Wanna know a secret? I’m competitive. Super competitive. Like kick-my-own-child’s-ass-at-a-game-because-he-shouldn’t-win-unless-it’s-for-real competitive (I did make exceptions in the preschool years, so don’t get all judgy on me. The boys have won plenty of Candyland games in their day, but now we’re on to poker, chess and Blokus, and the gloves are off.)
It’s like I’m one of the new Ben and Jerry’s core flavors, but instead of peanut butter fudge down the center, I’ve got a stubborn streak of dog-eat-dog.
This ruthless streak has nothing to do with ability. I can know that I’m not going to do well at something, maybe even that I’m horrible at it, but my desire to compete rears its ugly head regardless of my chances, and I go all out.
I once strained a muscle outperforming my 10-year old niece on her new Dance Dance Revolution game for Wii. Yes, I realize it wasn’t a competition. No, I’m not proud. I just had to have a high score.
Ain’t no shame
ladies do your thing
Just make sure
you’re ahead of the game
Is it any surprise that I turned to running in my thirties after having two kids and becoming a stay-at-home mom? No, likely not. Running fulfills that need for competition, that drive and goal orientation that marked my teens and twenties and is so missing in my SAHM life. It brings my increasingly scattered mind to heel and then frees it in a way that the rest of my day can never do.
It gets me firing on all cylinders, and I love it. I love random running, I love training and I love races. I imagine that much of what I’m typing is here resonates with all my running readers. I am not unique in that sense.
Would you be surprised to know that I run a little bitchy during races? Yes, my snarkiness is directly proportional to my level of suffering, which is usually on high during races as I tend to go all out. I’m never afraid to turn my physical/mental struggle into hatred toward other runners, and here is where I wonder if I differ from the running pack a bit. I read a lot of runners’ stories about the great atmosphere of races and how amazing they are. There is personal pain and agony, to be sure, but the overall theme of race recaps is so positive (I’ve written a few myself..my last half in October was a wonderful warm and fuzzy race for me, but it was an abberation.) Where’s the nastiness?
Does anybody get as annoyed as I do by others during races? Maybe I’ve been reading a little too much Angry Jogger (dear lord, I love that Irishman and his angry streak), but I’m letting it all out today…
Here is my list (perched on my throne of running perfection, of course) of the 10 types of runners who annoy the living shit out of me during races!
You people annoy me:
Type 1: You can’t Fing line up in the right spot–You see those pacers? Those flags they’re holding up with projected finish times? They mean something, idiot. If you’re expecting to run a 2:45 half marathon, DO NOT line up near the 1:55 pace group. You deserve my size 9.5 foot and custom orthotic shoved straight up your ass.
Not knowing your projected time is not an excuse. Take the time to make an educated guess. If you aren’t even to that point with your running, then err on the side of starting further back in the line. You cause real problems for other runners who have to work their way around you (often with a stampede of thousands of runners behind them, just waiting to crush the course!), and that screws with my potential PR and could lead to twisted ankles. AND PLEASE, GOD FORBID, DO NOT LINE UP WAY AHEAD OF YOUR PROBABLE FINISH TIME IF YOU ARE TYPE 2!
Type 2: You do jog/walk intervals–Hey, welcome to the race. I mean it. I know that intervals are how some people do their races, and I’m not trying to bag on the method. I’m just saying that you annoy me when I’m behind you and you suddenly stop for your walk break. Some of you try to be nice and look behind you before you do that or move to the side first, and bless you! But some just suddenly come to a halt. You deserve my size 9.5 foot and custom orthotic shoved straight up your ass.
Please, Type 2ers, line up further back. Most of you tend to be slower runners anyway if you’re not up to running the whole race. Just let the main throng pass, and then get out there and get after it! Good luck to you!
Type 3: You come to a stop in the middle of the course and then stroll sideways toward the aid station–Seriously? Does anyone else see this sometimes? What are these people thinking? Do they want to kill the rest of us? Oh, and their kissing cousin is the runner who grabs a drink then steps casually back out without looking first. Just go away. I am aching to shove my foot up your ass.
Type 4: You’re running in a group with matching t-shirts–Okay, so it’s not the shirt that’s the problem; it’s what it typically signifies. You are likely jogging 5-6 wide, chatting about what a dicksmack so-and-so is and giggling as you amble along. It’s often your first race, you’re in it together (girl power!), and you’re only as fast as your slowest runner. Camaraderie rules, you usually line up too close to the front, and you’re often spotted running right up the middle of the street. I can never get around you easily.
Get out the way
Get out the way bitch
Get out the way
Guess what? I wish I had four more feet, because each of you deserves my foot shoved straight up your ass. Best of luck once I get past you though!
Type 5: You’re wearing a Camelbak, and it’s a 5k–This really is snarky, and I know it’s not anything I should care about. I’m willing to admit that I’m a bitch. Your hydration is your business. I’m just being honest…it makes me laugh and yet somehow annoys me at the same time.
Type 6: You’re wearing a singlet/tank, and you have copious amounts of shoulder and back hair–I get it, dude. You’re bringing along a fur coat that the rest of us aren’t burdened with, and the shit gets hot! Still, if I could run up behind you and fashion two Heidi braids from your shoulder hair, then I think I speak for all of us when I plead for a short-sleeve mesh tee or at least a tank with wide coverage across the shoulders. Having said that, I should now apologize to anyone who ends up behind me and gets a detailed view of the stretch marks on the backs of my thighs.
Type 7: You’re a real fit bitch–You’re often found racing in just your sports bra and teeny shorts. Your thighs are the size of toned hot dogs, but with insane yet feminine amounts of muscle. You don’t sweat, you just glow. I often catch a glimpse of you as we run in the same pack (usually briefly, as you are always faster than me)…me with stray frizzy hair flying around my beet-red race, half-drooling and arms flailing, you gliding along like the beautiful talented runner that you are.
The foot and orthotic that I’d like to shove up your ass dwarf your entire body…except for your perfect boobs. You probably pushed out two lovely kids with no drugs and don’t even pee when you sneeze.
Type 8: You insist on running right up the pacer’s ass–I’ve only tried to run once with a pace group (last year’s marathon.) I might have stuck with it longer, but one gal really annoyed me. She would do anything to make sure that she stayed directly behind the pacer, literally on his left heel. She was ruthless and infringed on people’s space many times. As I was running at the back edge of the group, I saw it all and found it irksome and distracting. I left the group at the Mile 9-10 aid station.
Type 9: You’re a persistent spitter/belcher/snot rocket blower–At the side of the course is one thing, but right in the middle is rude, imho. Boogers on my Brooks? Not cool! Anyone with me?
Type 10: You can’t run in a Fing straight line or drastically change pace out of nowhere–Annoying as hell and takes me out of my zone.
Who annoys you during races? Surely I’m not the only bitchy runner during these things!
I hope no one takes offense to this post…I was just trying to have fun, and I am far from perfect!