A Few of My Least Favorite Things

As much as I love running and nearly everything about it, I do also have some running peeves.  What are they, you say?  Well, thanks for asking!

People Who Come to a Dead Stop on the Pad at the Finish

I know that my brain stops working completely when my body is working hard enough to race.  But really people, can you be that stupid?  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve nearly plowed into the racer in front of me because they went from 60 to zero in the space of half a second on the timing mat.  Here’s my lovely finish line photo from The Great Race last fall.

If you could hear that, I'm saying, "DON'T. STO-OP!"

If you could hear that, I’m saying, it’s “DON’T. STO-OP!”

Hello?  Like 5000 people moving quickly behind us!

I was mad at myself afterward for zigging around that guy when I should have just slammed into him.  He had it coming.

Walkers Who Start a 5K with the Runners
On the opposite end of the race, we have the walkers you have to zig around at the start.  Same zig-zaggy problem as above, only just as you’re trying to get in a groove.  Line up where you’re supposed to, walkers!

Heat
I come from a long line of short, sweaty, German alcoholics (Oops! I always take that a step too far!), so heat is my running Kryptonite.  It totally saps me.  I would much rather run in 15-degrees than in temps of 65+.  I sort of get used to it in the summer, but it always sucks.  I cannot believe that anyone south of the Mason-Dixon line runs.  Ever.

Post-Race Belly Aches
Racing often gives me terrible stomach cramps that start within the hour of my race finish.  The very worst time I got them was after I completed my first 10K – the one where I’d never run further than five miles before.  I thought I was going to die, I felt so awful.  It seems most likely to occur when I’m racing a new, longer distance – or when it’s just been a while since I’ve raced, as was the case after the 5K this Mother’s Day.  I’ve tried different combinations of pre-race and post-race food, but if it’s strictly a dietary thing, I haven’t yet figured it out for certain.  The apple cider vinegar water seemed to help after my most recent 5K.

Being Injured
Pretty self-explanatory.  I hated feeling like I was losing fitness (or at best, staying the same) while I was supposed to be improving.  I really hated having to bail on the Pittsburgh half.  But most of all I just hated not being able to go for a run for the fun of it.

Ugly Feet
Confession: I’m actually kind of proud of my ugly feet.  Looking at them reminds me that I did something good.

I’m not badass enough to actually get a black toenail or to have one fall off.  But this second toe did turn a bit blue by the time I ran my half marathon last fall.  What was weirder was that I grew a new toenail, in spite of the fact that the nail hadn’t fallen off.  It just grew over the old one.  That line there in the middle is nail polish I couldn’t get out of the rough edge of the new nail.  It’s almost completely grown out now.  I’m just a little sad about it.

FunkyToenail

My new and old toenails (over sharing here?)

BUT, I hope other people (or at least non-runners) aren’t looking at my ugly feet too closely.

My Hair
I don’t have great hair, but most of the time, I’m okay with it.  It’s not my friend when running, though.

Most of my pals have long hair and sport a cute ponytail or a headband on the run.  And their hair tends to look roughly the same at the end of the run as it did at the beginning.  I don’t have enough hair for a ponytail – and can’t grow enough for one.  But my hair is long on top, so I have to do something to keep my sweaty bangs out of my eyes.  A hat is the simplest solution, but it makes me hot in the warmer temps.  Last year, I decided to run a 10K sans hat – just clipped my bangs away from my face.  All was well until I saw my reflection in a car window right after the race.  I looked like something like this:

Great Scott!

Great Scott!

I had been smiling because I was pleased with myself for running 10K for the first time in just over an hour.  Then I saw myself and took on roughly the same expression as Doc there.

But Wait!  There’s More!
There are a bunch of other little things that aren’t my favorites.  I  don’t like how sweaty I get when I run (can you say “perimenopause’? I sweat while styling my hair.).  I don’t like treadmills.  I hate ice in the winter (that forces me on said treadmills).  But I think the rest of my grievances are common to most runners and not worth covering in depth.  (Oh, and I hate myself when I forget my Garmin.  I want credit for Every. Step.)

Also – as should be obvious – the good by far outweighs the bad.  I’ll take a bad, hot, blistered-&-bruised-toe run with crazy hair any day over no run at all.

What are your least favorite running-related things?

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