Sunday, November 25, 2012

My 15 Unwritten Rules for Runners

I don’t get it. Why does my family get all pissy on me for playing Christmas music in the car? As far as I am concerned, holiday music is fair game from Thanksgiving through Christmas Day.  This is one of those unspoken holiday rules.

This got me thinking. Are there unwritten rules about running? Sure! Here are some I can think of:

1. Be sure to look before you spit or blow out a snot rocket. In a triathlon a couple of years ago, I had just started the run and the girl in front of me turned and spit. Right on  me. I beat her up later in the finisher’s shoot.

2. If you are running with a group, do not carry a bunch of coins in your pocket. By mile 3, you will be shot and left for dead after they steal your GUs.

3. Don’t overshare. I can’t believe I am saying this – pot calling the freaking kettle black! It’s definitely okay to say you farted, pooped, peed, puked or that you smell. But seriously, you do not have to give explicit details about how big your poop was in the porto, your period flow level, or other minute details that conjure up images in our heads that are tough to get rid of.

4. If you stop to tie your shoe, puke, catch your breath, pick up change, take a picture -whatever – move to the right. Get out of the eff’ing way! So many times I have plowed into someone in front of me who stopped unexpectedly. And, I might be guilty of doing it once or twice myself.

5. Turn off the treadmill when you get off of it. This seems obvious, but once someone left it on and I got on it. You can only imagine the words that escaped my lips as I was sling-shotted across the gym, squealing.

6. Look to make sure the treadmill is turned off before you get on it.

7. Say “hello” or nod when you pass other runners.

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8. When you are having drinks with a non running friend, put a time limit on how long you talk about running. Avoid using acronyms like AG, BQ, PR and DNF.

9.  Run facing traffic. That way you can see that 18 wheeler and smile at the driver before he hits you.

10. Don’t take yourself so seriously. Unless you make your living as a runner, you need to lighten up.

11. If you fart and someone is behind you, always yell out a warning (I have gotten in trouble for this one way too many times. Now I just yell, “FART!”).

12. Run with your dog, but put that bitch on a leash. I can’t tell you how many dogs I’ve almost fallen over when they cut in front of me (one exception is my friend’s dog, Newman. So well behaved while we run).

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13. Don’t whine. We’re all tired when we run. We all want to be done. So shut up and trudge on (SUATO).

14. Don’t fib about your PRs. Paul Ryan learned this one the hard way.

15. Don’t judge other runners be it for how fast/slow they are, if they run with music or not, what shoes they are wearing, etc. Only judge them if they don’t wave to you, if they carry coins, if fart with no warning, or if they spit on you.

Can you think of any other unwritten rules for runners?

Have you been guilty of breaking some of these rules? Yes, many of them. I’ve been guilty of over-sharing (duh). I also have farted with no warning. I’ve been known to whine once or twice. And, sometimes I take this running thing WAY too seriously.

SUAR

80 comments:

  1. Completely unrelated to your post: I saw a woman who looked JUST like you at a race yesterday, up in Empire. It wasn't you. She didn't get why I was momentarily so excited.

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  2. "SUATO" *snicker* I like it. AND I have another unwritten rule, or I wish it was anyway:

    Don't bathe in perfume before you go out running or before a race. Can't tell you how many times I've inhaled lungfuls of perfume running behind someone who commits this crime. It's gross and it stinks and leaves a trail. I'd almost rather smell B.O.

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    Replies
    1. I so agree with the no perfume. It gives me a headache and I don't want to taste it because some people wear so much. I would rather smell BO. But I DO like it when people brush their teeth.

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    2. Amen! I prefer farts and snot.

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    3. The perfume thing is the worst! Try going to a spin class in a room with the doors closed and the woman next to you has doused herself in some nasty perfume...

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    4. May as well mention fabric softener too. Can't really begrudge folks for using it, but come on...easy on the Snuggle people. A capful will do, promise.

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    5. Yes! I about died doing intervals behind someone who was emitting an overpowering aroma of patchouli. Cough, choke, aak!

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    6. It also makes me laugh pretty hard when you run by them and they smell like sugar and spice and they even look pretty.

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  3. Replies
    1. I disagree with this particular rule. Sometimes you just have to let someone know that you've peed so badly that it's running into your shoes, right?

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  4. If you run a race or run with someone, don't call out pace, time or distance unless asked to do so.

    And yes, I'm guilty of some of these.

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    Replies
    1. YES!!! My husband does this when he thinks he's *motivating* me. "One mile down!" SHUT UP, HONEY!!!

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  5. Don't ask someone who is excitedly telling you about _finishing_ their first 5K what their time was. If it was swell they would be telling you. And if they don't tell you a time immediately after you rudely ask, don't start throwing out crazy talk like, '23 minutes?'

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  6. you forgot rule #16.....if it's your turn to drive with your running buddies, Christmas music is forbidden!

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  7. I've never heard of #2 or 11. Who would carry coins?!, the annual Run to the JukeBox? And I've always just let it rip when needed. Maybe that's why I end up training solo most of the time. haha

    - I can't recall how many times I've called out "excuse me," "runner coming," or "back" and had someone move LEFT to get out of the way and end up right in my way. If they were European, I could understand, but seriously?!
    - Now a sort of opposite. On a track, do not run multiple people abreast. Stay left! I'm fine moving into Lane 2 or 3 as long as I'm not moving from lane 1 to 6 to get around you and your four friends who insist to run as a human wall. If you do, I WILL find a way to rudely run through you until you get the point.
    - Do not spit onto the track.

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    Replies
    1. I carry coins for an emergency, or to buy a drink instead of carrying one on long runs. I do have a coin pocket in my pouch/bag thing that stops them jangling though, the noise gets on my nerves otherwise!

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  8. Do not tell a friend you just SMOKED in a race how little you trained or how slow/disappointed you were with your (comparatively) Kenyan performance. Not nice. Just say "good job" and be gracious about being so fast without training or having a "bad" race.

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  9. #15 is awesome! Two I would add are: don't stare at female (or male) runners' boobs. Or heck, a dude's package! I get looking but please make eye contact - it decreases the self-consciousness! The other one is... crap, I can't remember. Pain meds are making me dumb... hopefully, I'll remember and post it later. It was a good one!

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  10. For some reason, spitting takes a lot of energy for me on a run, but I always look first if and when the urge hits. Breaking #7 is just simply rude and it will cause me to curse at you under my breath as I run by. I mostly run on sidewalks and only break #9 on short stretches of road where the sidewalk runs out and restarts a short distance later. For cross training cyclists - always ride with traffic please! It will hurt less if you are thrown forward with momentum off your bike than if you are suddenly stopped head on and thrown over the hood of my car! (God forbid this ever happens!) Don't judge (except for #7) and don't allow yourself to be judged! Just Run Shamelessly!

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  11. If you are planning on walking or jogging a race slowly, do not start in the front of the pack! No judgment on your speed, just start further back. And for people passing walkers or slow runners who started in the front of the pack, no elbows to the eye. The ribs are fair game though.

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    Replies
    1. YES! Oh my god, I've done 1/2 marathons where I line up at the 9/min mile area, and people in front of me start walking before the first mile is up. Not ok!

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  12. Do not, for the love of all that is holy, walk four abreast during a race. You. Are. In. The. Way.

    KTHXBYE!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you. Seriously. I don't get why people think this is a good idea?!? Even 2 across...IF YOU ARE WALKING, WALK ON THE SIDE!!!!

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    2. YES. YES. YES. Even IF you are walking a race - do ALL of you have to walk together to totally block an already crowded race!! Happened today in Seattle!!

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    3. This happened to me at the Turkey Trot The runners were let off with the walkers. Family members all in a line. At most I counted 8 members with a stroller, with just a little space next to another family of 4. It was hell and then some.

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    4. YES. WALKERS START AT THE BACK. That announcement is made at almost every race I've ever done but most of the walkers insist on starting near the front and then walking side by side. RUDE.

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    5. AMEN and AMEN, especially walkers, slower runners, and those who do a run/walk. LINE UP by your pace, and then don't spread across the path, blocking everyone behind you. Drives. Me. Nuts!

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    6. Yes! This happened at the great aloha run. Thousands of walkers at the front. Spent the whole 8 miles weaving around the walkers. Start at the back please.

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    7. I had 4 people join hands a bit before the finish line at my last race. I like to sprint the last bit. REALLY didn't like that!

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  13. Even if you've got that dog on a leash, keep it under control. If the leash is longer than about 5 or 6 feet, it no longer counts as a leash. Don't make me wonder which of the leashed pair is the smarter one.

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    Replies
    1. Retractable leashes are the worst. They give the owner the illusion of control and their design intrinsically fails when the dog darts after you. Plus, the owner can't grip the tiny cord effectively enough to restrain the dog after they have any slack. This gets really hazardous on bike paths, with an owner on one half of the path, a dog on the other, and now a trip wire between.

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  14. You might be my favorite blogger ever. Seriously. Bravo.

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  15. When coming up to a water stop during a race, don't cut in front of other runners to grab a cup. Especially don't do this if you are then going to stop completely to drink your water.

    Also, if you are one of the faster runners in a race, don't grab 3 of every food/drink at the finish line. I finished a marathon today and all that was left were bruised bananas because all the half-marathoners had taken boxes full of food (literally, I saw people exiting the recovery area with boxes holding many items). Along these lines, if you are supporting a runner in a race, please don't take the food/drink at the finish area unless it is an event where they sell tickets or specifically designate a friends/family food area.

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    Replies
    1. At the Chicago Marathon I saw volunteers doing this at the finish line. Blows my mind.

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  16. Yelling "Fart"! Snort, snort, chortle, chuckle....you're my hero.

    What about meeting runners on a trail that are running side-by-side? Last weekend, I was doing a loop around our local golf course and two ladies were so engaged in coversation that they, and their leashless dog, forced me to jump into a swampy puddle. They yelled, "sorry", THEN when I met them on the second loop, they did the same, darned thing.

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  17. I'm with you up to point 2 and after. Over sharing? Really? I'm all about the honesty of the run. You do it all of the time and that's my plan too. Now, if you're running with me and tell me your life story I may kill you and share your remains with the dogs on the run, but if you mean sharing as in "Post Mortem" I think that it's perfectly human to reflect on the run/race you went through. And, if you're really serious about over-sharing, at least in the way you are scolding us about you'd omit point 11, which I know you are very fond of.

    We're human, we're fallible and I think that's why we gravitate here. Getting it wrong - but continuing to try is a lost more fun than getting it right all of the time.

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  18. This is my own rule: However you need to make it happen, bring a change of clothes for whatever you need to do after your run. Personally, I know I stink. Bad. Like, put my husband's armpits to shame, bad. As a courtesy to my fellow grocery shoppers, I always change after a workout. Sometimes, I have to crouch down in the back of my car to do it... :)

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  19. So funny! Although I have to say that I've never thought that anyone has overshared with me, maybe I'm doing the oversharing.
    Sometimes I have ice in my water bottle that I carry when I'm running. Is that the same as change in your pocket?

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    Replies
    1. I hope not because I'm very guilty of that as well.

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  20. Haha! I live by #9, since I run most of my miles on the highway. 5&6 really had me laughing!

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  21. I once ran with a new guy to our squad and found out that he'd had a vasectomy just five days before. Talk about overshare. Nice to know that you'll be infertile in just a few short day. And are you wearing really supportive undies today?

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    1. Aw. I love mentioning I had my tubes tied at 27. I'm still happy about it and being childfree is a big part of my lifestyle and personality. I'd have high fived the dude who got the Big V. Good on him for running so soon after. I couldn't do that after my tubal. Too sore. I think talking about babies/birth and sterilizations are about the same level of sharing. I know far too much about most folks' labors/pregnancies. Hearing that I had my tubes tied and fried doesn't even compare! LOL.

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  22. Great list of rules, had me laughing the whole time. I am currently living in Germany and no one follows the nod and say hi rule. Really makes me miss running back home! I think I need to just started getting obnoxious with my smile and "Guten Tag!" when I come across these people!

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  23. Ha! This is all so true! Especially #8. Those non-runners just don't understand ;) Thanks for sharing.

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  24. Funny how fast owners get thier dogs under control once they see you pull the pepper spray out. I don't mess around. Twice now I have had a car aimed at me because they were trying to avoid a damn dog running at my dog (Who is on a VERY short leash around my waist.) One guy was in his front yard and was being all "Oh, how cute, my dog is running at your dog" until he saw me whip out ole Pinky.

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  25. #8 is so true but without a doubt the hardest for me to abide by. Non-runners just don't get it!

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  26. The coin one made me laugh b/c I was guilty of that one time. My one friend was ready to push me into a ditch by the end of the run!

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    1. I once thought it a good idea to empty my sport beans in to my fuelbelt pouch for easier access during a race...DUMB idea. They just bounced around for the first several miles, I wanted to push myslef into a ditch.

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  27. Love this and I agree with each and every one of them! The BIGGEST peeve of mine is walkers who are in the MIDDLE of the road during a race. Is it that hard to move to the right like 5 feet? Urgh!

    Great post!

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  28. I would have to add (well, it goes with moving to the side)...When you come up to a narrow path, don't run in the very middle of the narrow path forcing the others (ME) in to a puddle. And then, you don't even acknowledge that you just forced others (ME) in to a puddle.

    Also, (and this goes with everything), but don't talk on your cell phone during your run. Not only do I not want to hear your conversation over my music (and alot of times the cell phone talkers are loud), but I don't want to think less of a runner. If you are holding a perfectly great conversation and keeping pace, while not even taking a breath, I want to punch you in the face. I hate running next to robots.

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  29. Your blog is pretty much the high-light of my day!!! Your posts have some great info but it is the presentation that I truly love!
    Thank you for a great start to a Monday!!! Now, I'm off to run (on my treadmill at home so I should be fine on the rules!).

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  30. Run with reflective gear when running at night! Seriously it's safety for you and the driver. Makes me mad when I see people running down the street in black in the middle of the night (and that's if I even see them at all)

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  31. I know these are generic rules, but related to the getting the eff out of the way rule, this is especially true in a RACE. Every race I do, people slow up way too fast/soon through the finish chute. At a 10K I did in Sept, dude in front of me came to a Dead. Stop. on the timing pad. How dumb do you have to be to come to a dead stop with ~5,000 people running behind you? I was (for a change) thinking too fast, and managed to run around him. Wish I would have plowed into the SOB.

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    1. WORD. Last 10K I did, I was trying to beat a certain time and I was seconds away from doing it. The husband/wife team in front of me slowed to a crawl right at the finish (the race was in a residential area so not a wide finish area) so they could get their picture taken together. I am sure that I ruined their picture as I had to stop abruptly behind them, then gave them the evil eye as I sprinted around them. I also missed my time by three seconds.

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    2. Ugh! That pisses me off so much! Last year, the person who was supposed to win the Fargo 1/2 marathon got caught behind two 10k walkers who were in the wrong chute, he lost by 1/4 second or something. People are so inconsiderate.

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  32. #9 for sure! When I see people running the wrong way I want to pull over and tell them so.

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  33. I accidentally snot-rocketed a guy at the Platte River Half. I felt so bad! I did apologize and he said 'no problem' but we were at mile 11 or so and he might have just been too tired to beat me up. He would have been totally justified in doing so.

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  34. I so agree about the dog thing. I mean I run with my dogs and they are ALWAYS leashed. It drives me crazy when other dogs come running over to my pups and the owner gets upset when my dogs are not the nicest to their dog....HELLO...my dog is threatened by your dog running at it while it is tethered to me..

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  35. I love reading your blog! Thanks for the laughter...and insight to running antics! lol
    I enjoy it so much....Now I know what a snot rocket is! lol

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  36. I LOVE 7 and 13, I say hello to every runner and hate when they ignore me.

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  37. I break #9 on certain wide residential streets. I have hip issues and the slope of the street aggrivates it if I run on the left hand side 100% of the time. I also run on the sidewalk sometimes to mix up the slope.

    Another unwritten rule... don't run or walk in a line during a race blocking others behind you. If you want to talk to friends go get coffee, don't run a race.

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  38. Love seeing other runners while I am out. I run alone (local running group is way too fast for me) so it's cool getting high-five's from runners.

    Also the PR's, why lie - co worker told me she did 2:17 at Wine & Dine at Disney a few weeks ago. I checked and she did 3:37. Not sure why she felt she needed to lie about it. Not sure why I checked either.

    I need someone to teach me how to spit while running without it running down my shirt.

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    Replies
    1. Hah! I love your honesty. I would have checked too. Weird that she lied about it. And such a random time too!

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  39. Also, just a note. I spent 3 days reading your blog...Hubby went to Boston to his high school reunion...thanks for a great weekend!

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  40. Love this. I know someone that does every single one. I've been guilty of a few, but I am one of the more considerate runners. My group probably gets mad when I stop to take a photo, but I never ask them to wait and I usually fall to the back, never stopping in front. I guess my friends are just too nice. "FART!"

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    Replies
    1. Ha, I'm that guy who often stops to take a photo too. Trails runs are just too damn nice, man.

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  41. Some of these cracked me up!

    I'd add, if you're running slow, move to the right (obviously). But also, if you're having a conversation, and it's a tight starting line, don't flail your arms while you're having that titillating conversation with your friend. I gotten slapped on the face on this one - not cool.

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  42. We had a 5k walk/run at school. One very experienced runner mom was right up front and center at the start with her dog on a leash. I was concerned that the cross country kids would come busting out of the crowd, not see the leash, and trip over it. During season... I asked her to move to the side. Rude of me?

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  43. I think #2 should be not to carry anything that jingles, ticks, beeps, or clicks. I'm down with an occasional beep from a Garmin but sometimes they beep consistently, wht? What setting is that? Make it stop!
    These are great!

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  44. These are all awesome but #4 has to be adjusted because:

    IT IS NEVER OK TO TAKE FUCKING PICTURES DURING A RACE!!!!!! NOT OK. IT'S A FUCKING RACE SO RUN MOTHERF'ER.

    IF YOU WANT TO TAKE PICTURES THEN VOLUNTEER OR SPECTATE OR GET A JOB AT NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC BUT DO NOT......DO NOT REGISTER FOR A RACE.

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    1. Get a job at Nat'l Geographic! Hah!

      Yeah, have to say I have never ever taken a picture during a race not only because I don't want to stop but who wants to carry a camera/phone, etc? Unless it's one of those huge Nat'l Geographic cameras with the big lens.

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    2. Really, people just need to use their common sense/be considerate. In the Turkey Trot I just ran, dogs and strollers and walkers are all allowed but they are supposed to line up behind the runners. Two runners in the midpack had their dogs going at each other on leashes for at least a mile and a half without either of them doing the proper thing: STOP A DAMN MINUTE AND LET THE OTHER DOG OWNER GO AHEAD.

      It is ALWAYS ok to take photos in an ultra as long as you step off the trail.
      You're out there for 5+ hours, there are hills, roots and rocks, and you're not gonna be running evenly paced 8 minute miles.


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  45. Oh my gosh I love that "Danger, Trip Hazard" sign with the wiener dog! So funny!!!

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  46. To me, running is a lot like being in labor. I don't want anyone else around telling me I'm approaching a huge hill (or in the middle of a huge contraction), I just want to do it and be done. The waving thing is a total MUST. I can't tell you how many people I have passed that just look pissed off. That should be a rule: Don't run pissed off. Seriously, if you can't manage a wave, go home and spare us all. Us runners have to stick together, and pissed off people don't help anything.

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  47. I love you Beth! #3 is one I forget about with non-runners or peeps with weak stomachs. And, #1 is huge--so many race fails on this one!But, #15 for sure--instead of comparing, I wish we all would encourage more!

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  48. I think we have all been guilty of at least a few of these at one point or another. Great post! BTW...nice running skirt!

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