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