I’ve been a runner for a long time, sometimes competitively and sometimes recreationally. Having run through many different phases in life and many different mindsets of what I’m doing and why I’m out there, I think I have a pretty good understanding of why most other runners are doing what they do. But there are a few things that I see in other runners which make me think: “HUNH??? I just don’t get it!” Here are a few:
- Runners who get in the food line directly after a race. Every time I race I see it and I think “HOW??? How can these people eat right now?” The smell of anything makes me want to throw-up. I know you’re supposed to eat within a 30 minute window for optimum recovery, but I just can’t do it. I look at these people and think they must be aliens. Of course, give me 30-60 minutes and I’m ready to eat anything and everything. But respect and incredulity for those who can go straight from finish chute to post-race buffet line.
- Runners who are all or nothing. I’ve seen people go from the most dedicated, disciplined training to a dead stop – like not even jogging 20 minutes a week. I’ve been the intermittent 20 minute jogger and the consistent disciplined trainer. I get how life situations can take you to both extremes. In some phases you have time and mental energy to devote to training, and sometimes you just know that mileage goals are out of the question and maybe the races need to be put on hold for a while. But to just stop altogether – cold turkey because you can’t train to your fullest capacity? I totally don’t get it.
- Runners who carry everything with them. Ok, if you’re an ultra-runner or out there for a crazy amount of hours, maybe I get it. Admittedly I’m a bit of a minimalist, and I might be annoying to my running buddies when I take them up on their offers of water which they’ve been carrying around. I never have, but I might also take them up on toilet paper if required. But I draw the line at tissues. Ok, I do find it a bit cute and endearing in a quirky way when my friends carry tissue to blow their noses, but don’t we all assume we’re going to get sweaty and snotty while running? To me that’s the equivalent of carrying deodorant while running and re-applying it mid-run. I believe in embracing the sweat and snot while running and cleaning up after.
- Somewhat related to the last point: Runners who look and smell great while running. I totally don’t get this. And no, it’s not just women – I’ve seen it in men too. People who look and smell like they’ve just taken a shower, and then go for a run. Not a hair out of place, perfect makeup, fresh smelling clothes. I mean, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with this, but it is just so the opposite of how I approach going for a run! If I am going to put any energy into my appearance (every now and then I try) I’m definitely not going to waste it on how I look on a run. But maybe some people just look like this all the time? I don’t know. I don’t get it.
Who knows – maybe, or more like probably, I’m the quirky one. It’s a good thing we’re not all the same. I just find it funny when I observe these differences in other runners. I know we’re all roughly of the same breed but boy – there really are some big differences in how we do things!