Things Runners Hate (and a few that they love)
A (not nearly) Comprehensive List of Things Runners Less-Than-Love
As we start our Lenten journey, spring races get closer and mileage goes up, and us in the northern part of the country just want the snow to melt, I think we could all use a few laughs. So, I present to you, in no particular order, a few things we can all (maybe) agree are a runners biggest enemies, and a few things we can’t get enough of, that keep us on this crazy running journey.
1. Big dogs off leash
Let’s be honest, dogs are cute. I love them as much as the next person. But, when I’m five miles in to an eleven-miler and just climbed a huge hill, the last thing I want to do is try to outrun a Great Dane or a Saint Bernard, or even, really, a Boston Terrier. Keep ‘em on a leash or in the dog park, and I’ll avoid the dog park like the plague.
2. Long runs without a porta-potty
The struggle is real. We all know that feeling. You know the feeling I’m talking about. The inner panic you can feel in your gut (pun intended) when you know you have 4 miles left and not a bathroom in sight. Enough said. Good luck, friend.
3. Crowded starting lines
Okay, admittedly this is probably just for those serious runners fighting for a time, and us introverts in the middle of the pack. Most people are friendly, but I find myself overwhelmed with the social interaction and the energy when the gun goes off, that’s contagious for most, but I usually can’t wait for it to open up a little ways down the course.
The “are we there yet” of your youth comes back around every time you move that towel to check your distance. The frustration sets in: that horrible realization that you feel fine physically, you’re just bored out of your mind! The constant metal struggle on the way to the gym: I’ll pray a Rosary, but then what do I do? Music? Netflix? A good audiobook? What is going to pass the time today? Will winter never end?
For the northern runner (and once in a while our friends in the South) nothing is scarier than when all of a sudden, the ground is not under your feet anymore, and for a split second you aren’t sure which way is up, and how this is going to end. You hope for the best, and (hopefully) you land on your feet, and feel like a champ, until you get too confident again and hit the next patch.
6. “You shouldn’t wash your hair every day!”
So maybe for a lot of you, this is easy to follow. For me, not so much. Dry shampoo just doesn’t cut it after a long run in 90 degree heat, or a speed workout on the treadmill. Trust me, I know it’s not good for my hair, [insert well-meaning friend’s name here] but you would not like the alternative.
Hear me out, I know how good they feel. Trust me. They are actually my favorite, but it’s a love hate relationship. Cause when they scrape those calluses, you gotta earn ‘em back somehow, and that’s not going to be fun for the next couple days. Plus, it’s kind of awkward when the woman giving you a pedicure realizes that she has a few less toenails to paint than normal…
8. Cell phone or wireless earbuds that die halfway through your run…
...especially on the treadmill. You can hear the world around you again, and you are thrust back into the boredom that is the cadence of your feet on the belt, and the red, sweaty face you see in the mirror in front of you. Hopefully you only have a few miles to go...you could pray another Rosary! :)
9. Long pedestrian traffic lights
Not much is more infuriating than a long red light while you driving in late for work in the morning...except if you are a runner and have experienced the long crosswalk traffic light. “I know jaywalking is illegal, but I was not about to have to stretch because I was waiting to long at the corner, and no cars were coming so…”
10. Short days
Winter running. Making sure your headlamp has enough battery, you can see all the ice, and you can find all your reflective clothing...at 4 o’clock in the afternoon. Make sure I don’t run into walls, okay?
11. Laundry Day
Regular Outfits: 2
Running Clothes: 738361639
This is the most serious one on the list. One of the hardest things for a runner is not to run, especially when you have that race coming up. You can do it, sister! Rest is just as important as that training run you had today, you’ll be better off down the road for this! So settle in on your couch, or maybe on the stationary bike if you’re up for it, pick that favorite Netflix show and enjoy this time as much as you can.
Now, since we don’t ever want to be too negative, even when we’re laughing together, here are a few things we can all agree are the greatest things about being a runner:
1. That post long run meal and/or coffee
Nothing tastes better than that first bite of breakfast or that first sip of hot coffee after your Saturday morning long run (and after gulping down some water, of course!)
2. New shoes
I recently just bought a new pair of shoes at my FAVORITE running store in St. Paul (@brianna.marie.9 on Instagram for the recommendation if you’re in the Twin Cities!) and my direct quote to the woman helping me was “wow, I didn’t even know how old my shoes were until I put these on my feet.” Seriously, if you want to walk on clouds, buy new shoes. Really though, experts say every 300-400 miles you should replace your shoes. It’s kind of like how every three months you should replace your toothbrush. Don’t ask me which one I’m better at keeping track of…
3. Race day afternoon pizza & Netflix
True story: I once tried to convince one of my friends to sign up for a race with me with a promise of this very afternoon. It worked.
I mean, pasta. Enough said, really.
5. Last but definitely not least: That kick-butt feeling when you know you just did something you couldn’t do last week/month/year
Ladies, you got this!! I believe in you, and it’s going to feel GREAT when you finish that run! God out there and feel Olympic today!
Praying for you all!
Brianna St. Amour is a Middle School Youth Minister just outside St. Paul, MN. She is a Minnesota transplant from Northern Vermont who misses hiking in the Green Mountains but has traded it for exploring the Twin Cities (when its not too cold to breath!) She loves New England Sports, Golf, running, biking, and telling people about what Jesus has done in her life. Coffee, Mass, sunshine, baseball, friends and wine are ingredients for the perfect day.