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Confessions Of A Runner

Posted by: on September, 5 2013

Published on Competitor.com and written by Jason Devaney

Do any of these sound familiar to you?

As my triathlon season winds down and I get ready for some fall road races before a winter filled with offseason training, I thought it was a good time to clear my head.

What better way to do this than through the relatively painless process of making a confession?

I’ll skip the usual intro (Bless me Father for I have sinned, etc.) and get right to the point. Here are five things I’d like to put out there.

1. I’ve Been Running With An Injury

A few months ago on a 5-mile training run, I turned over my left ankle. You know how most roads are crowned and slope away from the middle? Well I stumbled and my left foot went right over, aided by the slope of the road.

I had a 5K the next morning and got through it OK, but the foot has been bothering me all summer. It’s more on the outside, so I suppose if I keep running normally I won’t have any trouble, right? Actually, I should probably get it checked out. Hairline fracture, anyone?

2. I Have Bad Aim

During the half-marathon portion of a half Ironman race I did a few weeks ago, I was dumping cups of water over my head and dousing my face with wet sponges like it was going out of style. On one such dumping, I managed to miss my head and instead poured water all over my right shoe. Same thing happened a few miles later, only my left shoe was the victim.

So I ran the last few miles of the race with a mild case of swamp foot, squish-squashing along. Now that my shoes have dried out, the heel on the left one makes a squeaking noise when I walk and run. So now I sound like a mouse.

3. I Sweat A Lot

It doesn’t matter if the temperature is 95 or 60. I sweat a lot while running. I’ve come to this conclusion based on the multiple pounds that I lose during any run over three miles, along with the soaked shirts I come home wearing.

Seriously. It’s like I went out on the road, took a shower for 45 minutes, and then went back inside. My shirts don’t just get wet — they’re sopping wet. The one person who likes this, however, is my dog. He runs right over to me when I walk in the door and licks the salt from the sweat off my legs. Gross, but I suppose that’s what man’s best friend is for.

4. I Don’t Like Race Photos

I usually look OK in the photos that show me coming out of the water or on the bike leg during a triathlon, but the running photos are a toss up. My form has improved a lot this season but for whatever reason, one of my knees goes in and the foot on that leg goes the other way when it’s off the ground.

It’s not super noticeable and I’ve seen people who do it much worse than me, but the photos don’t lie. Whenever I see a race photographer up ahead I try my best to tighten up my form, put a serious and determined look on my face, and run past. The tactic rarely works.

5. I Like To Pass People At The Finish

I doubt I’m alone on this one. When I see the finish line ahead, I choose a few people in front of me and try to pass them. Men, women, children — doesn’t matter. I’m never going to win a race so I might as well feel good about edging out a few folks at the line. It is a race, after all.

Why can’t race organizers hold the finish-line tape for everyone? If we’re not going to win, at least give us the feeling of breaking the tape. Just once.