While my intent is to keep this far, far away from becoming an advice blog, mainly because I doubt I have the wisdom to maintain such an endeavor, I am going to break my own rule. Runners, you know I love you. When I see you loping alone along the road or when we’re doing our jittery little jumpy moves standing at the start of a race, I’m thinking “these are my people.”
Even the coolest among us shares our inherent runner geekiness. That’s why we can fill the miles chatting about the minutiae of our daily runs, comparing shoe notes, and bragging on our PRs. Yes, I know, then there are the poop discussions. If that’s not enough, we congregate on internet running boards to further explore our passion.
And that’s fine, so long as we keep it amongst ourselves. Alas, we do not. We are guilty of over-sharing, people. A lot of it with the help of social media. Just as most of us probably are clogging up the entryways of our homes right this minute with pairs of running shoes in various stages of wear (I get it, I do it too!), many of us have engaged in at least one of the following activities. We need to stop.
- Taking and posting photos of your bare feet and especially, toes.
If I want to see black toenails, I have only to look down at my own. Since they’re groaty enough, I really don’t need to see yours. No one else does either. If they ask, show them in private. If they’re distant, message them the photo. No, there is no “blister exception” to this rule. Just keep your feet to yourself. See, I am NOT illustrating this with a sample pic.
2. Lining up too close to the front of a race.
Just quit it! It’s beyond stupid. I was standing at the start of the Gasparilla 8K (that’s just under 5 miles) with the 8 minute mile folks, well behind the 6 and 7 minute milers. I finished in under 40 minutes, so that was the right place for me. In front of me was a less-than-svelte fellow with a fuel belt and 3 full bottles. While I applaud his enthusiasm and preparedness, he belonged a bit farther back.
3. Failing to apply deodorant before a race or run with a group.
I’ve heard some Bozos say that it’s ok to smell if you’re playing sports. NO, that’s not ok. My nose still works and the smell of some of “my people” is enough to trigger my gag reflex. (I will say it often is so aggravating that it spurs me on to pick up my pace and get upwind.)
Others have told me deodorant clogs their pores. Of this, I am skeptical. Hugely so. But even if true for you, could you at least try some talc/baking soda?
Caveat: please don’t go overboard and douse yourself with your fragrance of choice. It probably will not be the choice of at least a few others in the pack. Going for the neutral and basic lack of stinky funkiness it the goal.
None of these will improve your times, but they probably will improve the kind of time you have.