If you're a runner, there's a whole set of problems you have to deal with that your non-running friends just don't get. Oh, girl, but I do understand. The struggle is real, and these problems need to be solved, like, yesterday.
1 Your Toes
Your friends don't understand why you hate mani/pedi day... until you peel off your socks and they all see your missing/black and blue toenails. And let's not even talk about the blisters.
2 Slippery Headbands
Why is it so impossible to find a headband that actually keeps your hair out of your face for more than a mile?
3 The Shoes
It took me forever to get used to how hideous running shoes are. For as much as they cost, you'd think someone could figure out how to make them cute as well as supportive. I'm looking at you, Mizuno.
4 The Chafing
If you're lucky, you'll never experience the agony of chafing where the insides of your upper arms rub against the seams of your running tank, or (much) worse, the chafing of your lady parts on the seam on your shorts. Dear God.
5 The Sweating
If you're not normally much of a sweater, your friends might be shocked at how much you can sweat during a run.
6 And the Salt!
They'd also be horrified when they saw the crusty white salt lick your forehead has become after distance day. Oy.
7 The Ponytail
While your friends wear running clothes and a ponytail to look cute running errands, you know you couldn't stand to wear one when you're actually running because there's a very real possibility when you change directions, you'll be repeatedly slapped in the face by your own ponytail.
8 But then What?
But if you don't wear a ponytail, what will you do with your hair?
9 The Race Fees
When your friends ask why you can't afford the third girl's night this month, tell them the truth: you blew all your money on registration fees.
10 The Clothes
Half your wardrobe is running gear, which can't really be worn to the office, on dates, or really any other time than when you're running.
11 The Shoes
I alluded to this earlier, but it deserves another mention: running shoes are freaking expensive, and you need to buy them several times a year.
I hate people on bikes who seem oblivious to runners on the path. Dudes, pedestrians, including runners, have the right of way! So please don't hog the path. Thanks!
To paraphrase Matthew Inman, energy gels taste like "boob milk from a cyborg." But they don't have to, do they? Can someone please work on this?
14 The Injuries
Shin splints, hammy pulls, and plantar fasciitis. They're not fatal injuries, but if you're a runner, you know they sure feel like they are.
15 The Lingo
You've been a runner for years now. When will your friends finally get the lingo you've been dropping? PR means "personal record" so when I tell you I beat my old PR by more than a minute, don't ask me for the thousandth time what that is, just be happy for me!
16 The Hunger
They think PMS hunger is the biggest, baddest hunger ever. Nope. The hunger of training for a marathon is greater and more consuming. They will never understand. Now let's eat!
17 The Emotion
At about mile 18 in my first marathon, I started crying because I needed salt and I couldn't find the Slim Jim I'd packed in my belt. I cried because I saw a dead bird on the side of the road. I cried because I saw someone holding a really nice sign. Running is emotional. I get it.
18 The Fear
Sometimes we get scared on a run. Off-leash dogs? Scary, sure. But running alone, at night, in the early morning, or in a secluded area freaks us out for a lot of reasons, assault being the biggest one. Male runners don't feel this way, and no one else really understands why you keep pepper spray around your wrist. Sure. It's for the dogs.
19 The Competition
I'd like to say I'm only in competition with myself, but that's kind of a lie. I'm racing everyone, whether they know it or not, and when they beat me, I'm more upset than I should be. Silly? Sure. But it's a problem!
20 Period Problems
I've tried everything to cope with my flow when I'm running: tampons, pads, sponges, a cup. Like dealing with a period when you're NOT running isn't hard enough already, try coping when you're running a marathon for five hours.
All your friends know is they're proud of you because you finished that 5k. They don't understand why you're so upset that the chip timing or clock was off. I get you though. Come on, timing company, get your act together!
Oh girl, I get you. I really do. None of your non-runner friends understand the importance of regularity for a runner, but I do. I understand. Let's leave it at that.