Thursday, September 3, 2009

#1 Rule In Running Club - Don't Talk About Running Club

I always thought the spinners at the gym were crazy. A troop of heavy legged, Type A women who became so aggressive about sharing the same workout room with the kick boxers and the yogis that the gym is building them their very own room. Their pack mentality was infamous. Their brutality and aggression unmatched. I never thought I would find another group of people like them until I joined the Hyannis Road Runners Club.

Even though I started less than 6 months ago, I consider myself to be a decent runner. I can finish a 7K without someone waiting at the finish line with a defibrillator. My time isn't pretty, but what the fuck? I finished without stopping, didn't I? But, I wanted to get better. My dream is to finish a half marathon. Joining the group would allow me to be trained properly. Silly me, thinking that running was just walking, but faster. There's foot placement, stride, heart monitoring, warming up, cooling down etc etc.

The club separates people into 4 categories: Walk, Walk/Run, Basic Running, and Run/Race. After throwing more than 8 races under my belt I figured I was in the run/race group. Fat Chance. Those guys consider anyone who runs above a 9 minute mile to be a "non-runner". They looked like a bunch of heavy muscled gazelles, sprinting around the track at breakneck speed. I was placed in the Basic Running group. The instructor, an adorable white haired man, looked like he weighed no more than 140 lbs. He was in sublime condition. I felt fat and dumpy standing next to a man that was more than twice my age.

My race running style has always been the same: get to the race, pace around until it starts, run the race, finish, drink water and leave. Well......that is wrong, wrong, WRONG. There needs to be warm ups, stretching and cool downs. My heart rates must be closely monitored and I should never get in my car right after running. Always wait until your heart rate returns to normal. My only thought after a race was how fast I could get to the nearest deli to eat an enormous sandwich.

These people are animals. They do not "cross-train". All they do is run. The thought of kick boxing, weight lifting or yoga was greeted with a curled up nostril. Training is serious stuff as I soon found out after my third set of combination sprints. I consider myself to be in really good shape. But, I was sweating like a pig and to make matters worse, I smelled!!! At first, I wasn't sure if it was me until we were running a grueling "cool down". I started smelling the oniony BO smell again and the woman that I had previously blamed it on was at least 40 paces behind me. I knew it wasn't the girl running next to me.

The more I ran, the worse I smelled. I picked through my brain and tried to conjure up what I'd had for lunch, thinking that was the problem. But, a grilled cheese and lentil soup wouldn't have caused the massive stink that flowed behind me like a cloud. I looked around to see if anyone noticed my foul odor. But, everyone was so caught up in the battle to breath normally, that my stench was unnoticed.

The worst part about it was I had to get in my car after all this. The cloth seats soaked up the funk and now my car smells like a locker room after 20 hairy sweaty men left their used socks on the floor. I have since switch from that weird rock deodorant to regular old Secret. Screw going the au natural route. I don't want to smell like a jock strap again.


  1. If you're going to put out that kind of effort (and you noticed I said you because frankly that just sounds like a lot of work to me)then you are going to have to go for the big guns on the deodorant front. Think Right Guard. It worked for the boys and anything that will work for teenage boys will work for a running woman.

  2. A month ago I thought I had the drive and fortitude to set out on the path that leads back to me becoming an actual runner again. I ran in a road race and I ran several 5 mile trips after that.

    But right now I'm sipping a chocolate shake from Dairy Queen and the thought of physical exertion is completely out of the realm of possibility for me mentally. I was hoping to run with you this fall but I don't think I've got the self-discipline.


  3. I love that I can live my athletic life vicariously through you without having to lift so much as a butt cheek to do so.

    Don't get back in your car after a race? Are you not supposed to head for the nearest deli? What are you supposed to do? Stretch? HA! Feed me and then I'll stretch. Assholes.

    I can't believe you subject yourself to this. Insanity!

  4. I smell like that every time I exercise, no matter how little or how much. Glad I'm not the only stinker out there. Maybe I should join a running club.

  5. Hey, good for you for trying to fit into the old man running club. I'm afraid I'd be put in the walk/run category if they saw what I can do.

    But, hey, I hate running for more than five minutes at a time. My ankles and knees just can't take it anymore. A little walk, a little run and a lot of weightlifting make me happy.