Runners. We are an interesting bunch. Since I stepped into the running community, I have blossomed as a person. I went from being angry and anti-social to mellow and reasonably social. I gained independence during a time I really needed it and found humor and friendship along the way.
So, what’s this post about?
There’s a dark side in the running community that keeps cropping up again and again… Runner’s pet peeves. It wouldn’t be a dark side if these pet peeve’s were just things like “chafing” and “shoe’s coming untied” but nope…the pet peeves that crop up again and again include picking and poking at other runners.
Let’s take a look at a few of the main “annoyances” that are being voiced around the interwebs and amongst running groups and why they need to be done away with for good.
1) OMG! Runners that don’t smile/wave/nod when I smile/wave/nod.
This seems to be a very big deal. It’s been voiced as “I hate that so much” and “God, this is my biggest pet peeve, how can someone be so mean?” and even “I want to go all Tanya Harding on them when this happens” (really?)
Sometimes people are tired. Some people run “in the zone.” The other runner may not have even seen you—even if to you it appears they looked at you. Some people are out there running off their sad or mad. They aren’t in the mood to give you a “hey buddy” Some people just want to be left alone. It’s not about you. The world doesn’t revolve around you. Don’t let it affect you. Get over it.
2) Annoying “behaviors” listed on running world included: “Heavy Breathers,” “Guy Running With Change in His Pocket,” “Woman Playing Her Music Way Too Loudly”, “Frequent Spitter”, and “Showing Way Too Much Skin”.
Full disclosure, I am an admitted heavy breather. If you are racing, hopefully you are racing. This makes me confused as to how any of these things could actually annoy you so much. If nothing else, if they did bother you, wouldn’t you run really fast to get away from them and get your PR? Reality is, these are incredibly judgmental. Runners tend to show skin in order to stay cool/be comfortable. Some do show skin because they look good. Is that bad? If that bothers you, it is insecurity and you need to work on your self-esteem. It’s not them- it’s you. The noise coming from other runners also shouldn’t bother you- be it talking, music, breathing, grunting, or change in the pocket- UNLESS it impedes your ability to hear safety information. Focus on yourself and you’re much less likely to get bugged by others. No one has control over your emotions except you. The spitting issue- let them spit. The only way this should be a problem is if they’re hitting people with a loogie. Obviously then they need a lesson in etiquette. Otherwise, the spitting is helping them breathe. Get over it. Stop judging. Think about someone staring at you…think about how you sound…think about your own insecurities. Stop projecting them on others!
I’d prefer to be called a runner over being called a jogger. Does it make me mad when someone calls me a jogger or says “how was your jog?” Nope. Why not? I’m unsure why I should expend that much anger on semantics. Sometimes I’ll respond, “I had a great run!” other times I’ll respond “Yes, great thanks” If I’m called a jogger I just smile. I’d rather be called a jogger than various other names. Wouldn’t you?
4) You can’t wear that race shirt. You didn’t (Run/Finish) that race! You can’t wear that race shirt IN the race! It’s bad luck! You can’t wear a race shirt of that distance in THIS race! …etc. ad nauseum.
“Ugh, I hate when I line up and there are all these newbs in the shirt that was in the race bag. Don’t they know any better?” “Pet peeve is totally seeing someone in a finisher shirt of a race they didn’t do. Loser.” “You can’t wear a marathon shirt at a 10K. That’s being an egotistical asshole” “I hate when people where a race shirt of another race to a race, so irritating” “I get so mad when I see people wearing the race shirt IN THE RACE. They didn’t finish it yet!”
This whole race shirt thing is just…stupid. You pay a bunch of money to enter a race. Part of the entry fee includes a shirt. Sometimes you get injured/have something happen where you can’t run. Go ahead, get your shirt. You bought it. Go ahead and wear it. You bought it. You’re advertising the race for the race company/RD. Besides, race shirts make great workout shirts. A lot of people even pick them up at Goodwill/Salvation Army just for use in training. Wear the shirt. Don’t worry about what others think. If their nose is in the air about a race shirt- do you need them anyways?
5) Running with your hair down
“Don’t you know that some runners have also imagined bringing a lighter and setting your hair ablaze?” “can’t stand when I see girls that are exercising/running with their hair down” “When I spot them, I inevitably grab their hair. How much effort does it take to use a 5 cent ponytail holder? Enraging!” “Besides being a distraction, it’s HOT! Ponytails and sweatybands all the way!”
Yep, Judgmental again. Once commenter even started with “girls who insist on running with your long bleach-peroxide hair flowing freely behind you. Just no.” If someone wants to wear their hair down, what does this have to do with you? That’s really all I have to say about it. Maybe a ponytail gives them a headache. None of your business.
So what is my pet peeve? Runners who judge other runners (or walkers..or bikers..or swimmers..or..)
Let’s try encouraging each other. If it’s a safety issue, try the effective route and educate the other person as to why they should adjust what they’re doing in order to be safe (or for the safety of others).
This post has been brought to you from the dark side.