10 Runner's Rites of Passage

Ever wonder what it takes to become a real runner? Well, if you lace up your shoes and go for a run, then congratulations, you qualify. But there are certain rites of passages most runners experience on their journey. Fast or slow, long distances or short, as runners we usually have these uncomfortable experiences in common. Can you relate?

'Twas the Night Before a Big Race

If you know me or have been following my blogs for a while you may know that I have a penchant for bad poetry. I like playing with words, putting them together like a puzzle to tell a rhyming story. Someone once said to me, "Your poems are getting better." I laughed because my poems are supposed to be bad, that's the fun part. 

In the spirit of Christmas please enjoy my own runner's version of "Twas the Night Before Christmas."

'Twas the Night Before a Big Race - A runner's poem.

'Twas the Night Before a Big Race - A runner's poem.


Twas the night before a big race and all through the house
This runner’s not sleeping, so neither's her spouse. 

Compressions were laid by the front door with care
In hopes that fresh legs would magically appear. 

The runner was nestled all snug in her bed
While visions of PRs danced in her head. 

She slept in her race gear, with shoes on the floor
So with a quick morning dash she’s out the door.

Then from the alarm clock there rose such a clatter
She sprung from her bed, hoped the lost sleep won’t matter.

Away to the race, she flew like a flash
To the packet pick-up like she was running a dash. 

The moon was the only light at the start
But she looked at her wrist and it sunk her heart.

She forgot her GPS watch, this should be expected
She’d forget her own head if it wasn’t connected.

But what to her wondering eyes should appear
But her hubby waving and flailing her gear! 

He followed behind her so lively and quick
With watch in hand, he laid it on thick:

He whistled and shouted and called out her name
"You owe me big time," he loudly exclaimed!

With great relief and her watch in hand
She was ready to run this race as planned. 

She flexed and bent, the stretch felt so good
She was off at the gun sound as fast as she could. 

And as she was running, he flew to her side
Hubby huffing and puffing, was matching her stride. 

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
He’d run this race as her pacer, and he turned with a smirk

“I wanted to help you to not hit the wall!
To keep up with me, you’ll give it your all!”

As they ran through the course, along the streets,
They heard nothing but foot strikes and collective heart beats. 

They sprung through the finish in record time
Her PR achieved with her partner in crime. 

As the race was ending, with much delight,
The runners heard him exclaim as he ran out of sight...

"To all the walkers, the runners, and all the racers
In my heart, you are all age group placers!"

Merry Christmas, Friends! I hope you all have a happy holiday! 

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Runners are Gross: 7 Things We Don't Tell You

Being a runner is really gross. There are things we runners don't talk about to our non-runner friends. But if you've ever been on a long run with a friend  or a total stranger, these topics frequently come up in conversation.

 No one tells you running is so gross until it's too late and you're already addicted. 

Runners are gross...

Runners are gross...


#1. We Love to Sweat

I love to sweat. Sweat is gross, smells gross, makes my hair gross, but feels amazing. Call me weird, but if you run, you know that I'm not weird at all. Of course we wear protection (aka deodorant) but we really don't mind the sweat. 

#2. We Secretly Like Porta-Potties

There is something weird that happens when you start running. The farther you get away from a suitable toilet, the stronger the chance of the urge to go. You're officially a runner when you spot a disgusting, over-flown, stinky, no-flush, no-toilet-paper, porta-potty in the distance and you feel like the luckiest person on earth. 

#3. We Blow Snot in Public

Any runner worth their snot (you see what I did there?) can shoot a snot rocket with the accuracy of a sharp shooter. It is a skill that is quickly acquired by runners as it is necessary for survival in the wild (or on the streets). Spitting is also socially accepted runner-approved behavior. 

#4. We Blister

They are ugly. They hurt. They bubble. They burst. They rub raw. They are part of the game. As runners, we do all the right things to minimize them, yet they sometimes find a way to creep in anyway. Stay far away from cotton socks to help prevent blisters before they invade. Try rubbing ointment on blister prone spots before you run to reduce friction. 

#5. We Have Girl Problems

My deepest apologies to my male readers, but this is a reality that deserves a mention. Have you ever heard about women's cycles synchronizing? Well, I think that I sync according to my race schedule. Seriously. Not fun for 13.1 miles.

#6. We Lose Toenails

Not only do we we lose weight when we run, we also lose toenails. Who needs toenails anyway? It is a small sacrifice to make for the love of the run. I kid. I kid. Really, if you buy your shoes 1/2 size to one size bigger than usual so that you have at least a thumb space in your toe box you will likely will never have to deal with black or lost toenails again.

#7. We Chafe

Last but not least, we get that horrible burning and rash that shows up in all those places we don't talk about, but we can talk about them now: your armpits, your nipples, between your legs, and under your heart rate monitor. And guys, I'm sure you have a whole different pair of issues (pun intended) I'd rather not know about. I usually don't notice the rash until I jump in the shower. Ouchy! Ointment before you run on the areas that may rub together can help prevent the problem.

Did I miss any? How else are runners gross? Can you relate? Tell me in the comments. 

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Coach Lea

I am a NASM personal trainer and RRCA adult distance running coach that specializes in strength training for runners. I offer in-person training in the Shredshed, as well as online training. If you are interested in a more in-depth running or strength training plan, please contact me. Have questions? I'd love to help. 

While I am a certified personal trainer, I am not your personal trainer. Since I don't know your exercise abilities, injury background or medical history, please see your doctor before beginning any new exercise program.

Friday Funny: 5 Ways Runners are Misunderstood

Runners are a rare breed. Our non-runner friends shake their heads at us in disbelief when we talk about things like an "easy" 10 miler, hill repeats or 5am wake up calls. We try to explain our weird ways and even try to recruit them to becoming runners themselves, but we often just leave them confused. Here are five ways runners are routinely misunderstood by our non-running friends. 

five ways runners are misunderstood

five ways runners are misunderstood


The stickers on our cars

Whether they thought the 13.1 or 26.2 sticker on your car was a bible verse or a radio station, their eyes glaze over as we start to recount our last half marathon. They're certainly sorry they brought it up. 

The language we speak

Whether we are speaking in all acronyms (I PR'd and got a BQ!) or we start using weird words like Fartlek, they have no idea what we are talking about...and they're too afraid to ask, because we just might keep talking about running.

Our toenails are optional

Like any good runner we buy our running shoes 1/2 size to one size bigger than our street shoes, but it happens to the best of us: Sometimes our toenails turn black and/or fall off. So when our non-runner friends ask us to go for a pedicure, they sometimes don't understand that some issues are beyond help. We just do the world a favor and wear closed-toe shoes. 

Porta-Potties are a Godsend

Listen, I know they're gross, but when you are a beyond-exhausted runner that has to use the restroom and you see a porta-potty in the distance, you wonder if it is a mirage or if all your prayers have been answered. In that moment a porta-potty is literally the best sight you have ever seen. Hope you remembered to tuck toilet paper in your socks. Try explaining that one to a non-runner.

The early morning alarm

When we skip a night out on Friday because we have an early morning training run, or leave the party early without drinks on Saturday because of a Sunday morning race, it can be hard for our non-runner friends to understand our priorities. Yes, we want to get up at the crack of dawn to run 13 miles in exchange for a t-shirt and a cheap medal. Really! 

Don't get me wrong, I love my non-runner friends. I don't expect them to learn everything about running just because I love it. I'll accept being a misunderstood runner as long as we can agree that a marathon is 26.2 miles. Every. Single. Time.

Have you ever been misunderstood as a runner? 

Coach Lea