Things Runners Do, That Don’t Quite Transfer Well to Real Life

Us runners are a peculiar group. We’re methodical in our madness, religious to our routine and slaves to our schedules. Well, most of us. But, you have to admit I KINDA just described you.

But, don’t worry, I am not pointing fingers. I am totally in the same boat. But, you have to admit, runners are a peculiar group of athletes. Especially when we start talking about our battle injuries post-run.

Now, I have now been running for just over four years or so. I feel somewhat “entrenched” into the running culture. To be honest with you, I feel that the culture and my personality were perfect for each other. Like, if running was a girl, I’d already be married with at least a kid on the way. Maybe with a little house in the Avenues with a white picket fence and a dog in the yard. Which would most definitely be a black lab that loves to run.

I couldn’t ask for a better relationship.

And, because I am basically wanting to marry running this is why runners get tagged with that “STRANGE” label. Well, to the defense of others, I’ve always been labeled strange ever since I got myself into Special Ed by faking a speech impediment in the third grade.

But, because us “STRANGE” runners are so religious and methodical to our routines there are TIMES (sometimes a lot) that strangeness crosses over to “REAL LIFE.” I can’t tell you how many conversations I’ve had to stop because I started talking about bowel movements to a non-running crowd. It can get #totesawks real fast without a filter.

And, I lost my filter years ago.

So what are some of the things that runners do that don’t cross over into real life that well? Or at all? I decided to make a list and share them here. If you have an additional ones you’d love to add, by all means share them in the comments below.

My list …

Taking Pictures of our Falling Apart Feet


I am pretty guilty of this. I’ve been known to post pictures of my blistering ugly feet. I remember how proud I was of my first blood blister and black toenail after running the St. George Marathon. As a runner there is a sense of pride about them, because you EARNED them. You EARNED those blisters and bruises!

But, why we might take pride in them, it’s hard to convince friends and family otherwise if they’re not accustomed to the running culture.

(EDIT: it’s been pointed out to me that even people WITHIN the running community don’t like seeing my ugly feet … meh).

Farmer Blows anywhere and everywhere


I have to admit, I have a problem when it comes to Farmer Blows. I do it MUCH more than I should. And, in non-running situations too. It’s just, while running it’s the easiest way to get rid of what’s coming out of your nose hole.

And, it doesn’t help that I am actually REALLY good at it too. Seriously, most of my running friends know when I have to blow I am not going to get any of it on them. Really, it’s all about a quick glance, aim and quicker projectile. If you are a runner and are squirming at this, don’t pretend you don’t do it too!

But, like I do this much more than I should outside of running and for that … yeah … I should stop.

Breaking Wind Before Friends


One of the easiest ways to tell the difference between seasoned and new runners is their frequency of passing gas while running. Before you start giving me the run around about the politeness of passing gas within the company of others, it happens in running … a lot. That’s why us runners just … turn the other cheek … when it happens.

It’s just outside of the realm of running that you start getting in trouble. And, if you run a lot, you have to make an even more concerted effort not to pass in front of others. But, within running it’s absolutely essential for optimal running.

Take my word for it all you non-runners, okay?

Hugging Friends while Sweaty

il_340x270.610031456_jeh0Is there anything more glamorously disgusting then hugging friends almost immediately after a race? Especially one that you PR’d at? Or one that is DEAD middle of the summer? It’s just a part of running that doesn’t phase most runners.

But, when you try to hug someone, like, my mother after a run … and she’ll have none of it. This is a conscience effort that us sweaty runners need to be more mindful. But, sometimes you get caught in the moment. Can you really blame us?

Hanging Out with Friends without Showering

020309-dennysfree-fc-706363GUILTY. GUILTY. GUILTY. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone to Denny’s or somewhere to eat after a race or long run … without changing. And, needless to say, I reeked. But, then again ALL of us reeked.

I have actually asked other people what they would do in this situation. Would you just go after your run or would you change and then go to eat? I’ve gotten mixed opinions, though you should know that my mother told me I should always shower and change before going out.

Of course she would.

But, at least most runners saw no problem going to places like Denny’s or Village Inn in your running clothes. Just not anywhere fancier. Which I see their point. I don’t think people at Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse want post-run Josh dining with them. Or anyone all sweaty and nasty like for that matter.

So, to KINDA combat that, I try to bring at least an extra shirt with me to runs to change into after a run. It helps with SOME of the stank. But, still, there are things us runners can do to at least not offend other patrons … THAT BAD.

Sharing WAY too much Information with Others


A filter is something that us runners sometimes lack … or struggle with (or maybe it’s just me?). We talk about chaffing, bowel movements, blisters, horror port-a-potty stories, bloody nipples, etc., etc., etc. Common conversation topics for us runners, but MAJOR taboos for our non-running friends and family members.

There have been a plenty a time I started talking about my bloody nipples to my Mom when it dawned on me that she was giving me a look of horror. Luckily, I’ve learned to keep my port-a-potty horror stories within my running circle, but I can’t say the same about my bowel movements or chaffing stories.

I guess the biggest problem here is that we can get TOO comfortable in front of our running friends talking about these that we let that slide a bit too much elsewhere in life.

Is there anything else I might have forgotten? I am sure there are other things out there. If so, add your own in the comments below.


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  1. Pingback: The 63rd Fartlek Friday™ – If I catch a leprechaun today does that automatically make this Friday the 13th lucky? It should. | Running180

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