running makes me do crazy things

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With not having a major race on my calendar for the next few months, I’ve spent a lot of time just running for pure enjoyment, which is a welcome reprieve from training. With that time comes a lot of thinking, and my latest blog post popped into my head the other day. The premise – running makes me do some crazy and sometimes disgusting things. Let me explain.

Crazy Thing #1: I spend lots of money on clothing that basically fits in a clutch. I suppose I bring some of this on myself because I am a bit picky when it comes to my running gear. I’m a lover of Mac Roga shorts from Oiselle and have only been able to find them online, hence, not cheap. I’m a self-proclaimed addict for Sparkly Soul headbands, which at $15-$17 a pop, makes for a light wallet. I could probably pay one of my kids’ college tuition with the money I have wrapped up in my headband drawer (yes, my headbands have their own drawer). Don’t even get me started on sports bras. Never did I ever think I would spend $60+ on a sports bra, but if the girls ain’t happy, the run ain’t happy. The absolute worst part is when I fork over the money on a sports bra thinking it will do the trick when I try it on only to find it sucks when put to the running test. It gets added to the other D-list sports bras that are only used for short runs or times when support and comfort are necessarily needed. Sad face.

Crazy Thing #2: The sight of porta potties makes me happy. Past Stephanie would have never used a porta potty, let alone practically jumped for joy when spotting one on the race course or a training run. Everything about them made me want to barf, but try hitting mile 20 in a marathon and having your insides feel like they are about to explode. That smelly blue shack will be like an oasis in a desert. My personal faves are the ones with hand sanitizer. Nice touch, and it at least makes me feel a little better about all of the germs. This leads into my next crazy item.

Crazy Thing #3: Talking about pooping is acceptable and normal. Again, Past Stephanie would be shaking her head and completely embarrassed by this. I much preferred to live in fantasy land and pretended that waste just miraculously disappeared from my body, but running has a way of changing things. Basically, shit happens. I can even say that when Dan and I met at the Towpath half marathon in fall 2013, we bonded over stomach issues. If that didn’t mean we were supposed to be together, I don’t know what does.

Crazy Thing #4: I wear a fanny pack. Okay, so I exaggerated this a bit, but a hydration belt with a pouch is basically a glorified fanny pack that holds water. I thought I left my fanny pack days long ago when banana clips, pegged pants with double layers of multicolored socks, and oversized T-shirts with shirt clips went the way of the dodo. What’s old is new again, and I hear the 90s are back. My hydration belt is on point with fashion. #trendsetter

Crazy Thing #5: Paying hard-earned money to torture my body repeatedly. Call me (and any other runner out there) a glutton for punishment. As if it wasn’t enough to push my body to the limit during a race, I willingly pay for the torture and continue to sign up for more races! It’s kinda like, “Oh, here’s my fifty bucks. Let’s have me run as hard and fast as I can, so I feel like puking and collapsing at the end. I’ll talk about how miserable I feel after and then immediately sign up to do it all over again.” To quote the late, great Albert Einstein, “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.”

Crazy Thing #6: Wet shorts are the norm. I know I’m not the only one here! I bet that most mother runners know what I’m talking about. The bladder isn’t as good as it once was, and sometimes I just can’t help it. Then there are the times during a major race when I say, “Screw it!” If it comes down to peeing my pants or setting a race PR, you better believe I’m not stopping. Besides, shorts dry.

Crazy Thing #7: I’m pick running clothes out of the laundry because “I only wore them for a short run.” It’s not like I was sweating buckets, and they passed the smell test I suppose. Sometimes I just think what’s the point of adding even more dirty clothes to the ever-present mountain of laundry.

Crazy Thing #8: I’m guilty of the occasional snot rocket. This was totally repulsive to me when I started running and vowed never to be one of “those people.” Well, wiping my nose on my sleeve only worked so well and in all honesty, is even more disgusting because then I was stuck with snot on my shirt. So, every now and then it’s time to just let it go.

What crazy, weird, and/or disgusting things do you do in the name of running?

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