This morning on my run I listened to the most recent Real Talk Radio with Nicole Antionette podcast with Lauren Fleshman. The episode (and all her episodes really) get into the nitty-gritty details of what goes on in everyday life. It’s messy, complicated and often not as Instagram worthy as many people may seem. They talked about pregnancy and the things Lauren has experienced, explaining what was different for her, how she dealt with the changing of her mood and body and the discussion she had with her partner, Jesse, who was racing an Ironman on her due date.
Additionally, I listened to an episode of Heartland Running with Joel Cohen (of the Simpsons) about the book he just wrote How To Lose A Marathon. In the book, Cohen spells out everything that happens when you begin to run for the first time. Things I didn’t even think about or remember experiencing, but make a big difference.
These two episodes, listened randomly so close together made me think about what I don’t talk about concerning my own running. Here we go:
Bathroom: I go to the bathroom A LOT. When I say a lot, I mean 5 times per day, and that is just number 2. If I am actually properly hydrated, that number reaches 9-10. I go once when I wake up, most likely once during my run or right immediately after, once after I finish breakfast and once in the afternoon. Then I also have gotten up to go in the middle of the night. This is due to my fiber consumption and also depends on my hydration status. It is getting exceedingly better since I started taking more vitamins and trading starchy vegetables (like potatoes, squash and even some grains with too much fiber) to bread. I eat a higher proportion of calories from bread and white grains than I ever have because it simply stays with me longer. I used to eat say, some blueberries with my breakfast, and then 2 hours later they would be coming out, not as digested as I would like. It has been a lot of experimentation regarding this, and I am actually making progress. Veggies are great, but white grains keep my belly and body happy.
Feet: I am not talking about my foot injuries here, I am talking about the regular foot maintenance I do each day on my feet. I spend at least 5-10 minutes after my shower pumicing, massaging and lotioning my feet so that they don’t rub my shoes the wrong way. That is not debilitating, but painful, annoying and it prevents me from wearing certain shoes. I also work consciously to harden my feet without rubbing them raw. I want to get them to a leather-like feel, but not with blisters underneath. That is where the problems come. It’s gross sometimes with all the dead skin that comes off, but it allows me to focus on putting my best effort in a run instead of running gingerly.
Keeping Clean: I run at 4:30AM, and need to be at work by 5:45AM. I do not shower in between there. However, if I don’t do something in my lady parts, I have had, let’s say, less desirable feelings later on that day. This also sometimes happens in the later stages of an ultra when you’ve been sweating and in the water all day. Not fun and feels like peeing needles. A few months ago, I discovered the power of baby wipes. Huggies to be exact. These things are super simple and the fastest way to clean up down yonder when you’re pressed. I simply shed my running gear, do a wipe through, and put on clean undies for the day. I will shower later, but I take comfort in that I am not growing bacteria all day.
Running with people: I will be honest, I do not run with people in my daily runs. I used to last year and I enjoyed it, however my schedule is not conducive to other people with normal hours. I also need to focus on my own paces, both in workouts and recovery and easy runs. What I find happens, especially with peers, is that an easy run is never truly easy. You either get talking and the pace quickens or someone feels like they are slowing everyone down, so they speed up, and then everyone else speeds up. That is not an easy, recovery run. I do enjoy running with others when I’ve done it, but I realize that most times, I use running as my me time. I see people all day. I like my 1-2 hour solo adventures where it’s just me and the outdoors.
Running in the dark: I run in the dark, with my headlamp, everyday. Every single day. My batteries are the best. I do this because I run before I work, which is at 4:30. Even today, when I went out at 6 (sleeping in HOLLA) I probably could have used a headlamp until 7. It’s fall, and that happens. There are some things I don’t talk about, like how sometimes cars see you and your lamp and like a bug to a candle, they drive right at you! I know they really do not mean it, but honestly, you need to be careful. Even I would not take on a car. I run on the roads so I don’t worry too much about stepping on things, but I am still aware. No one is up, so if someone is up, it’s weird and just be cautious. They probably think the same as you, but still. I have never felt unsafe, but I try not to be an idiot.
Strava: I honestly, do not look at my or other’s Strava. I stopped doing this because it only did one of two things, it made me with I was out there when I was injured, or it made me compare my training to someone else’s. I am not her. I am not a man. I am me and I know that most times, my body responds fine to low mileage. It’s hard to not go do another 20 miler when your last one felt great and it looks like so-and-so can do three of them a week. I won’t do that to my body and mind. Avoiding Strava is self care. I barely even look at my runs, I just use it as a log or if something did feel weird.
That’s all I’ve got for now. Any other things you think runners don’t talk about?