MILES THIS WEEK: 16.
WHERE TO: Nowhere — Kaboom!
First things first, sports fans: I’m IN! The 50-miler form entry has been accepted, and they returned my SASE with a slip of paper saying that I now have the privilege of running for 9 hours straight. WHOOPEE! Want to be on my aid crew? Yes you do. Drop me a line if you want to force-feed me a banana with peanut butter at mile 37.
Second things second: Rusty did not get in, but still has a shot at doing so via a charity entry. If you see him on the street, give him a hug and $20. Actually, even if he weren’t trying to get in, I’d tell you to do this. Poor guy is a law student at one of the most depressing places on earth (coughGWUcough). Stroke his head and gently hum to him while you’re at it. He needs it.
Anyway. What with my obsession for the past seven posts with heaving bosoms and hoo-hahs and love-juices and throbbing, hard-as-steel loveshafts of swollen, heat-radiating manhood and so on, I completely forgot that there are people out there who NEED MY EXPERTISE on things other than breasts and erections. And so I give the second installment of
ASK A RUNNER!
…in which I answer honest-to-God real questions from runners like you, ESPECIALLY those special folks who posed questions on my “Ask a Runner!” page. Good job, kids.
Q: I have shoes and running clothes. What other gear might I need to be a truly successful runner? — Samuel, Austin, TX
A: Let’s make a nice little shopping list so you can better support the military-industrial-running complex. Here goes:
Clothes: Well, friend, first let’s talk about your running clothes. Are they cotton? Stop running in cotton. JUST STOP IT. I know, I know I used to be like you: I said, “Only namby-pamby elitist douches insist on nice, moisture-wicking clothes that don’t weigh 50 pounds when they get sweaty and rub all the skin off of my underarms.” But I was a moron, and so are you.
Now, don’t get me wrong — you don’t need superexpensive non-cotton clothes. The singlets at Target are just as good as the ones at your local Lululemon, which — let’s be honest — should probably be firebombed anyway.
Fuel Belt: …or you could just go to the parks and recreation department’s website and find a map of water fountains. Seriously.
Gels: These actually serve two purposes — first of all, allowing you to carry a full run’s worth of fuel in your sports bra (as opposed to in a gallon-jug of Gatorade), and second of all, allowing you to spot fellow travelers. That kid in the Oberlin shirt springing past the water fountain with a stride longer than he is tall? He’s not one of you. That turkey-trotting grandma in the Oakleys and old-school Reeboks, stopping at the water fountain while suckling a Double-Mocha-Double-Caffeine PowerGel? She most certainly is. Put down your Vanilla Bean-flavored (single-caffeine) Gu and give Granny a high-five and a “FUCK YEAHHHHHHHHHHHHH.” If you’re lucky, she’ll head-butt you and you’ll both scream. And you’ll both catch Oberlin when he collapses at the trail head. Don’t give him a gel. It’ll toughen him up. Or send him into shock. One or the other.
BodyGlide: Ah, yes, the stupid sexual jokes you hear at every goddamn start line from runners of every age and gender and education level about needing lubrication before you get started and how you need to get all lubed up and slippery oh is this BodyGlide or Astroglide hahahahaha I AM GOING TO BLOW PAST YOU AT MILE 23, YOU MORONS.
But seriously, BodyGlide is truly great stuff and will save you millions in Band-Aids and Neosporin in the future. The only real issue is applying it, especially if, say, your sports bra chafes your back or whatever. So you might need someone to help you apply it.
So before your next Saturday-morning long run, enlist perhaps a friend who cares just as much about your training as you do. I suggest that you walk into your housemate’s room at 5 AM on Saturday and hold your BodyGlide stick out. “Hey! HEY!” you should yell. “I NEED HELP and you ATE MY PIZZA ROLLS!” It’s also helpful to wave the stick in his/her face and yell, “GREASE ME UP!” If your housemate for some reason declines, don’t worry; usually that guy he/she is sleeping with will oblige you.
Q: I’ve heard of people who get their toenails removed to make ultra-long-distance-running easier and less painful. How do I know if this is right for me? — Eleanor, Bozeman, MT
A: Well, let’s talk pros and cons. Toenails serve two important functions on your body:
1) Turning purple after strenuous races, allowing you to show your friends, who will invariably respond, “Wowwwww you are AMAAAAAZING and that is not at all gross or gratuitous that you are showing this off to me!”
2) You get to paint them.
Now imagine life without your toenails. Your friends will do a lot less “Wowwwww”ing and a lot more rocking and gently sobbing at the sight of your now-naked toes. And picture yourself trying to paint purple glitter ovals on your little nubbly non-nailed piggies. Sad, right? Unnatural?
Because listen up, folks. I know, I’m all pumped about running a lot, but: if your sport requires you to remove a body part, LET ALONE TEN, maybe it’s time to dial it back a bit.
Wait, what? You still are considering the operation? Well, you are a hell of a lot more woman than I am. I respect that. So now it’s time to see if you’re “ready.” You can determine this with 4 simple steps:
1) Obtain a pair of forceps.
2) Use it to grasp your big toenail firmly.
3) PULL AS HARD AS YOU CAN.
4) Yell, “MotherFAAAAAAAAAHHHHHCK!”
If your “MotherFAAAAAAAAAHHHHCK!” is fewer than 7 A’s long, congrats! You might be able to handle toenail removal!
Q: Have YOU ever considered toenail removal? — Sunshine, Berkeley, CA
A: Yeah. And I mean, my feet are also sort of hurting me, so I might just remove them and run on my stumps for the rest of my life.
Q: How do I keep my giant wang from flopping all over the place? The only solution I’ve thought of is a homemade sling/hammock…. — An actual question (go look for yourself!) from our old friend, The Bear, in Minneapolis, MN
A: Well, maybe you should remove it. Go get your forceps…
Q: How long should I rest between marathons – four hours or five? — C., Chicago, IL
A: I love you, C.
Q: How do I pick a sports bra? — M., Washington, DC
A: Ah, the eternal struggle. Or so I understand it. I’m not quite up to speed on this. I mean, let’s face it — I belong to a rare and lucky/unlucky class of lady who can get away with fashioning a crude bandeau top out of toilet paper and masking tape and then cranking out the intervals. But as I understand it, there are ladies like M. who — you know — actually hit puberty.
For you ladies who actually have managed to develop mammary glands, good for you.
Oh, and OK. Sports bras. As I understand it, the ideal situation is to have your breasts completely immobilized. So what logically makes sense to me is that you get the smallest sports bra possible and after you’ve wrestled your way into it, just tie those girls down, then say a prayer and head out the door.
Wait. Wait. I’m getting a phone call in from my college roommate (who was/is a runner, and also describable as “bodacious”), telling me I’m a dumbass.
Actually, what you might want to do instead is go to a specialty running shop. Walk around, staring at the chests of all employees and perhaps even customers, until you find the lucky lady with the largest rack.
“Excuse me,” you should say, “but your chest, while exquisite, doesn’t look like it’s particularly suited to running.” If she doesn’t take a swing at you, invite her to help you choose a sports bra. Try on several models, leaving no stone unturned, exiting the fitting room with each one to invite your new helper to have a feel (or two!) and help you determine which bra provides the optimal level of support.
“Whatcha think?” you will say of the aqua-blue, racerback little number from Saucony.
“Wow. Feels firm!” your buddy will chirp.
At the end of this ordeal, when you have found The One, buy a few of them. Moments like these are rare. Push your way through the crowd that has gathered and go to the sales counter.
“Can I help you get anything else?” the sales clerk will say, his eyes streaming tears as he cries in gratitude to the universe for this beautiful day in his life, not to mention the commission he’s going to make.
“I need some BodyGlide,” you should then say.
His brain will hemorrhage.
You will then punch him in the nuts, the little perv.