The Embarrassed Runner

Coming off from my self-indulgent Bonnaroo Bender last weekend, I took it upon myself to seriously get my ass in check. After almost a month and a half of being off of a “schedule” I made it a priority to run a significant distance on Sunday to a.) Attempt to develop a tolerance for the heat and b.) Ensure I wouldn’t keel over come my ½ marathon at the end of the month.

Prepping for my run felt almost nostalgic, as I instinctively placed my clothes on my bed and munched on my chews, and I found myself reflecting on how far I’ve come since my training in January. Here I am about to run my 2nd and 3rd half marathons, and I’ll be damned if I didn’t feel like a real-life runner.

This then led me to question whether there were things I wish I would have known and questions I would have wished I asked. In the age of Google, there is no shame in typing in these inquiries into a search bar, pressing enter, and reveling in the fact that there are others out there are on the same quest for answers. However, you have no idea who the all-knowing wizard on the other side of the screen is or if that forum can even be considered a reliable source.

Well, this is me:


And I may not be all that reliable but there’s some proof out in the Google world that I actually did run a race or two so you can at least count me in with a smidge of experience. Of course, a few races does not an expert make, but I promise that given my current knowledge I will be brutally honest. It’s the Northern in me, I can’t help it…

So here’s a list of the dirty stuff that I was mildly embarrassed to ask (it takes a lot to really embarrass me) that I wish I had known the answers to.

The great underwear debate.

(Get these fantastic ‘rundies’ here.)

  • Q: To wear, or not to wear underwear while running
  • A: This was, surprisingly, one of my first wonders as I progressed throughout my training. My Norts (Nike running shorts) have that silly little sack-like diaper in them so I began to wonder if maybe I was supposed to go commando. I could be light as a feather! Free as a bird! All the while letting my ass sweat into nothingness!  Um, no thanks. After my brief search on the internet, I decided to leave the “free” feeling to the pros who actually wear only underwear when running (yes, I know they are called singlets but let’s be real here – they look like glorified underpants). I’m just not comfortable without them on and gods forbid I tear my pants or something.

              1a. That thong thong thong thong thong

Get this pretty little thong here

  • Q: Can you wear a thong when you run?
  • A: Yes. There are far more comfortable underthings you could be wearing but I’ve done it, and it’s not that bad. And if, for whatever reason, you don’t want underwear lines then this is the way to go.

It’s Potty Time!

Q: What happens if you have to pee? Or worse…?

A: Many a-time I have gotten about a mile down the road only to get “the feeling” that I drank a bit too much and it’s time to go. Thankfully, I have no aversion to moseying off the beaten path, finding a nice patch of grass where no one can see me and do my thing. I shake it off and move on. During races, there are typically porta-potties somewhere in the vicinity for your convenience and if push comes to shove, I don’t see myself having a problem finding someplace to squat  (out of view of course). Luckily, my body is pretty good at knowing when to shut off the “you gotta go” sensor and I have yet to run into this problem while racing (knock on wood). As for the other, er, option – I have honestly never run into the issue (haha, get it?). I’m pretty careful not to eat anything strange before a big run and thankfully, my body is pretty good about letting me know if something weird is up. That being said, I would never EVER be one of those poor but determined souls who don’t think they need to stop and go. There are some things you can run through (cramps, headaches, etc.) and some things you can’t.  A number 2 is one.

Lovely Lady Lumps

Q: Can I run in just a bra?
A: I feel that this one is strictly personal preference. Don’t get me wrong, when it’s friggin’ hot out, it would be nice to have one less layer absorbing your sweat. However, I question if I will ever have enough confidence to rock just a bra. I’ve seen those girls with their flat, rock hard abs, and by god, if you’ve got it flaunt it. My abs are neither flat nor hard and frankly, I’m just not comfortable with people seeing a little jiggle in my belly, no matter how little that jiggle may be. Also, if you choose to go the shirtless route, I would highly recommend doing it on a lightly trafficked road. There will be horn honks. Shoot, I get horn honks and cat calls when I’m bundled in my winter garb so I assume some redneck would careen into a telephone poll if he saw all us cute girls be-boppin around in our skivvies. Be wary.

Snot through the heart

Q: What is the best way to blow a snot rocket?

A: Easy! First, check behind you. You never know…Second, place a finger over one nostril and blow as hard as you can out your nose and watch the boogers fly! Repeat with the other side. Continue with your day – there is no shame in this.


Q: What’s all this business involving chafing?

A: Oh the days before I chafed how I miss thee. I was perfectly fine, minding my own business during my last 10-k, when out of nowhere, I developed this noticeable pain in between my thighs. I quite literally thought ‘WTF?’and looked down to see that both inner thighs were completely red. A perfect storm of heat and humidity had caused my thighs to rub together and become an irritated mess – and I had nothing to stop it. So onward I ran only to finish with a horribly painful rash that left if difficult to wear, well anything, and walk without wincing. Super awesome. Now first things first, you are not fat if your thighs rub together. My thighs rub together and I know I’m not fat so please, save yourself the strife and move along. Secondly, this is really curable. Get yourself a little stick of Body Glide (not to be confused with astro-glide which will have marginally different results) and rub it on the trouble spots. I have a fantastic skort that has these fancy elastic stickies on the hemlines that prevent the shorts from riding up and allowing my skin to rub together. No problems since – thank God because chafing blows.


Q: Make-up while you run, yay or nay?

A: Both. During my training runs, no – my face is as naked as can be. I’m probably not going to be seeing anyone and I honestly couldn’t care less. During races however, and I know that there are people out there that will judge me for this, you better believe I have make-up on. Not a lot, usually just some mascara and a touch of shadow – anything else would sweat off.  But it really would be just my luck that during the race I don’t wear make-up, my unfortunate mug would be plastered all over the city newspaper looking worse than LiLo on her 3rd mugshot. During big races, there are typically photographers all over the place as well so if you want a decent picture of yourself (as decent as can be after a long run anyway) thou shalt not judge if you’ve put your face on beforehand.

This concludes the question and answer portion of the Sassy Swan’s embarrassing running questions. If you have any other fun-filled inquisitions, please feel free to let me know. Lucky for all you soon to be runners out there, I am an open book and fiercely honest when it comes to this kind of stuff so ask away!


4 thoughts on “The Embarrassed Runner

  1. Pingback: Guide to Running in the Heat | The Sassy Swan

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