As a long time runner, my feelings about running have run the gamut. Some days I feel great – I feel strong and fit. I’m sure I could conquer anything. But there are other times that I really hate it.
Usually, it’s a mix of the two.
But in my heart of hearts, I know there are some things that I hate about running, even on otherwise great runs.
Things I Hate About Running
Running for any length of time will result in some part of me chafing. The consistent hot spots for me are the unmentionable areas, specifically the panty line and jog bra under-boob areas.
I know, TMI. But I think this is a topic runners can talk freely about, we seem to have a different definition of acceptable and appropriate conversation topics.
I have great jog bras and good running undies. I’ve tried every combo of Body Glide and Vaseline under the sun.
These usually improve the situation, but for any run longer than 16 miles, I’ve come to accept that I’m going to be rubbed raw somewhere.
The ‘Hurry Up and Wait’ at Race Start Lines
I’m generally great at amusing myself. I’m one of those weird people who loves going to the airport hours early just so I can people watch. Give me a comfy place to sit and I’m good for hours, watching the world go by.
But waiting at the start line of a race? That is the one circumstance where I’m terrible at waiting.
It doesn’t help that I am usually super early on race day. I’m a prompt person generally and at races, I’m always worried about the parking situation so I’m always waaaay earlier than I need to be.
Waiting around for the start of a race is dark. It’s usually cold. Even for the most straightforward of races, I’ll have some pre-race nerves. There are big crowds of people and seemingly endless lines for the porta-potties and gear check.
I can’t get comfortable and can’t relax. It’s no fun.
Heading Out the Door For A Rainy Run
Cold and rainy runs are kinda fun once you get moving. ‘Fun’ may be a relative thing for runners, but there aren’t many times that adults can jump in puddles without being looked at funny.
But starting a rainy run? That can be tough.
If I’m running alone, staying home in the warm dry house can be so tempting. Why head out in the rain if I have the option not to?
Waiting in the rain for a running group to gather while rain is pouring down isn’t fun either. Being a person who is always early, I’m not a huge fan of waiting around for the stragglers on the best of days, but standing around getting wet waiting for late-comers? Blah.
And if I’m doing a rainy race, waiting around at the start line is that much worse. It can be a miserable way to spend an hour.
Let me say up front that I know this one is petty and entirely of my own doing (and is a total first world problem).
I generally listen to podcasts when I run, courtesy of my little iPod shuffle. (Brief aside: I’m already mourning the day when the Apple people stop making it, which I’m sure they will soon. They are too simple in this day and age, but for me, it’s perfect.)
No matter how I adjust the headphone cord, it’s always wrong.
I tuck the extra cord in and it’s too short. I make it longer, then it flops around. I’m currently using Bose in-ear headphones. I love them, they have amazing sound quality and they actually stay in my ears (which is more than I can say for the default Apple earbuds). Even with this great pair of headphones, at least once every run have to adjust the headphone cord that is too long or too short.
I keep seeing cordless headphones, but I haven’t yet tried any of them. I don’t love the idea of having another piece of gear that I need to keep charged. Besides, I don’t think they would work with my non-Bluetooth shuffle.
I’d rather fight with a cord than give up my Shuffle for podcasts on the run.
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My Love/Hate Entry: The Time It Takes
I’m a slow runner. So when it comes time for a marathon training long run, the run, along with the post-run stretch, recovery, and refueling takes up the majority of my Saturday.
I love that I am able to do these long runs. It’s an amazing sense of accomplishment every time I finish a 20-mile run.
Me!? I did that? I just ran 20 miles? I’ve been running for decades and it still surprises me a little every time I do it.
But I hate that I am pretty worthless for the rest of the day. My brain stays a little tired and foggy. I usually have to/need to take a nap (I hate taking naps, always have, but after a 20-mile long run, my body requires it) which eats up even more of the day.
But long runs (and the related post-long-run stupor) are a necessary evil, so I’ll keep plugging away at them as long as I can.