This week, I had some really ugly miles in me. I've written about ugly miles before, and how I think they make me stronger, but that doesn't mean I like them.
Here's a quick and dirty list of what I think are the worst things that contribute to ugly miles:
Three words: Rock. In. Shoe.
Really? Is there anything more annoying than having to stop and fish around in your sneaker? What kills me is that while I'm running it feels like there's a huge item trying to maul your arch, which then rolls back toward your heel playing a sort of pain-pong between the front and back of your foot. Guess what? When you finally fish said blunt instrument out of your shoe it's an itsy-bitsy-teeny-weeny pebble. Lovely.
Shuffle!? I didn't put my playlist on shuffle.
Darn you, technology you are one of those things I love to hate. I love that I can listen to "Eye of the Tiger" and "Thift Shop" while running, but since when it did become OK for your gremlins to take over and just randomly switch to shuffling my music around like a deck of cards? Do you not understand that I have a systematic order in which I have placed my songs to pace me throughout my bazillion-mile run? If just ONE of those songs is out of wack I get grumpy and I can go from running on the pace of the music to looking like the kid in the front row of music class who is the only one clapping on the offbeat when everyone else is hitting the downbeat.
OK. You're all set and mentally psyched for your long run. You've got your hat, your playlist is set to NOT shuffle, and your water belt is filled with just the right ratio of water-to-Gatorade mix. A few miles in to your run you get thirsty, so you grab one of the jugs from your water belt and take a gulp. You return your jug to it's proper upright position and then it begins. Drinking some water means now one container is not full. Which means it makes noise. With every footfall all you can hear over the lyrics of Justin Bieber's "Never say Never" is a continuous slosh-slosh-slosh. In an effort to drown out the sloshing, you finish off that water container. And now your belt balance feels uneven and you may have to find a ladies room.
Why are these shorts riding up?
Need I say more? They never have ridden up in the past. Today? Race day?! Why are they riding up on race day?! You spent miles 5,6,7, and 8 of your 10 miler tugging them back down your quads. By mile 10 you've given up and have relegated yourself to earning the nickname "Short shorts" when everyone sees the photo of you crossing the finish line.
Laces that double as a vice-grip
Sneaker laces on a run should be like Goldilocks' oatmeal: Just right. So, why is it that when you tie up your laces before you head out the door you worry and wonder if they are too loose only to discover after about 10 paces that your shoes are suddenly -- and inexplicably -- WICKED TIGHT. Holy heck is there a vice-grip attached to that lace? You try to run through it thinking, oh they will loosen up the more running I do, but no. They won't budge, forcing you to stop, bend down, loosen those puppies up, re-lace and carry on. What a production.
Getting the vapors
I am young(ish) and have not yet gone through the "change of life" A.K.A. menopause yet, so why on earth am I getting the hot flashes like a person stuck in bumper to bumper Cape traffic on the fourth of July with a broken air-conditioner? I'm hot then cold. Cold then hot. Are you there, internal body thermometer, it's me, Elizabeth, and I'm trying to just get through this run without feeling like I'm running it on the surface of the sun. Thanks for playing.
There are far, FAR more things that annoy me, but I'd rather hear what's on your list. Leave a comment, drop me and e-mail using our submit form, or tweet at me @EJComeau (new handle, same crazy lady).