensing they’ll succeed or if they should avoid running for the rest of their life.

12. Talk about how your deceased relative used to run marathons
There’s only one thing worse than your success being compared to someone else’s is if the other person is dead.

13. Burst into tears
This one should be fairly easy as the thought of running a marathon will likely invoke the feeling of tears to begin with. Once you start crying, they won’t be able to decipher if they’re tears of joy or sadness and you’ll be able to excuse yourself for a tissue in no time!

14. Recite the line, “Wisely, and slow. They stumble that run fast” from Romeo and Juliet
There’s nothing weirder than someone unironically quoting Shakespeare in normal conversation but this one is so vague that it’ll leave your pal wondering “What the hell did that mean?” for the rest of their afternoon.

15. Just say, “Oh!”
Fuck it.