My sister asked me to run a half marathon with her just about 10 months ago. At the time, I was not a runner. Anyone who had the unfortunate experience of “running” a 5k with me prior to this request can attest to my lack of running ability, or desire to develop a running ability.
Her request came at a time when I was in a very stressful job and I detested the effects this job had on my mental health and daily levels of happiness. I was a stressed crank pot who only knew how to complain about work. It was time to push myself to be positive and I suspected that training for a half marathon was exactly the push I needed. My theory was running for more than two hours would require mental toughness and positive self-talk, two skills I needed to cultivate. I was right.
It turns out that a lot of other new habits come with running regularly. And they’re really not all that normal or socially acceptable in any other situation. So if you see or hear me doing these things in a grocery store or at a bar please remind me that I'm not running.
10 Things Runners Do That Are Not Socially Acceptable:
- Kleenex-free snot removal. Sleeves, hands, and arms are all fair game to wipe your nose.
- Hocking loogies on any surface that does not appear to be private property. I do have the decency not to do this in your front yard, but the street in front of your front yard is totally fair.
- Poop talk. There is SO MUCH poop talk among runners.
- Rubbing Vaseline on all of your parts.
- Peeing several times throughout the night. What does 4 uninterrupted hours of sleep feel like?
- 2nd Breakfast. It is the privilege of morning runners. As an early morning warrior, you can treat yourself to a light pre-run fueling breakfast AND a larger post-run recovery breakfast.
- Bro-tein! Protein powder is now officially a way of life.
- Obsess about nutrition. This cycles back to the poop talk. You do not want to find yourself on a rural country road when an unfortunate dinner decision starts to rumble. You will become a master of avoiding unfortunate food decisions.
- Thinking, “Can I pee there?” when you’re running on a full bladder. Is that thicket dense enough to shield me from oncoming drivers? Is that stump wide enough to squat behind?
- Literal wolfing of your food. At first, you’re hungry because your body isn’t used to running and you probably aren’t fueling right. Then you start fueling right but your miles have increased, more hunger. Next, you’re running double-digit runs and there is simply no end to your hunger. When food crosses your path, you inhale it with a complete absence of grace. Think of a golden retriever swallowing a cupcake whole. That’s exactly what I do to peanut butter pancakes.