Archive | May, 2013

The Road may Rises Up To Meet You

26 May

As an athlete, I have a standard for myself: I’m suppose to be graceful, moving with coordination and precision. I expect my body to move the way I intend, prepare, and will. So, when one with such expectations and intentions finds the ground quickly and suddenly closer than expected, it’s a bit hard to deal with.

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Yeah, I’m talking about when you fall flat on your ass/and or face during a physical activity as I did this morning. It was like fall outside, a cool temperature in the high 50s, and there were no cars in either direction of the two-way, four-lane road I was about to cross. Glory! The sun was shining, the birds were singing, the wind was light and on my face, then–and without warning–I was on my  face sliding into what seemed to be first base.

Nothing is worse than when you are fat and you make an awkward move or fall. The whole mis-aaction can make the person responsible of said action want to crawl in a hole an die. Things seem hyper-extended or hyperbolic. It’s as if the whole moment is happening in slow motion to aid or benefit the view. Every jiggle, every bounce, every stuttered, spastic, clumsy-save-attempt move happens over billions of seconds slowed to hours. What’s more, there’s less blame on the other objects involved and more with the person if the person is fat–“Oh, look, fatty can’t seem to ___”, or more politely, “Oh, that poor overweight person looks like they just hurt them self when they  tried to ____”. Even if the skate was broken, or the floor was slick, or the stair was faulty, the “fat” person seems to always be looked at with pity and shame. The whole episode is their fault, period. If only they had been more svelte, they could have avoided the whole problem.

If I could get a message out to the world/every on-looker of an incident such as the one I experienced this morning, it’d be to watch from afar and only help if it’s necessary, but under no circumstances approach the person if it’s not necessary and ask the most insulting rhetorical question–“Are you okay?”. Look, if the person wasn’t okay, you’d know it–they’d still be on the ground, or moaning, or crying, or screaming like they  were just really injured. Like most children who only cry after a spill when they realize they’re okay, most people who physically embarrass themselves will want to do about the same because their pride will be bruised or broken the most. We humans become frustrated with our forms and spirits when they don’t cooperate. This embarrassment needs to be assessed and milled through alone. No one who witnesses a “#epicfail” can even remotely help the psychological confusion or anger in place. Just give a helping hand if needed, wish them well, and move on.

And for those of you who love to see others clumsily suffer … well, I hope Karma bites you in the ass big time.

I did feel like I was in a bit of a practical joke situation, as if someone had moved the concrete up from under me. I’m still not sure how it even happened. I slid for what felt like an eternity finally coming to rest about two feet from where I last remembered  standing. My hands were on fire from grating against the pavement.

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I looked a little something like this.

Slowly, I lifted myself up from the ground with the help of my elbows. I stood, nothing broken, good. My hip ached, as it seems the only part of my body without fat (my hip flexor) hit ground with as much force as my hands. Fortunately I had on longer pants and a sweatshirt so no more scrapes and bruises. I looked up and saw the traveling florist stand workers fixing their Saturday morning display on the corner of the busy four-lane road. Two were moving, busily setting up the display for the day, one was watching me as he moved. I gave him a nod, he nodded back, and I ran to the nearest shopping center to clean myself of blood and concrete. Even when I asked for a first-aid kit from the patron at the smoothie shop, he willingly gave it to me, but never asked if I was okay, and that actually made it better.

After some forced reflection because of the inability to do much more than whine about the aching soreness of my knee, hands, and hip, I know athletic accidents happen to everyone, and I guess it’s not easy for anyone. Failure  just seems so much more expected for someone who doesn’t reflect the physical type of an Adonis. But one can change the perspective. Take this gem for example:

images-2 I don’t even understand  how this happened. He is literally eating the ground. And both men are in peak physical condition.

It’s a mis-calculation. An unexpected turn of events. The unthought of outcome. Who would think that just putting one foot in front of the other would be so hard for me this morning? Seems to me that anyone can have the road unexpectedly rise up to meet their face or other body part. The importance is to get up (at some point) and keep going. No matter the jiggle, or wobble, or embarrassment; dust off, clean up, and show that inanimate object or the ground below your feet who’s boss.

By the way, there was a crack my toe caught on … promise.

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On Uneven Ground

23 May

My right hip aches sometimes after a long run. I take full responsibility for this physical issue. But then, that’s what the insistence of running on uneven ground will do.

 

 

I’ve done a variety of different strengthening exercises to help build the muscle up around my hips, and after all that work, it does help some. But nothing can help the parts of a run you don’t have any control over; no preparation; no guessing; no mapping; nothing.

A few summers back, I had to do long runs for the Baltimore Half–one of the hilliest courses ever (in my opinion). Image

This is what the course looks like (miles 3.5 through 7 are a real bitch).

Short of the west coast, to me, this was like running up the side of Everest. And for me, the way I work, I need to prepare. So I went to the source, good’ol Runner’s World, and figured out my training plan.

There are these crazy things called “hill repeats” which are essentially what they sound like: running up a hill, repeatedly–or, a little less succinctly put, running up a steep incline at your best 5k pace, concentrating on swinging your arms lower and shorter, pushing your weight to the balls of your feet, and feeling as if you’re going to drop dead when you get to the top of said incline. Now turn around, go slowly down the same incline, and repeat.

Crazy, right? Well, I did this three days a week for a months before my race. I went to a local school that had these really weird, oddly placed ditches between the football and soccer field. I’m pretty sure the janitors took bets on when I was going to drop dead in the August heat (or they liked the parts that jiggled on my way down … just thought of that). But it was something I got used to and easily.

You see, I’m an endurance runner. This means I’m not super fast, but I can run for any length of time even though I look like I’d maybe make 5 miles. Hours, I’m sure I could run for hours as long as I get the right amount of sleep, food, and water. I go on autopilot after mile 10, I adapt to what pace I need and I can maintain. And with all the effort I was putting toward those hills, I was sure I’d kill this half. I’d be in under my guessed time of 1:45. I was doing what I was supposed to, and as far as I was concerned, running in humidity, rain, sun, overcast and the ilk  should have prepared me.

My line of logic runs like this throughout all parts of my life:

If a=b, and b=c, then a should = c (damn it)– i.e.- I’ve worked hard; therefore, I should be successful. I’ve eaten correctly; therefore, I should be fit. I work out; I should be lean. I’m a  good person; only good things should happen to me.

I believe this is called a Logical Fallacy–more specifically a false analogy. Just because I work hard, doesn’t mean I’m being effective and nor does it mean I’m being successful. Just because I’ve eaten correctly doesn’t mean I will be fit (a far too common reality of mine). Just because I work out doesn’t mean I’m doing the correct exercises to be lean. Just because I’m good doesn’t mean only good things will happen to me. And just because I prepare doesn’t mean I will be at all times. Life, sometimes, throws you a curveball you blinkingly deny struck you out. But like every other child, and I’ll admit I’m often surprised how much I’m not a fully developed adult, I believe that these things should be true. I know they’re not.

Then it happened: the ground shifted to the left, and I was climbing a hill, sideways, for miles.

I hadn’t really noticed how off the road below me was, but no one ever does at first. I tried to ignore it, deny it, forget about it, and then had to realize there was a problem here. A tilt.  The road was slanted, and so was I (or at least my hips were). I felt like I was running with a peg leg and nothing helped. It’s a natural part of running, learning to adapt to the different terrain, handling the road to come. So I went on.

Mistake. Huge. Big. Mistake.

Running is like life. The same set of principles apply, even though the outcome or goal may be different. We prepare, we train, we preserver. Endurance. But sometimes, sometimes it’s better to stop, look around at what’s causing the issue, and evaluate the next step.

I kept going, on the uneven, painful, gratingly stressful path without taking the time to stop and figure out what would be best to do. I don’t like to stop, I don’t like to fail, I don’t like to ask for help–these are things I had to get over after ruining my hip and not running for a good two weeks. I became my own uneven ground, I had shifted, and it was time to move to a more stable plain.

More often than not, one can find life has thrown us a surface no amount of training can prepare of help with. Nothing can make us ready when the ground isn’t level, or a car turns directly into our path, or a bomb goes off at a finish line, or a tornado comes and takes everything away in one brief moment that lasts for what seems to be forever. Nothing. No training. No thinking ahead. No “proper prior planning”. You just have to stop for one brief moment and decide what to do.

But as runners, as humans, we have each other. We can ask for help. It’s there to level us off, bring  our ballast back to center, right the ship, set us on a course better than the one we’re so insistent to complete.

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I’m joggin’ here!

20 May

After a 10 mile run, my very supportive brother-in-law, who also runs a bunch (partially because he likes it, partially because he suffers from ADHD), asked me the following question: “How was your jog?”

What? Jog? What the hell is that? It took me a while to answers, but my reply contained the correction my brain was attempting to articulate, “My run was good. I kept an 8:30 pace–”

“Anything under 7 is jogging.”jogging1

WTF. Seriously, what was he talking about?

According to my B-i-L, running=fast, and most people outside of the running community agree.

After tiring research, it seems the words aren’t distinguishing one action from another–they basically mean the same thing. “In an article for the BBCSport, conditioning coach Mike Antoniades defines jogging as ‘running at speeds of less than 6 mph.’ Others see jogging as something you do to stay in shape or for fun, while running is something you do if you’re participating in a race.”

Read more: http://www.livestrong.com/article/475894-difference-between-jogging-running/#ixzz2TPo8vzGY

Jogging, according to Merriam Webster online, is one of the following:

1 : to move up and down or about with a short heavy motion  (his … holster jogging against his hip — Thomas Williams)
 2- a : to run or ride at a slow trot

      b : to go at a slow, leisurely, or monotonous pace : trudge

So, in other words, it’s moving slowly. I especially like “trudge”, as if the motion itself is so difficult to complete that one becomes exasperated by it.
As much as I love to ask around, it seemed no one else really had a definitive answer for me. I pontificated about this conundrum and came up with a logical idea of what all these labels mean. Running is a term used for the action of moving oneself very quickly over a distance for the goal of time or distance or both. Jogging is a term used for those who like to cover a distance at a pace that is a bit quicker than walking, but is not as intense an exertion as running.
Running makes your t-shirt stick to your body and become see through while jogging allows one to just rinse off and join others doing things elsewhere.
Running is for athletes; jogging is for sorority girls?
Whatever you call it, one word will connote a certain status and the other does not.  Running is masculine in nature, akin exertion of sweat and power. Conversely, jogging is leisurely, pleasurable almost, a task that denotes more want than need and takes places through winding paths in an enchanted field or garden or park. It’s mean to be more feminine. I could go off on a tangent about how our language impedes and condemns one sex more than the other because of outdated, misogynistic root sources, but I’ll save that for my other blog.To me, I am a runner. I work hard, I sweat often, my hair is always ruined wether I did two or ten miles from the sweat, and tree branches, and dust, and whatever else I’ve had to disregard to make it where I need to in the time I need to. Not matter the jiggle, pace, or length, I believe that if you sweat enough to need a new shirt, you went running. Period. If you repeat this same process often, then you are a runner. End. Of. Story.
“So,” I replied “you’ve never been running? I had no idea I was related to a pro-jogger.”
“No, I run” he said.
“So do I.”

Who’s that behind me (no, not my shadow)?

15 May

Peter Pan had a thing with his shadow. He loved it and was searching for it when he met those unsuspecting youngsters1010610_human_shadow. Peter loved to keep his shadow close to him and would do anything to keep it as such.

I have a “shadow”, but unlike Pan, I’m not excited to have it following me around all the time. In fact, I’ve done everything imaginable to get rid of it. Everything possible except surgery. And yet, it’s  still with me. It always has been. This relationship of sorts can be compared to what a young girl hopes for in terms of a connection with a true love. I am not in love.

It’s my ass.

Seriously, for the amount I run in a week x amount of days in the week x what I eat x my activity level 2268my ass. It’s the greatest mathematical quandary since pi. Or I think so. I’m not “built” like a runner, or a typical runner, if you look at me from behind.

Now, some would revel in this glory, this privilage. Mostly non-ethnic women who don’t have an ass, just two flat sacks that lie on the back of their hips. Although, there are many ethnicities, races, etc., that lack a bottom.

However, in some ethnic/social/racial/reality tv circles (as the Kardashians demonstrated without the consent of any American forced witness), having a major booty is an accomplishment, especially when it’s incongruous to the rest of the average size of your body. For instance, I am just barely a B cup, can get away with a 6 or an 8 size jacket, would probably be a size 6 or 4 in pants if I didn’t have a major bottom. But I do, and I endure all that comes from carrying such a weight (ba-dum).

For a runner, the back end is usually just that, the end. Little to worry about, easily accomplishable, it’s the end, but in my case, it’s only the beginning. It starts the trouble.

First, there are the feelings of inadequacy or looks there of you get from others around you. A woman shaped like that is the look you’ll get if you’re shaped like me. Here I am walking up to you, and you think Oh, she seems like competition, but turn me to the side and you think you’re going to win against me.

Then, it’s the glares and snickers from people (mostly men that I’ve noticed) behind me. Look, running gear is tight and unforgiving. I sculpts you into a shape reflective of your 12-o’clock shadow depending upon how much lycra is in what you’re wearing. It also doesn’t help when you’re practically sandwiched up against 300 of your closest running buddies in a far too tiny coral. Things being to poke out and take up more space then they should, but that’s not the problem. The problem is you have stay loose and stretch … which might involve bending over at some point … which might involve more space than you already have … which might involve your personal space invading someone’s personal space, so to say.

I attribute most of the problem to my shape and stature. I’m just about 5’5″, but built sort of round in a square way, and could be modified as “stocky” if I didn’t have a tiny waste that made me look like a woman. But this isn’t about my annoyance at never finding pants that go over my hips unless they’re a size larger than they need to be.

When I first started running hills, I really saw and felt the effects on my bottom. It became rounder and less attached to my thighs, which was nice. Even my hips (or the sides of my butt as I lovingly refer to them) began to decrease some. But it stopped after that. And this is the whole problem.

My booty, my ass, my ba-donk-a-donk, the eclipsing shadow to my shape. It never leaves me. I’ve tried everything to help it along: squats, lunges, squat-lunges, stair machines (which are a terrible idea for shorter, stockier shapes), walking at a fast pace, walking at a fast pace on an incline, walking backward on an incline very quickly. All this work to tone up the back end of me so I could run better.  The main point of back there is to add thrust, push, force to my run. Right?

Well, it seems your the old song of long forgotten times was correct. You know it, don’t deny–No, no not “I like big …” or “Dance, too much …” or even ” … shaker, Shake, Shake, Shake your …”. Nope, none of those. But the one about the leg bone being connected to thigh bone. Yep, that one. Seems your booty is connected to some other muscles and if they’re weak, it shall too be weak. A small list of those muscles  is below:

  • psoas (major and minor)
  • iliacus
  • quadratus lumborum

In short, your love handle area. Your core is a key to how well your ass will work in a race in combination with you legs, of course.

But it’s size and shape and weight, well, that’s all genetic. It seems no matter how large or non-existant you assets (ba-dam-dum) may be, you can’t beat what your designed to have. I’ve begged and pleaded, luged and squated, poked, punched, beat, and leg-lifted until I was ready to vomit, and after it all, IT decides how it will grow or shrink or move.

IT stops and stays.

122703-whatsaySo it’s me and my shadow. I suppose it will just be there, following me daily, looking back at where we’ve come from until it decides it’s had enough.

Pathology of a Long Run

7 May

Pathology is know as the study and diagnosis of disease. This blog has nothing to do with disease (well, the study or diagnosis of one for that matter). According to a variety of dictionaries, the word pathology descends from the Ancient Greek “πάθος” or pathos which can be translated into English as either “experience” or “suffering”, and if you’ve read the last two entries, I’ve consistently spoken about my experiences suffering. Thus, I titled this entry the “pathology” of a long run. Although, I’m not looking at a long distance run as an experience of suffering, but the two parts that create a whole: the exuberance and pain of distance running.

I’ve alluded to how running is most like a fairy tale for me. I can be Cinderella(working hard and running) or Snow White (enchanting woodland creatures with the magical noise produced by my rubbing thighs). Unlike most fairy tales, this one ends happily without incident of fighting evil witches, poison, or even a Prince Charming coming to rescue me (*sigh*).

Now, my happy ending results from insane amounts of work and constant running. Maturity, wisdom, advice from the running community, have also added to my success. So, at the beginning of this year, when one of my running buddies mentioned we do the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler cherry-blossom-2(this race runs around all of D.C.’s greatest monuments under, yep, cherry blossoms. Just. Beautiful.),I said, “Sure.” Being picked in the lottery for the race would only solidified my confidence that I was ready to take the leap to longer races and would give me an easy out if I didn’t get picked (Oh, well, maybe next year?). I had completed 12 5ks since my first and had run with various groups of people so I thought, since I was chosen, that I could handle the move into the world of long distance running. And I did. 

I trained, well, for three months before the race with my running buddy co-worker who was also running, followed her cross country friend’s advice, and come that Sunday I felt prepared and excited. We stretched together by the line up area, said our good byes (she was with the Kenyans), and I made it to my area—the third wave. I was alone but felt really secure. I was around my people, so to say. When we took off we applauded ourselves, and to keep my mind distracted from the idea of 10 long miles, I decided I would log something new for each mile. The following is my attempt to distract my self with my surroundings:

Mile 1- Everyone applauds Kenyans. Well, not just Kenyans, but those who can run between 4:30 and 5:10 average miles who are close to completing the run when my group is just starting. And they do deserve a round of applause, along with a large piece of cake and/or a sandwich after a run like that.

Mile 2-Spectators like signs, and I like spectators with signs. Some of the signs were for specific people, and I have to say it really helped when I say the encouraging sign with my name on it a colleague made for me (or ones that had my name but were clearly for someone else … or to be honest, anything with glitter).

Mile 3- It’s great when someone shouts your name. My mother shouted my name each time she could spot me, as did my co-worker’s mother. It feels good to have a connection on the other side who knows who you are and wants you to go as fast as you can and finish. The absolute greatest is strangers who kept cheering me on (and it took me a while to figure out they got my name off my bib–it’s printed there).

Mile 4- It’s great when people you don’t know take the time to cheer you on. There was a woman at the most trying parts of the course with a sign that read “Get it done!” and her hand writing reminded me of the signs Wiley Coyote would hold up just before an anvil dropped on his head …  It was a great mantra to have when the course became my own anvil.

Mile 5- Half way done does not mean you are finished. Many people began to slow up, take water, even hit the port-o-johns. At first I thought Oh, no! They’re loosing time. But then I realized they knew they had 5 more miles to complete and had to take care to make sure they finished.

Mile 6- Running skirts are really in style this season. Personally, I think these skirt wearers look like tennis players who got lost; or at least I thought that until one passed me. Then I notice some other people passing me. People who are actually, dare I say, overweight, or have ridiculous strides, or have glasses on. I am no longer the fat girl running. I’m looking all types of athletic even though I’m running slowly.

Mile 7- Picture time. Good looking guy taking pictures of the race costs me 40 seconds I have to make up but it’s totally worth smiling at him. This is also where the pack breaks up. People either really kick it up or start to show fatigue. I was alone, in the middle of these packs for a while, and I really appreciated the alone time, away from the 3000 new friends I had made.

Mile 7.5- Hot guy at the picnic table with a cooler, trays, and a sign “Free Beer and Oreos.” Seriously? And yes, people jumped off the course for Oreos and kept on going.

Mile 8- My time was about 10 minutes behind, but I didn’t even care. There were people with costumes and cameras running with me. I realized my pace time was someone else’s slow time and I didn’t care … it was the funest group. At the last water stop a volunteer shouts for our attention: “Vodka tonics; beer; champagne; daiquiris.” Hilarious!

Mile 8.45- Best sign ever: “It’s better than writing your thesis, Katie.” So true (and I don’t even know what the topic is).

Mile 9- Time to bring it all home. Time to run as highly paced as I can. Time to realize there is a big incline that wasn’t on the map, and oh, God I think my heart is going to burst.

Mile 9.45- I have never been at the finish line of an actual long race. I have never had 300 plus strangers (plus my mom and co-workers) cheering me on. As soon as I got to the top of that incline I threw both arms up like Rocky after a prizefight and thought thank God I can see the finish line. I smile and wave at my mom and literally sprint toward the finish line. It was all I could do to stop myself from crying.

Mile 10- Two men and I beat an entire group to the finish line. The announcer calls us out and says we’re getting new colors for next year because we are too fast.

And then, we stop. Oh, God, we stopped. My legs, my arms, my body … is shut…ing…down. I now feel as if I’m walking through jello (except it’s not as plesent). I’m disoriented and suddenly dehydrated. Why are there so many signs that say “water”, but there’s no water to drink anywhere?–The Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner begins to make perfect sense.

This girl loves bananas–b-an-an-as, this girls loves free bananas, this girl might–yuck–plwa–muffins are not good to eat after running. This girl is now tired of bananas. Why is water so yummy?

I used to make fun of the way pregnant people walked. Now that I’m walking like I’m 7 months, I can understand how humiliating it can feel. Actually, I’m moving a bit like I’m the Duke in a badass western (and I’m saddle sore).

Fast forward to the next day, and it’s clear stairs are not my friends. I am relegated to going down them like I did when I was child: on my bottom. Thankfully, I took off the Monday after the race, so I can preserve some of my dignity and not have to do this act in public.

Noting helps the soreness that has settled into my bones (aka-knees), or my obliques, or quads. My arms are okay, and I now wish I had paid attention when we had our gymnastics unit in physical education. What somewhat helps is the following:

  • Elevating my legs
  • Movies (made for tv or otherwise)
  • Food (whatever the hell I want; I ran for more than an hour and a half)
  • Sleep–I’m not a napper, but I find it necessary
  • ICE PACKS (ones that wrap around body parts)
  • WATER (not juice, not tea, not sports drinks, not soda). Just water. So. Yummy.

Sports are said to be 90% mental … or 50% … or a lot mental. And it is a hard battle to through a long run, or an intense training session, or extra innings, but the euphoria of completion or success or defeat only lasts until the adrenaline wears off. Then, your body reminds you, Hey, you’re not young anymore. And even if you are, for making me work so hard, for so long, for making me work overtime without extra pay, I’m collecting from you in minutes of soreness and pain. 

The after, the weakness and recovery are their own parts. They vary. But we, we are runners, we are stronger, we run even when it hurst. So on the third day, I am running, really slowly. And it’s perfect.         images

The porcupine mating call and why I’ll never wear shorts.

4 May

My thighs touch.

The end.

Well, I really should end it there as I’m not genetically arranged to have two thighs that are parted from each other in any way. No, sir. These thighs have been in a long-term, highly monogamous relationship for over 30 years. Yes, they even touched when I was a baby. But back then, it was cute to have chubby, full thighs. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever known a person to remark “Oh, look at that skinny baby. How beautiful.” During the formative years, it’s abhorrent to even imagine a baby not being chubby because chubby equals healthy. Then, without warning, this idea is reversed, and one is left feeling zoftig (if the word is available), or in others’ words “chubby” which is now bad. How this all happens is left to the dependent of the name to figure out. Worst of all, both men and women may suffer from thighs that never part.  And if you take a look at the picture below, you can see it is a real issue (and a painful one at that):

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 That’s what we like to call “chub-rub” burn. Classier people call it “chaffing”.

My compare/contrast issue in this arena is mostly my friends’ faults because most of the cross country/runner people I have been friends with can be classified as having less than 5% body fat, or something like that. I was mandated to an eating regiment and keeping a specific weight balance. In short, I’ll never be the 5% body fat, perfectly toned runner girl. I was and still am attracting porcupines.

If you have no idea what any of this means, put on a pair of corduroy pants and walk quickly—make your thighs touch if they don’t. Hear that squeaky-zipper sound? That’s the same sound as the mating call of the porcupines. (Please click on the link to see the old Levi’s commercial that both humored and horrified me: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vMEKzLAm01k).

Okay, so it’s a badger, and I have mistakenly called it a porcupine forever. Same difference?

While I haven’t been chased by a wild pack of animals (nor am I certified to qualify such claims even if I’ve repeatedly suspected I have), I’m pretty sure Levi’s got the description of the sound right (badger/ porcupine/other woodland creatures, I can attract them all in a twisted Snow White sort of way–do my thighs sing?).

Why. Why must the sound of my thighs rubbing against one another mimic the mating sound that almost equals the distress cries of a wild animal? I think the sound most resembles what lycra would sound like if it could cry: “Stop, please, I can’t stretch this much/in that way!”

I have tried many a remedy to help this issue. The first, change the gait of my stride. By varying the width of my stride, I have been able to both ride myself of the sound and cause  (probably) irreversible damage to my hip flexors. While sitting around and resting from my injury, I had another thought: Change the fabric!

Part of the problem is the nylon/lycra combination (people from the 70’s hear my cry). Nylon’s use has changed and it is now the main component in most moisture wicking fabrics, and I like to stay dry during a run since mine are usually long. The shirts are fine enough, no sound from the arm chub, but the thighs! OH, and the amount of heat this friction causes is troubling. I’ve often imagined that I’m pushing hard through the last mile of a run when suddenly, POOF! My thighs burst into flames, and I am the first woman to spontaneously combust due to chub-rub friction. I’m sure the obit would say “chaffing incident”.

In my attempt to kill the “mating call”, other types of nylon combos were introduced. What follows is the trial and error of my research:

Fleece+nylon= Winner! Kept the sweat away with no sound. However, these pants are not advisable for late spring, summer, or early fall … or if you get warm very quickly.

Cotton running tights (2% or less of nylon)= Winner! Kept mostly dry, except you are now running in tights, which, to me, isn’t worth the loss of sound unless my shirt reaches the back of my knees.

Shorts (running specific)= Seriously, have you been reading this?

Tights+Shorts combo= Double win! Coverage for the parts I want, cool enough to run for a long time, and–wait a MINUTE!!!

When your thighs touch, sound is half the problem, the other half is what happens when you are moving in the shorts–your crotch looks hungry.

So the shorts/tight combo worked, and yes, I even found an appropriate, non-underwear looking, non-mating-call-noise-causing pair of shorts to go running in, but then there was the issue of what happened to the material that wasn’t vacuum sealed to my thighs–it started to ride up the inseam of my thighs and gather near my nether region. I hadn’t really felt what was happening, and I suppose it really didn’t look that bad until I stopped, but when I did stop and saw my reflection in a passing car the first time I wore the short-tight/shorts, I wanted to die. Like a child caught eating cookies from the cookie jar, my crotch looked like it was half way through snacking on my shorts.

At first, I thought it was me, but alas, it seems this happens to the best of us which made me feel glad and sad all at the same time. Even smaller gals and guys have this issue if their thighs touch. So it’s a snacking crotch or a mating call. What’s a runner to do?

The moral of this post is there is no cure for thighs that rub together. You are arranged in a certain design, and your body will have parts that touch or don’t. Sometimes you’re making a mating call, sometimes there’s silence. I just hope there aren’t ever any flames.

And so, I run on–running tights, moisture wicking fabric, sweats, shorts, shorts/tights, thighs touching lovingly,1351209668997_83953082 enjoying the miles and years they’ve shared together, a badger and porcupine trailing behind me, endlessly attempting to catch their long lost love.