Runner Problems

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Sometimes it feels like when you’re a runner you are part of a tribe. When you are injured, it can be just as emotionally painful as the injury is physically to not be a part of that tribe anymore. When I was REALLY into running, pre-injury, back when I was doing things like Hood To Coast, I felt part of a bigger community. My friends were runners. We talked about races and went for runs together. We complained about common runner problems and laughed because we could ALL relate. I missed that camaraderie when I took a break from it.

Now that I’m back at running, I am feeling like I’m slowly coming back into the fold of the tribe. Things I’d forgotten about returned and made me smile and laugh because I was like, “Oh yeah! I remember this!” So this post is about some of those “oh yeah!” moments that I know you runners out there can relate to!

You’re always hungry. Like always. The more I run, or bike honestly, I get this insatiable hunger that just doesn’t get satisfied. Eating smaller meals every two hours or so works well! GIMME CARBS!

Not being able to run for any reason. See above. When you can’t run, it’s all you think about, all you want to do. I remember there were many runs where I was lethargic and hated every minute of it and wanted to quit. But once that goes away, you really want it back–even the crappy runs! I’ll take anything!

My favorite running shoes are never on sale. Ever. I keep looking. I scour the internet, running stores and Amazon for deals. Once in awhile I find older versions of my favorite shoes for less money but not very often! Another runner problem? Wearing out shoes so quickly! Check out this post: Is it Time for New Shoes?

Needing to wear compression socks but it’s sunny and they look weird with shorts and skirts…Yeah, compression tights and socks are just not cute. 😉

Obsessing about the weather at all times–too hot? Too cold? Will it rain? Sometimes it’s kind of fun to be caught out in a summer rainstorm but most of the time I’d rather not run in the rain. Especially in the winter. Here in the NW you have to obsessively check the weather (sometimes hourly) to see if it will rain.

You’re not embarrassed to wear spandex–in fact, it’s more comfortable! I don’t know about you but I prefer running shorts that are more form-fitting/spandex style because it prevents chafing! Long ago I got over feeling embarrassed about wearing it. Especially when I need to wear my compression tights. 😉

You get jealous when you drive by runners, wishing you were running!

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Finally, the runner’s high. It’s real, it’s awesome, and when your high wears off it’s kind of a bummer!

What are some of your “runner problems”?

Community

Community is such an important thing. You don’t notice how much you need it until you realize you don’t have one.

Growing up in a big Catholic family there was that built-in community at church but at a young age I realized I didn’t believe and felt like I was always standing just outside of that. I didn’t belong at church or the youth group. I was still the outsider. I floated in and out of other communities, religious and philosophical.

I know it’s probably normal to look back on the “old days” or historical time periods and think “things were better back then” but sometimes I really do believe it was. Before the day of the internet and easy access to everything, people were more in touch. Towns were smaller, everyone knew each other and (hopefully) helped each other. Growing up in a bigger city (Seattle) I never really felt like there was a close-knit community.

When I started running I found a community that I FINALLY belonged in. I was so happy! I was never into sports as a kid and discovering fitness later in life, I finally saw the benefits of activities like that. There really isn’t anything quite like being part of a team. Running is a pretty solo activity but you better believe you’re still part of a team if you’re a runner. You have other runner friends. You guys talk and rehash race weekends; you share in the anticipation and the woes of training; you have a common bond that brings you close to sometimes perfect strangers–the #runchat Twitter chat is a perfect example! This can lead to big and awesome things.

So when that community is gone, what happens? With various running injuries over the years, I’ve taken numerous breaks from running. I always had cycling to fall back on. Even if I wasn’t part of the running community, I still was part of some kind of cycling community. I could discuss centuries with other riders, what their favorite bike was, what GUs they preferred…the list is endless.

Then that was gone, too. Gone were the summers where I was super focused on getting my mileage up so that I would be able to participate in an epic ride.

I wanted this post to be an open dialogue about community; how to find your community, how having a community changes us, how to cope when you don’t have one…so what say all of you?