Syracuse Online


Dr. J. on Running

Looking Good

The Look and Feel of Running

Published March 19, 2001 in The Post-Standard.

By Dr Kamal Jabbour, Contributing Writer

Regardless of how many times I hear the phrase, "looking good!" I have determined that there are days when I do not look good during or after a run or race. I appreciate the good humor that spectators and fellow runners demonstrate as they attempt to encourage the running-challenged among us. I salute the die-hard cheerleaders who have provided me incentive to continue running and showing up at races.

Face it. Sometimes we runners do not look good. Furthermore, it is painful to hear someone tell you that you look good, especially when you do not feel good. I know when these people are less than truthful. I have proof. For the benefit of those of you who have not had this experience, here is my list of how you can tell when you are not "looking good" -- Jeff Foxworthy style.

If you come to an intersection and there is a car stopped at the light, and the window is rolled down, and you hear an adult voice say, "Bobby, please don't stare at the jogger" -- you are probably not looking good.

If a person with two prosthetic legs passes you on the way down a hill during a race -- you are not looking good. If that same person finishes and circles back to run next to you, to cheer you to finish -- you are not looking good.

If you are running and you pass by a storefront window, and you can see yourself in the reflection, and all you can think of is your classmate who was voted the poster child for the 'your-brain-on-drugs-campaign' -- you are not looking good.

If large black birds circle overhead during your run, if your partner refers to you as "Keith" or Mr. Richards", or if Anna Nicole Smith proposes to you at the finish line, you are certainly not looking good.

If you finish your run and your dog growls at you as you take off your shoes at the doorway -- you are not looking good. If the same dog relieves himself on your shoes when you finally get them off -- you are also not smelling good.

If you finish your long run and you cannot remember where you parked your car and you spend more than fifteen minutes looking for it, and it is in your own driveway -- you are probably not looking good.

There is one ultimate way to tell when you are not looking good. I like Patti Ford, master runner, world record holder, all-around wonderful woman, and the first person to yell "looking good" my way. If you ever pass Ford on the sidelines, and the only thing she has to say is "I like your outfit" -- you are indeed, not looking good.

Kamal Jabbour has not "looked good" in quite a while. His RUNNING Column appears in The Post-Standard on Mondays. Dr.J. created, webcasting live Every Lap of Every Race. He receives email at

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