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Gasp—You Want To Train For A Race And Not Post On Social Media?!

Etiquette expert Lizzie Post, great-great-granddaughter of Emily Post, knows a thing or two about the rules of the road—and the descendant of the famous decorum diva is a runner too!

Q: I’m running my first half marathon this year, but I kind of just want to do it in secret. Is it bad form not to tell my family and friends?

If you want to do something just for you, that’s not necessarily selfish. In this case, I think it’s empowering. There is a certain satisfaction to a secret accomplishment. Personally, I create them in very tiny ways for myself on my runs and I’m amazed at how great they make me feel. No one else knows, but it’s so gratifying to meet or surpass my goals. Support is also an amazing human capacity. It bonds us in the most incredible ways, but it’s not the only way to gain a sense of accomplishment.

My etiquette advice is to make sure you don’t cross into the territory of lying. Emily Post etiquette is founded on the principles of consideration, respect and honesty. Some friends or family might be hurt if they find out later that you didn’t share this with them. They are entitled to those feelings of disappointment, but your secret doesn’t actually harm them beyond the slight of being left out.

However, if you lie about where you are going and what you are doing, then you cross into territory that could damage trust with your friends and family. It’s not like training for a half marathon only takes a few minutes. I suggest that you plan your training time carefully and avoid lying to anyone about what you’re up to. With all that said, I think it’s wonderful that you want to accomplish this goal on your own and I wish you all the best!

Have a question for Lizzie? Email or tweet @WomensRunning with the hashtag #ProperForm.

Lizzie Post

Lizzie Post

Lizzie Post, is the great-great-granddaughter of Emily Post and co-author of Emily Post’s Etiquette 18th edition as well as Emily Post’s Wedding Etiquette 6th edition and The Etiquette Advantage in Business 3rd edition. Lizzie does speaking engagements across the country sharing advice about entertaining, weddings, dating, dining etiquette, tech-etiquette, finance and lifestyle. She has worked as a spokesperson for companies including Bank of America, American Express, AirBnB, and Genentech. She is a columnist with Women’s Running magazine, Good Housekeeping magazine, and She is the co-host of the Awesome Etiquette podcast on American Public Media’s podcast network Infinite Guest. She is a regular guest on American Public Media’s The Dinner Party. Lizzie offers a fresh perspective with an engaging and modern voice. She delights in tackling etiquette’s taboo topics with the media, making her a popular source. Her interviews include NBC’s The Today Show, Katie, Fox & Friends, Live with Kelly and Michael, The Gayle King Show, The Wendy Williams Show, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Chicago Tribune, Harper’s Bazaar, Travel & Leisure, Glamour, Redbook, The Huffington Post and more.