September 22 2017
Hollywood actors can save children from burning buildings, prevent disease outbreaks and protect secret identities. They just can't run.
When a person first starts running, she may be surprised—maybe even a little humiliated—at some of the things us runners do. One beautiful aspect of evolving as a runner, however, is that you quickly accept and become immune to embarrassment. Below are seven things new runners might be initially shocked by—but get over quickly:
When you first start running, the friendly forest squat might be a foreign concept. And though you might try to resist it, there will likely come a day when a bathroom is not nearby and you simply cannot wait. After popping a squat or two, it will likely not phase you anymore. It is helpful, however, to have your running partner be on watch for you…or, you know, go somewhere that’s not immediately in plain view of other trail dwellers.
We’ve all done it. We go out for a 6-mile run and get back to our car, but our GPS watch only reads 5.9 miles. We do a little funky jog in circles around the parking lot to get that mile beep to beep. Newer runners might feel foolish doing this when others are watching, but eventually they will learn not to care. Hell, you might even notice other runners doing the same!
It can be alarming to the newbie runner that her feet quickly become a mess of broken and missing toenails, blisters and calluses. Even some seasoned runners I know complain about their janky feet. But eventually the runner will see gross feet as a badge of honor and stop caring what the pedicurist or anyone else says.
Runners burn about 100 calories per mile. This means if you run 20 miles per week, you are burning an extra 2,000 calories. This calorie deficit makes runners exceedingly hungry. At first, the beginner runner might be self-conscious about herself to that second or fifth helping of macaroni and cheese. Gotta save some for the rest, amiright? But over time, your dinner party friends will grow to anticipate and prepare for your extra helpings…you’re fueling for another run tomorrow after all.
When you first start running, you might put in the effort to bring tissues and properly blow your nose. Or you take the sleeve approach and rub the snot off onto your clothes. Or, over time, you will become familiar with the snot rocket (or farmer’s blow, whatever tickles your fancy). This involves applying pressure to one nostril while violently blowing out of the other nostril and watching the snot smack onto the ground. Graphic? Kind of. Necessary sometimes? Yes. Just make sure no one is catching the tailwind of that epic blow behind you.
Running can be very emotional, especially when you cross the finish line of a race that has taken months of discipline, sacrifice and sweat. At first, newer runners might feel self-conscious about suddenly weeping at the line. Over time, however, the tears represent a sense of pride and accomplishment and not a source of embarrassment.
When the new runner gets to the start of a run or race and realizes she forgot to lube up the most delicate of chafing areas, you might try to secretly get the job done without the entire corral noticing. But if you stop and look around, you soon realize you’re one of probably dozens doing the exact same thing without shame. Just roll with it.