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.