Many runners have a love-hate relationship with our favorite sport. We love the health benefits, the runner’s high, the camaraderie we find in the running community, the rush of pushing my body to its limit and beyond. However, there are a few things that runners absolutely hate about running, even if they still lace up their running shoes every day.
1. Bad weather
In many areas the weather ranges from “fry an egg on the pavement” to “get out the sled dogs” with seemingly very little in between. Running is constantly fraught with weather problems and logistical inconvenience. Half the year is spent worrying about hydration and which sunscreens won’t become fire in your eyes when sweat is added; the other half is spent cramming feet with four pairs of socks into shoes and skidding on icy paths.
However, the weather almost never stops a dedicated runner. In fact, complaining about weather problems is almost a pastime in the running community, second only to commenting on the beauty of the changing seasons.
Only runners can look like a picture of perfect health while simultaneously suffering from some of the most painful orthopedic conditions in medical textbooks. Whether it’s plantar fasciitis, a torn medial meniscus, or mere soreness, there is always a medical problem and a reason you are limping. Runners limp so often that they should consider buying crutches for everyday use. You may run gracefully, but you can barely walk. In addition to actual injuries, there are the little running complaints, like chafing in places that can’t even be mentioned in polite company. Runners hate those.
Despite the constant aches and pains, runners keep lacing up to hit tracks and paths every morning. The cardiovascular and other health benefits are immense so that running is a neutral act in terms of joint health and the best medicine on the planet in terms of mental health.
3. Constant, gnawing hunger
Outsiders are often surprised by how much time runners spend running, mainly because most of them are not thin. Society expects runners to be stick figures since they burn so many calories. The problem is that many runners replace them at shocking speed due to constant intense hunger. A runner is hungry every moment of its life. Maybe you wouldn’t eat a horse, but you probably could eat its weight in steak and homemade rolls.
While it increases food bills to increase caloric needs by 50%, runners don’t mind. Most people like food, and runners can remain a reasonable healthy weight while indulging cravings at almost every meal. There’s nothing to hate about that!
4. Inconsiderate drivers
Drivers are the bane of running. Runners are constantly dodging cars, a real problem when dealing with several tons of metal powered by an internal combustion engine. The drivers that aren’t determined to kill pedestrians seem determined to shower them with a wall of mud puddle or honk their horn at the precise point where it will deafen.
Why don’t inconsiderate drivers stop people from running? While everyone hates poor driving, runners are determined to share the road, and make drivers share it as well.
5. Nonrunners in running spaces
Why do people use a running path or track for a simple walk? Can’t they walk at the mall or simply around the block? It is encouraging to see so many people make exercise a lifestyle, but not so much fun to pack onto the track like a Tetris game where all of the blocks move at different speeds.
Despite the problem of sharing the track, runners keep running. In fact, the crowded tracks have encouraged many to find unconventional and less visited spaces to run, which makes the experience even better.
6. Sticker shock
If sticker shock could kill, runners would be buried fifty times over. You start to laugh a bitter snicker whenever someone refers to running as an inexpensive hobby. Between the gear, the shoes, the clothes, and the various fees, runners are constantly paying an insanely high price for something. These are not one-time costs, but rather constant ones. Many runners actually have a running budget.
However, it’s important to remember that everything under the sun costs money. If you were not running, you would have another expensive and time-consuming hobby. Spending too much on hobbies is a first world problem that runners are willing to endure.
7. Uncontrolled animals
Animals love runners the way people love a good cheeseburger. That is, they think runners are tasty. Many dogs see anyone running as a challenge, a fun chase. When runners are not trying to outrun a dog, they are listening to their owner apologetically explain that they’ve never acted like this before – sometimes they’ve heard the same owner make this claim more than once.
However, most of the animals out and about are leashed or otherwise restrained according to the law. As for the rest, there is satisfaction in knowing that you provided a suburban corgi with the thrill of the chase. Perhaps running is a public service to the community of ill-behaved pets.
8. Planning life around running
Some people go out to parties, read novels, watch television, and have hobbies. Runners spend spare time running. Much of their lives is structured around an early morning run, making nighttime socialization a challenge. You plan vacation time strategically so you can hit a marathon or a 10k. There is no aspect of life that doesn’t take second place to running.
Why do you keep penciling your life in around running? Because runners love it, even when they hate it. Ultimately, that is the important thing: that you get to enjoy your favorite activity on an almost daily basis, with all of the health benefits that come with it.
There are things that runners hate, but these are mere inconveniences compared to the passion that running brings to their lives.