Ask a Runner

If I put up a Glee picture, will more people read? (Image from

WEATHER: Glorious — 69, non-damp, pretty.



WHERE TO: Eastern Market, Mall, Foggy Bottom, Dupont Circle, etc.

MOOD: Helpful.


It has come to my attention that there are blogs out there that actually are…you know…USEFUL.  And so, in the spirit of attempting to help my fellow man/womyn, and especially YOU, blog-readers, whom I love with every part of my being, especially my bosoms feet, I give you the first installment of “Ask a Runner,” wherein I answer all your running-related questions.  So.  Let’s go, kids.


Q: How do I pick the right running shoes for me? — Deanna Z., Ledyard, IA

A: Measure your feet, find some shoes in a color you like, and go.

Just messing with you.  Picking the right running shoes is a very complicated process that involves going to a running store, where there are trained professionals who can help you find the specific shoes that will make your daily 4-mile death march feel a bit more like 3.9 miles.  Feet move in different ways, you see, depending on how you “push off” on your “stride” — among the myriad ways in which your “feet” can be “moving” horribly, irreparably wrong, are supination, pronation, abomination, and ululation (this one is particular to warrior princesses).  You need shoes that fit what your feet are doing wrong, you see.

To help ensure you get the “right fit,” these pros will actually sit down in front of you, the poor saps, and take your feet into their hands and INSPECT YOUR FEET CLOSELY, kindly taking into account yet not commenting on all of your feet’s little peccadilloes, callouses, corns, and 6th digits. Strangely, doing this never seems to bother them.

“My GOD,” the running store saleswoman will often say as you unveil your foot from your greyed, hole-y sock.  “Your feet are INCREDIBLE.”

“Um…yeah,” you will say, a bit taken aback at first, but trust me, this is just how these people work.  Go with it.  “So…can you tell me what shoes I need?”

“Nnnnnnnng,” she will say, rubbing your glorious foot on her cheek.  Again, relax.  This is part of the process.

After she has invited you back to her place, usually she will give you a sale price of 20% off of the marked-up-150%-shoes she has selected for you.  Yes, it feels like highway robbery, but then, she did compose a madrigal about your big toes while showering you in grapeseed oil.  You’re paying for the experience here.


Q: What is my ideal weight as a runner? — Tom R., Bethesda, MD

A: Whatever you are minus 10 pounds.

OK, haha, just joking.  It’s actually 20.


Q: Can I touch your face? — Richard X., Washington, DC

A: You again?


Q: Is there a particular diet I should be following as a runner? — Svetlana E., Baton Rouge, LA

A: There is a wide variety of foods that you can eat, depending on your weekly mileage:

0-10 miles per week — dust mites

11-20 miles per week — celery sticks

21-30 miles per week — celery sticks and shots of vodka

31-40 miles per week — marshmallow fluff, Cheez doodles

41-50 miles per week — duck breast with goat cheese and a balsamic reduction, served over farm-fresh organic arugula

51-60 miles per week — entire jars of peanut butter.  Mayonnaise, too.

61+ miles per week — the cast of Glee (actually, please do this)

Some runners follow a strict vegan diet.  Ultramarathoner Scott Jurek is perhaps the most famous for this.  I am confident that we can all call a big fat shenanigans on him, as well.  I mean, maybe he’s part bunny or something, but no one can run 50 gazillion miles a week on nothing but Garbanzo beans and iceberg lettuce.  Plus, I once at a race spotted him sneaking into the bushes to chomp on a squirrel.  Scott Jurek, you’re sick, man.

Maybe it’s my Iowa roots, but I mean…I dunno.  If you’re working that hard, you might as well treat yourself to a delicious, formerly-living being once in a while.


Q: Iowa, huh?  The land of potatoes, eh? — A surprising number of seemingly-educated East Coast people

A: I hate you.


Q: Is Shaniqua there? — Esther Q., Muncie, IN

A: HELL, no. How many times do I have to tell you?


Well.  Do you have a question you need answered?  Write it on a (full) peanut butter jar or a Glee cast member and send it in.


7 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by C on June 9, 2010 at 12:09 pm

    Brilliant. I once worked for a Princeton PhD who constantly mistook Idaho for Iowa. Absolutely ridiculous.

    Question: How long should I rest between marathons – four hours or five?


  2. You’re answering questions for free? IN THIS ECONOMY?


  3. Posted by Doris on June 11, 2010 at 10:00 am

    **Uncontrolably laughing** – thanks for the pick-me-up 🙂


  4. Posted by Rusty on June 13, 2010 at 6:31 pm

    I have to cover a running blister but my roommate only has Hello Kitty and Little Mermaid bandaids. Which one should I choose?


  5. […] Leave a Comment Hooray!  We now have a new page, on which you can post your questions and DJ will answer them.  Or laugh at your cluelessness.  But most likely answer […]


  6. […] a piece of paper, tie it to a brick, and hurl it through the window of your local Lululemon.  Or see if I’ve answered it already.  Or leave it here. Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)Fear of CommitmentAsk a […]


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