5 Things Scarier Than Your Halloween Hangover

Friday 5Halloween might officially be over, but we’re still thinking about scary stuff over here. Inspired by the stories you sent us as part of our Halloween Horror Story Giveaway, we still have fear on the brain. I’ve been thinking about it and running can really be scary sometimes.

In fact, us runners can even be a little scary ourselves. Remember what you said the last time a car almost hit you on your run (I taught my cousin a new word)? Or, how friendly were you to the speed walkers blocking the entire trail at the park on a speedwork day (“Really!?!?”). We take our running seriously, and heaven help anyone that gets in our way. Rahr!

Here are 5 more things that most of us serious runners would agree are downright petrifying!

1. Pre-race nightmares. I don’t usually have nightmares. It must be the running, but I sleep like a baby. This all changes the night before a race. I toss and turn until the early morning hours. When I finally fall asleep, I’m plagued by nightmares where I oversleep and miss the race, arrive at the race naked, am chased by a giant spider throughout the course or my boy shorts split up the back. Oh the horror!

2. A tapering racer. You’ve heard of the taper crazies? Maybe even experienced them yourself? Try living with a runner in the throes of them. Before my last marathon, I alternated between pure rage, angsty sobbing, and unfortunate new hobbies to take up all of my darn free time. My ex-boyfriend is now the proud owner of a poorly constructed scrapbook, a permanent headache, and the equivalent of a master’s degree in counseling. And note that I called him my ex. Poor guy. Putting me on that plane was probably the best day of his life.

3. Our feet. Last year, I went in for a pedicure and the poor lady looked at my feet in horror. She said, “you runners have horrible feet. Pretty bodies but horrible feet!” I proudly nodded.ย She was probably talking about my missing big toenails (always in various states of re-growth), assorted blisters and bruising from a quasi-sprained ankle. I’ve actually stopped getting pedicures because I think the bruised color of a nail about to fall off is so much prettier than any nail polish out there. Plus, it hurts too much to let anyone touch them.

Applying nail polish on toes
I can’t even pay someone to touch my feet!ย (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

4. A cancelled race. Listen. We know there are bigger deals in the world than running. (Wait. You do know that right?) But after spending three plus months preparing for one day and spending at least $100 in race fees, travel to and from the race, running shoes, fuel, hydration, etc a cancelled race pretty much ruins our day. Or week. Probably our month. It’s happened to me once, and the fear of it keeps me looking for back-up races in case my race is cancelled up until race day. And it may cause a nightmare or two (see number 1).

5. Leftover Halloween candy. Maybe you’ve heard of the term “hangry” (hungry-angry)? Hangry ain’t got nothing on a runner’s appetite. 12 miles burns a few calories and gets the metabolism revving. If there is any Halloween candy leftover from last night, you better believe its shelf life is limited. You might even blame it on being “rungry”… But it doesn’t really matter to the Halloween candy. That stuff is long gone. For the benefit of every runner out there, throw it away, hide it, or even better donate it to our troops (really, this is an awesome program!) Just keep it away from me.

What’s scarier than (your missing) Halloween (candy and the resulting sugar crash and dentist bill)?

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Ultrarunner, adventurer, academic, and feminist. Running Across the USA in 2021. I write about ultrarunning, adventuring, and the intersection of endurance athletics and life.

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  1. I love the idea of donating candy to the troops! I think the kids and I might have to pack up a bag for them tonight. No way they (or me, let’s be honest!) needs all that candy. Let’s give it to someone who could really use the pick me up!

    And the ex-boyfriend one is hilarious! Every woman runner needs a partner who can stand her during a taper!

  2. I actually had a pre-race nightmare before the Marine Corps Marathon, I dreamed that I was late!

    Another scary thing is blisters and chafing! It can get really ugly sometimes!

  3. “Rungry” and “Hangry”-love it! Although, yes, that can be scary for those loved ones who are innocently standing by when we return from a LR in a major hunger rage.
    Oh, and speaking of nightmares….I have a 20 miler on tap this morning. I woke up at 3 am when my husband got home from work and couldn’t go back to sleep….when I finally did, I dreamed that my day had started but I could barely move and was freaking out (in my dream!) about how I’d never be able to run the 20 miler on such poor sleep.
    I was relieved to wake up and remember that there’s very little coffee and a well-timed snickers bar can’t fix. ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Can’t wait to hear how the 20-miler went!

      Sometimes I think I panic just as much for long runs in marathon training. Not sure why, but I just have a huge mental block for certain distances!