Tuesday, September 29, 2009

8 Burning Questions (about running, fitness, spelling errors, and other things)

1. Why do some runners swear by greasing up their feet before a run?
When I coated my feet in BodyGlide, as a Runner’s Depot salesperson had suggested, they slid all around in my socks like a pinball in a pinball machine and I ended up with two wounded baby toes and blisters galore. My friend Kelly suggested baby powder instead and that seems to make much more sense—no new blisters since I treated my feet like a baby’s bottom. But I’d still like clarification on the lube because I just don’t get it.

2. Does being frightened burn more calories than staying calm?
My heart sure starts racing whenever I see the bushes move, an iguana cross my path or a frog leap out at me during my solitary pre-dawn runs. Maybe that’s a good addition to my training routine—it certainly does inspire me to run faster. (Just trying to find a silver lining to the whole scary Everglades wildlife thing I have to deal with every morning.)

3. Speaking of wildlife, would you say I’m increasing my life expectancy by running outside (because it’s good for my health) or decreasing it (because of the potential for an alligator, iguana or frog to assault me)?
Perhaps statistically, it’s a wash…

4. Do spelling errors on Top 40 hits bother other people as much as they bother me?
I like to listen to “Fergielicious” when I’m running because I can really groove to the part where she says, “I be up at the gym, working on my fitness…” (Hey, Fergie, me, too!! At least when it’s raining too hard to run!) But it makes me NUTS when the back up singers chant, “T-to the-A-to the-S-T-E-Y girl you’re tasty.” No, people! It’s T-to the-A-to the –S-T-Y you’re tasty!”

5. Am I making you run faster?
Because you’re making me run faster, if I spot you on my path. I could be trudging along at a happy, mellow pace, and then I’ll see another human being—someone running, someone walking, some cleaning up after their dog or slowly pushing an infant in a baby stroller, it really doesn’t matter—and I will automatically speed up. I’m not sure if I’m being competitive, showing off, or both.

6. Is there some secret to not becoming absolutely disgusting while working out intensely?
I seem to be more repulsive than the average runner. I can actually smell pleasant odors like shampoo and cologne when I pass some morning “regulars” on the sidewalk. I, on the other hand, smell like a cross between an armpit and a mildewed shower curtain. I wear Secret, shower daily, use Oxy Clean on my workout clothes—and yet I reek, as do my clothes, even after they’ve been washed. It’s not just running—it’s spinning, the elliptical—any activity that causes me to perspire. All you good-smelling gym rats: please share your secret! (For your own benefit, I might add.)

7. Is it inappropriate, during a pedicure, to request a deep-tissue calf massage instead of what they normally do where they just squirt some cheap moisturizing lotion on your legs from Sally Beauty and kind of pat it in?
My calves are just so tight these days and it seems to me that if they are going to claim “relaxing massage” is part of the “spa pedicure” package, you should be able to get them to give you a small courtesy upgrade. But such a request does make me feel a little sleazy…I sat in the pedicure chair once next to an old woman who was enjoying her pedicure a little too vocally and I don’t want to emulate that. I promise I won’t get all “When Harry Met Sally” (diner scene) on my pedicurist.

8. How can I convey to people who don’t like running that I’m not a sadist, an extreme dieter willing to put myself through torture in order to stay slim—or, by that same token, someone “above” them who should be admired?
If I could just get them all to run for more than 28 minutes, they, too, would hit that “runner’s high” and understand immediately that, hello! I’m not a sadist! I’m not a saint! I’m just an adrenaline junkie, pure and simple. That 28 minute mark feels soooo good.


  1. I read these posts like I collect recipes.

    I like the sound of a recipe, I print it out, take it home, put it on the counter...and dream of cooking it. Then I don't.

    I like the idea of running. I want to run. I think I *need* to run. I read the posts, it sounds awesome. I tell myself I'm *going* to find 30 (or 28) minutes so that I can walk/run (sans kids). And then I don't.


  2. Sarah, I can't believe my mentions of greasy, bruised feet, scary iguanas and smelling like an armpit actually make you like the idea of running! :-P If you seriously feel that way I definitely think you should give it a try! :-)

    I am the same way about recipes, by the way. I have a big stash of them, but anything requiring a food processor generally doesn't see the light of day.

  3. Not sure why your feet were sliding around in your socks with the body glide. Body glide saved my feet on the 3 Day. The body glide is used to reduce friction, friction is where the blisters come from. I know a lot of peeps that use the baby powder if they use an insert, so they don't squeak.

    I have to agree with 28 minute mark, that's when the runner's high kicks in for me too. You can't explain it to peeps though.

  4. I don't grease my WHOLE foot, just the hot spots where I usually get blisters.
    I consider the fear running to be "speedwork".
    And I can't stand the tasty thing. bugs me so much I can't listen to that song anymore.

  5. Oh, and get a foam roller for your calves. It rocks.

  6. It does, it really does. I'm taking baby steps. Barry & I rode bikes yesterday: up and down hills, in sand, away from dogs. It was fun. My thighs burned a bit and I realized that all the strength training I've done does not make up for cardio. (I knew that, but it reinforced it). I need more cardio!

  7. I found your blog through WW...I too am training for a half marathon in November. My first ever. And I can totally relate to the majority of your posts...about the reeking work out clothes...mine were horrible. Until my road cyclist husband introduced me to using white vinegar during the wash cycle. I throw about a 1/2 cup in with my detergent, and then put the clothes through an extra rinse cycle, before letting them air dry. It's a miracle.