Runners have a lot to be proud of. Many wear their weekly mileage, number of marathons completed, and weight lost since joining the sport like a badge of honor, eager to share it with anyone. This is pretty common in any sport. Where runners veer off this beaten path, however (because they always seem to), is some of the weird stuff they as a group have decided to claim and own as a source of pride.
Most painful place they’ve chaffed
Yup, runners have chaffed down there, back there, and (shudder) you don’t want to know where. Don’t believe them? They’ll probably happily show you!
The most they’ve hurt while still managing to finish a race
“I rolled my ankle at mile 10 and hobbled the final three to complete my half marathon.”
“Ouch, that reminds me of the time I tripped on a tree root and cut my calf wide open; I finished the marathon and then needed 10 stitches. I’m lucky I didn’t bleed out.”
“Brutal! That’s almost as bad as the time I broke both of my ankles and army-crawled to the end of my 50k.”
It’s not unheard of to witness runners get competitive about whom has defied the bigger physical obstacle in order to finish a race. The common practice is to take their tale and divide it by half of the intensity to get the real story. Still, so long as you understand this, it’s a fun prideful bantering to participate in.
How many toenails they’ve lost
This lovely side effect of running is most common in those who cover big distances; it is often from a blister forming under the nail and eventually moving the nail up until it dies and falls off. It can be extremely painful, or it can happen without the runner even realizing it. They may stop to empty their shoe of the ‘rock’ that somehow got in, only to see their big toe nail fall out of the shoe and plop on the ground. Although many people would be horrified at the sight of this and probably keep their feet covered in public until the nail grew back, runners proudly display their nail-less piggies and are not beyond taking pictures of them to send fellow runners or post in forums. I could be mistaken, but I believe the exchange rate is approximately one point toward ‘total badass’ per lost toenail. Hangnails don’t count and your biggest toenail can sometimes count as two points—depending on the gross factor. Clearly, the grosser the better.
Scariest animal spotted while on training run
Perhaps you startled a skunk, ran between a mama moose and her calf, found way-too-fresh-for-comfort bear poo on your trail, or ran too close to a Rottweiler’s property line; runners tend to find themselves in all sorts of precarious predicaments with animals. Although scary at the time, these encounters make for fun stories and are frequently shared amongst runners as though they are part of some credential ranking system.
Where they’ve gone to the bathroom
Port-o-potties, trees, and bushes? Yawn. Been there, done that. Runners are fun in that they not only barely consider number one and two any different, but they are just as likely to do either in your front yard or the ditch of a highway if more social acceptable alternatives are not readily available.
Hey, we’re not judging. Running is about pushing yourself beyond comfort—in more ways than the obvious, apparently.
By: Audra Rundle