Inspired by the amazing fall weather we have all be bragging about in New England and my self imposed early dismissal from work (seriously, it was one of those days where if I stayed another second I would have certainly said something I would regret) I decided to head home and go for a run.  While on the road I noticed some of my neighbors working out with an array of interesting behavior and I realized I am pretty sceptical.

I am wary of anyone who works out wearing a full face of makeup.  The exception to this rule is professional dancers and those synchronized swimmers who I am pretty sure have inspired some legitimate phobias and yet, I know could kick my butt in just about anything.

I am wary of anyone who works out while talking on their cell phone.  Love him or hate him, Bill Clinton managed to get through two presidencies jogging on his track every day with out texting any heads of state.  Granted, during his first term cell phones were not all that popular and he had an array of secret service agents with him to relay urgent messages, but the point remains… no one is that important.

I am wary of anyone that works out is something that could be considered an outfit or could make a transition from active wear to evening wear with a simple change of footwear.

I am wary of anyone who manages to sing while they work out.  Don’t get me wrong, I love a Laura Branigan tune, and “Gloria” has to be one of her best.  But I just don’t think you can be working out to full capacity while belting out “I think they got your number, Gloria, I think they go your alias, Gloria”

I am wary of anyone who cheers on their dog while they run.  Dude, the dog is fine.  Your the one that looks like you are going to keel over any second.

Note: I am judgmental.  It is something that I am not overly proud of and I really am working on.  So, if after reading this post you are inspired to send me an e-mail calling me judgmental, I’ll save you the time.  I know.


Here are my top five pet peeves I encounter during a run.  


1 -Dogs who are not on leashes-  I know there are a lot of dog lovers out there, and I don’t mean to offend anyone but there is nothing worse than running around a corner to find yourself face to face with a  K9 and no owner in sight.  Inevitably, when I gasp and stop dead in my tracks someone will materialize and say, “oh, don’t worry.  He/She is VERY friendly.”  How am I supposed to know your animal you animal is friendly?  What if it suddenly becomes UN friendly?  What if it takes one look at me and realizes that the dry kibble it is getting for breakfast is not nearly as tasty as the fat content of my left thigh? I don’t go running around un-leashed through your dog park; please do not bring your dog un-leashed on my running trail.


2- Bikers who take over the entire road- To whom ever is in charge of the pack of road bikers wearing matching blue and yellow outfits.*  I am just as worthy of a piece of asphalt as you are.  Please do not think that just because there are more of you, I can be run off the road.  After two near death experiences, I jump into the nearest yard when I hear the wiz of the bikers approaching.  Getting hit by a car is one thing; getting run over by a bicycle is just embarrassing.


3- Nudie runners –  I live on the New England coastline and my morning runs occur sometime between 5:30 and 6:30 in the morning. That means, even on the hottest of days it is approximately 72 degrees, max.  I don’t care what distance you are running or how high the humidity is, 72 degrees is just not too hot to put a shirt on.  Buy one of those sweat-wicking shirts or a cool comfortable tank top.  Please do not run around the neighborhood with out any clothes on.  It’s gross. 


4- People who stop me to ask me for directions –  I am not sure what it is about me that gives the indication that I am a good source of information, but please do not try to ask me for directions while I am running.  I am sucking wind like an air tunnel, sweating like a pig and the only thing I can possibly think about is questioning WHY I took up this activity to begin with.  I do NOT want to think about where you can get a really great fried fish sandwich for lunch or if any of the boutiques have summer sales.  I just want to finish my run.   Please leave me alone. 


5- Runners who don’t say hello or good morning – I had thought that this rudeness was limited to perfectly tanned Ukrainian gymnasts but apparently the impolite epidemic is rampant.  We are all out here with the birds the waves and each other.  Please do not blatantly ignore me when I smile and say “good morning”.  If you are too tired to speak you can raise your hand or even nod.  In case you were absent that day of kindergarten, ignoring people is rude.    I hope you run into an unleashed dog around the next bend. 


*as a side note, when was it that every recreational biker decided to dress like Lance Armstrong?  Is this a fashion statement or are the truly concerned about aero-dynamics? I drive a car, that does not mean I need to dress like Jeff Gordon. 

Needs Improvement

June 8, 2008

I just finished week three of I-don’t-want-to-BE-a-runner-but-I-need-to-do-something-so-I-am-going-to-run, and I am not getting any better. In fact, I think I may be getting worse and I have decided to start blaming my equipment. So, from head to toe, here are the five items that are letting me down.

1) My hair elastic. – Is it SO hard to create an elastic that can actually hold my hair back and up, without giving me a face lift or a migraine? We put people on the moon for Pete’s sake! The technology has GOT to exist.

2) My sports Bra – as aforementioned, I am by no means huge, however I have searched the world high a low for a sports bra that manages to give some actual support with out digging into my rib cage with such force, it leaves marks, swelling and scabs. (I would be happy to share a picture of these marks but I do not believe my body is ‘picture on the internet’ ready) Now in addition to dealing with the daggers shooting into my abdomen, I am forced to make peace with flesh tearing near my heart.

3) My Shorts – This I believe: I believe that you should not need a bikini wax to wear a pair of athletic shorts. I believe you should not have to consider your undergarments when choosing a pair of athletic shorts. I believe that when you pull a pair of athletic shorts on before a work out, you should be able to safely assume they will remain in a near location to where they started. Am I asking too much here?

4) My Shoe Laces – Aside from weather men (or women) I assumed that most other professions required you to actually understand your field before you entered it. I assumed that someone who was designing a pair of running sneakers had actually taken a quick jog or even worn a pair of sneakers once in their lives. I know this to not be the case, because if any of the Nike shoe designers had actually worn a pair of their shoes for more than 30 seconds, they too would discover that the laces DO NOT STAY TIED! It is hard enough to convince myself to go out for a run in the first place. It is not made easier by stopping every half mile to bend over (quite painful with the abdomen daggers) to RE-tie my shoe laces. Come on Nike people?!?! I know you are better than this!

5) My Sun Block- Dear sunblock people of the world, If you are going to advertise “Sports Block” that will not sweat off, drip down or sting your eyes they moment you start to perspire… you should actually deliver that in a product. Running is hard enough with out being blinded by a liquid chemical substance that is marketed to protect me. Its rude.

While out on my run today I once again spotted blue short girl. Here are the five reasons I believe I am better than her.

1) I too have a pair of blue shorts. However, mine do not require a bikini wax and navel jewelry to be worn out in public.

2) As aformentioned, I do not weigh 108 lbs. Running would be alot easier if I too were built like a Ukrainian gymnast.

3) I easily have 10 years on blue short girl. That is 10 extra years of beer weight, nacho weight and “sure I would love another cream puff” weight that I am carrying around. Not to mention, 10 extra years of mistakes I have to dwell on, which proves to be very distracting during a run.

4) I give every runner I see the standard runner nod and wave as well as a cursory good morning if my breathing pattern and concern about potential heart failure allow it. Blue short girl does not nod, make eye contact or look up from her perfectly tanned Ukrainian gymnast legs to say hello, and that is rude. A swing of her long blond ponytail does not count as an acknowledgment.

5) I get stomach cramps! I know that does not make me better than blue short girl but I feel like I should get some extra credit for running around for 40 min feeling like I have two daggers sticking out of my abdomen. (As a side note here- If anyone has any thoughts or advice about preventing stomach cramps, or collar bone cramps or pinky cramps which hurt just as bad, I would love to hear them)

PS: A note to my precious few readers- This entire post is meant in jest. I do not, under any circumstances believe that I am better than anyone… trust me.

I have started running. Not because I want to BE a ‘runner’ but because the other week I had to jog back into the house to grab my cell phone and it took me two blocks to catch my breath. I needed to do something. Anyway, here are the 5 things that most frequently go through my feeble mind while out on a run.

1) I should not look at my watch. I really want to look at my watch. Its ok, I have been running for easily 20 minutes. 12 minutes? I have only been running for 12 minutes! My watch is broken. My watch has got to be broken. 12 minutes and 8 seconds, see… it is definitely broken. The minute I finish this run I am going out to buy a new watch.

2) I think I am getting a cramp. I am most definitely getting a stomach cramp. Ouch, cramp hurts. Cannot breathe with stomach cramp. Oh no, I am getting a cramp in my collarbone. Wait; can you get a cramp in your collarbone? This can’t be good. Why is the collarbone cramp not taking my mind off the stomach cramp? Does the combination stomach cramp and collarbone cramp mean anything? Is this how heart failure presents itself in women? Oh no, I feel a cramp coming on in my right pinky. Maybe it will take my mind off the stomach cramp. Nope, still hurts.

3) Is that man in the gray car slowing down? Why is that man in the gray car slowing down? He could be a predator; he is most definitely a predator. He is almost stopped. He is going to grab me. If he tries to grab me, can I run? No, NO I cannot run! I cannot run because my stomach is cramped and I am too tired from my run. Why, WHY would I engage in an athletic endeavor that reduces my chances of escaping an evil gray car-driving predator? Running is stupid. Wait.. where did the predator go?

4) Ok girl in the blue shorts, I know that you can pass me. I know that you can pass me because you have been gaining on me for the last 1/2 mile and are now sticking on my right side like cyclist drafting in the tour de France. PASS ME ALREADY. And for the record, blue short girl… I could run that fast too if I weighted 108 pounds…. and I did not have a full time JOB! I hate blue shorts girl. I hope she gets a collarbone cramp.

5) This run is taking too long, I must have blacked out from the stomach cramp pain and taken a wrong turn. I am lost. I am most certainly lost. Maybe I will just knock on that person’s door and call for a ride home. Wait… I think that is the gray predator car in the driveway; will not be knocking on the predator’s door. I am never running again… oh wait, That’s my turn. That’s my street, I have made great time, this is an excellent run. I love running.