Many runners insist on always doing things a certain way, even if that way doesn’t always make sense. Salty, for instance, insists we do a list of five things every Friday, preferably something satirical, funny, or on the lighter side. She insists on doing this even though there is no evidence that anyone else likes it. Salty isn’t alone in insisting that some things be just so.
I can speak to this because I come from a long line of people who “don’t do change.” I might even do some of these things myself. And yes, I know you do too. Yes, you! I know you have some weird things you always insist on doing even though they’re not backed by science or productive in any way. Maybe your weird runner obsession is one of these seven things.
1. Running in circles around a parking lot to make your GPS watch say some whole number.
We all know your GPS watch isn’t accurate anyway. Why does it matter that you ran 11.97 miles instead of 12?
2. Lucky clothing.
The only thing lucky about any garment is that the goblins in the dryer didn’t steal it yet. I understand that maybe one sports bra fits better than the others, or that one pair of shorts isn’t stretched out yet and doesn’t chafe. But lucky, just because? Come on!
3. Stretching before a run.
Why do so many people still do this when, after 100 years of scientific research, no one can come up with a shred of evidence that stretching does anything beneficial? Stop it!
4. Freaking out about exactly what you eat.
Like that expensive 15-superfood edamame pasta in Costco is actually going to make you faster. Because for the most part, a carb is a carb, and a polyunsaturated fat is a polyunsaturated fat. It does’t matter if it came from a cookie, a fried potato, black beans or an expensive concoction that sponsors your favorite elite.
5. A crazy fascination with ice.
Because just like stretching, it doesn’t do anything but provide the distraction of getting up and going to the freezer every 20 minutes. In fact, ice might actually be hurting you.
Wait! I’m not done yet.
6. Meeting at the same spots and running the same routes for every run.
My club meets at the exact same place, a bagel shop, every week … at the same time, to run the same route. It got really crazy the week the bagel shop closed as it prepared to move to a new location; it completely threw my running posse into a panic. Instead of meeting at a different location along our route that was actually open, we met in front of the boarded-up bagel shop.
And let’s not limit this one to just those six things.
7. Hoarding medals, and bibs, and paraphernalia from races.
There are people out there keeping nearly every single piece of racing memorabilia they have ever owned. Ladies, pick one medal to keep and throw out the rest. “Oh, but Jasmine, that medal was from my 22nd billy-bob-bumblebee 10k where it was raining and I had an awful race.” Come on. You don’t need that shit cluttering up your house.
Oh, did I say seven? Let’s go with nine.
BONUS #1: Finishing races that you start to race after they stop being races.
Unless finishing is your goal, it’s ok to drop out of it’s not happening.
BONUS #2: Checking everyone else’s training-log every five minutes.
No, that runner you admire on Strava didn’t go for a double yet. Give it a few hours.
How about you? Do you swear by anything I called out? What are your weird runner obsessions?