So, OK, I'm being a little melodramatic. But seriously, when you first started running, did you ever think you'd talk about your bowel movements so freely? When you were a non-runner, did you ever think you would consider a black toenail a badge of honor? Would you have spent hundreds of dollars for gear that you end up sweating, bleeding and potentially defecating in?
No, you probably looked at the runners bounding along and thought, "Look how peaceful and fit they look." Well, now you're one of us. And these are the things that none of us ever thought we'd do before we became runners.
1. Body Glide in unmentionable places.1 of 16
I remember back to when I first felt that unmistakable feeling. It was after a rainy 10-miler, and I looked down at my inner thighs to reveal streaks of chafing that were nearly black and blue. My cross-country coach called it "chub rub." (There's a special place in hell for him.) Later, in my adult life, I recounted this story to a running friend who had asked why I ran in long shorts or tights year-round. She laughed and told me about the power of Body Glide. Now I head out for every run like a buttered biscuit.
2. Placing Band-Aids over your nipples.2 of 16
I have not had personal experience with this (thankfully), but for men who experience the occasional bleeding chesticle area, this old trick really works. Simply place two Band-Aids in an x-formation over each nipple. Yup. Pretty weird.
3. Pay more than $10 for socks.3 of 16
Because seriously, my non-running socks come from the dollar store.
4. Pay more than $100 for a pair of running shoes.4 of 16
At 31 years old, my mom keeps hounding me to spend more on dress shoes. Nope. I prefer to throw all my money at my local running shop for all the latest and greatest inventions in foam, mesh and whatever technology comes out next in the shoe game.
5. Knowing the cleanest (and dirtiest) porta-potties in your neighborhood.5 of 16
Don't lie. If someone asked you to give a tour of porta-potties in your city, you would be able to curate a grand adventure. You know where to find the toilets with toilet paper and the pots without poop on the walls. Don't worry, us runners understand that when nature calls, the nearest Johnny-on-the-Spot looks like a golden mirage.
6. Spend more on race registrations than on your family's holiday gifts.6 of 16
Sorry Uncle Herb, your favorite niece just started training for the Cowtown Challenge, and that sucker costs $110.
7. Wear those teeny-tiny shorts.7 of 16
I know so many men who start running in adulthood who insist on wearing basketball shorts. They've never felt the joy of split shorts in high school or college athletics. But after struggling through a hot 5K with sweat weighing their long shorts down, they finally convert. In their local running store, they hold up running shorts of a modest length--perhaps mid-quad. With the freedom of a full stride and the sun hitting their white thighs, they buy a new pair. A shorter pair. Just let it happen, man.
8. Blow a snot rocket.8 of 16
The rush of flinging mucus from your nostril is invigorating and freeing. Ah, I can breathe again.
9. Become the most boring person on earth.9 of 16
If you hear yourself telling a co-worker you can't make happy hour because you have a long run scheduled in the a.m., you are officially lame. If you go to bed before the 11 o'clock news because you have to get your "recovery sleep," you're probably a great runner, but you're also acting like you're 120 years old. It's OK. I get you.
10. Public urination.10 of 16
At races, we've all seen the man off to the side of the road in that urinal stance. It's hard to run with sloshing in your bladder, and sometimes, there are no clean bathrooms in sight. For ladies, it's a little more difficult, but it can be done!
Major key alert: I know some runner friends who wear running skirts (with detached spandex shorties underneath) just so they can pop a squat without exposing their butt to the world. Sounds silly, but girl, I bet you just considered it.
11. Do track workouts.11 of 16
Just dumb. I thought I left those back in high school.
12. Brag about a black toenail.12 of 16
If you've run enough miles to notice that one of your toenails is falling off, first of all, your shoes probably don't fit right. Second of all, that's not what normal people do. Most non-runners would hide that sucker until it healed. But not you, dear runner. You want your pals to know that your 30-mile training weeks have finally earned you a gold, er, black star.
13. Wear knee socks with shorts.13 of 16
I know, I know. It's compression. It helps your shin splints. And some runners actually think this is a good look. But consider the outside world looking in at us. We are wearing knee socks with shorts. It just doesn't make sense.
14. Consume straight sugar in the form of sludge.14 of 16
If you've ever tried a packet of energy gel, you know that it's definitely not meant for normal human consumption.
15. Participate in an activity that could make you poop your pants.15 of 16
The golden rule of our sport is, "Never trust a fart on a run."