My Romance With Running

Stories about running


6 Comments

It’s the tits!

Is it morning already?

You stare bleary eyed at the ceiling, stretching and yawning, and you’re immediately aware of hunger pangs in your puku. You rub your eyes with balled fists and lick your gums. Pulling your warm booties over your feet, you stumble in to the kitchen, just in time to see your muesli and yoghurt walking out the door! Running shoes on, spoon tucked under one arm, clearly trying to make a break for it while you were sleeping.

What would you do? Scream. You would scream and poke your tongue out repeatedly until the delicious breakfast items are returned to you.

That’s what the baby does when I want to leave the house for an early run. And fair enough, I get hungry, and I love breakfast too. I just don’t enjoy having to be the breakfast.

I was aware of all ‘The things NOBODY tells you about pregnancy and child birth!’ after clicking the bait and reading at least ten online articles with that exact title. But I still got a shock with the titties. As a life-long member of the Itty Bitty Titty Committee (who never graduated from wearing an A-cup bra) the titties have been my biggest challenge.

If you run a lot you might be in the same teeny tiny boat. Boobs are not something you need to worry about when they are small. They never bounce, they don’t get chafe, and you can keep wearing the same grimy, stretched, unsupportive crop-top you’ve had for the past six years because all it’s really doing is censoring your nipples.

20x30-AAMO1203

Example of nipple censoring crop-top that is doing zero work.

Of all the misguided yet well-meaning advice given to me while pregnant this had the poorest timing, ‘Make the most of them when they’re small’.

You see, people were giving me this advice a few weeks after I had given birth. Perhaps they were referring to the baby, but I couldn’t see any baby past these giant milky globes and salami nipples.

By the time you get this advice it is too late and your tits are at their peak size. Bloated like a week-old dead ewe, and so tender that even looking at them hurts. They are leaky, vascular, rock-hard melons.

Oh, it’s far too late. You think back to those times, nine months ago, when your tiny rack fit neatly into a size small crop top. A single thin layer of stretchy fabric, and you could run without needing reinforced stitching in your bra or your vagina.

Gone are the days where you could break into a care-free jog to cross the street, the days of hugging people without your boobs noticeably pressing in to their chest, and the days of taking selfies from any angle other than above your face. You have cleavage to consider now so your ‘best angle’ has completely changed.

IMG_0967

What a lovely photo #oopsdidntmeanto

I wish I had made the most of them while they were small. I think back to the times when I moaned about my small chest, and my boobs looking like two extra abdominal muscles rather than actual mammaries.

I use to pull a crop top over my head and be on my merry way out the door for a run in the sun. Then my chest grew and I had to introduce a new check before heading out the door.

  • House key – check
  • Laces double-knotted – check!
  • Socks match my crop top and shoes are of a complimentary colour – check
  • Nipples are in alignment – che-

Wait, what?

IMG-0732

Nipple confusion is a real issue

They take a while to get use to, but like most pregnancy and child related things they will change quickly and before I know it they will be gone, faded deflated to a distant memory. So I’ll be making the most of them while they’re big.

‘The tits’
The same as The Shit, only better because tits are great and shit isn’t.
‘That Shit Was The Tits!’
Advertisements


11 Comments

50 Shades of Chafe

During my long run one Sunday we (me and my all Girl Power running posse) talked about how sometimes we get tooted at, yelled and whistled at by men when we are out on training runs. I personally don’t get this often, because when I run my face looks like this;

11128839_10152714518596097_8163267418595319906_o

You do not whistle at this face, motherfucker.

I often wonder what men’s intentions are when they interrupt a woman’s run to express what I did assume was their appreciation for what awesome runners we are. What exactly are they trying to achieve with that wolf whistle? What would their ideal outcome be from the sleazy phrases yelled from their vehicles as they speed past? I’ll tell you what they would LOVE to happen as a result of that cat call, because I’ve had hundreds of kilometres to dream up this fantasy.

Get your chamois cream and some tissues, this is going to be titillating.


 FIFTY SHADES OF CHAFE

Scene 1: The Esplanade

She had been running for almost two hours. The sky was blooming from a dusky purple into shades of orange and pink as the sun painted the road with a shimmering gold, making the icy rain of the early morning seem a world away. Two hours of feet pounding the roads, thinking about the pain in her turgid thighs, about why she was training and why finishing this run was so important in achieving her goals. Two hours on the grind sweating, hungry and fatigued, just 40 minutes to go.

Right now she wanted nothing more than some cold water, a hot shower, three large stuffed crust pizzas and a guy in a patchy grey Toyota van to yell ‘Hey ya wee skank, nice ass! Come and run over here!’

IMG_1939 She really enjoyed being thought of as a sex object by complete strangers. She thought it strange when people did not whistle at her, or comment on how much they would like to smack dat as she ran past. Her wish was granted. He rounded the corner and saw her running ahead of him. Ponytail swinging in a way that didn’t specifically say ‘Fuck off, I’m running and I don’t care about anything you have to say.’ He saw the chance for romance and yelled at the beautiful stranger.

His wolf whistle cut through the air like the the hem of a pair of Canterbury rugby shorts through an inner thigh that someone forgot to coat in chamois cream. ‘Hey ya wee skank!’ She turned her head, her sweaty ponytail whipping in to her eyes and blinding her for a moment,Hark, I see a voice! Now will I to the curb and I can see my knight in shining Japanese Import.’ IMG_1940 What a dream come true! All those hours of training outside with the goal that someone would drive past and deem her worthy of a whistle were worth it. ‘Where does this gentleman live?‘ she asked him. She carefully listened to him recite his street over the rumble of his deteriorating exhaust and changed course to finish the run at the home of her new love interest.


Scene 2: The doorstep

She bounded up the front path, which unfortunately for her consisted of 250 stairs (the story is set in Wellington) and collapsed quivering and dripping in to his waiting arms on the doorstep. Their eyes met, both sets of them very bloodshot but for entirely different reasons. She had needed to poo for about an hour so ran past him inside to destroy his bathroom while he rolled a durrie on the porch. She emerged from the bathroom, having pulled her underwear out of the crevasse it had firmly wedged itself in at the 12th kilometre on her run, she was ready for anything. A bead of sweat tickled down her neck with anticipation, and stopped in when it reached the rest of the crusted up salty sweat that had formed alluring white lines on her collar bone.

She traced a sticky Gu covered finger across his undefined jaw line and chins and over his lips, letting him taste the Chocolate Outrage. She hoped that this would give him the stamina to endure what was about to happen. He moaned softly and screwed up his face at the taste of the Gu, but wasn’t deterred, and lead his sore and salty friend in to the house, and in to his bedroom.

New Picture (4)

Love potion


Scene 3: Toyota Man’s Bedroom

The smell that seeped out of the room when he opened his bedroom door was rancid, but thankfully after running 25 kms the only thing she could smell was her armpits. He pulled her towards him and kissed her passionately, underneath the Performance Car Magazine centre folds that adorned the walls. She bit his lip, not playfully, but really hard because she was fucking hungry and there was nothing to eat in the entire house (she looked after she had desecrated the bathroom).

‘Why does he have such an unnerving effect on me? She wondered. His over-whelmingly plain looks maybe? The way his eyes seem to look at me as a piece of ass rather than an athlete? The way he can roll a ciggie while driving and steer with his knees?’

He sat back on his sheetless bed to watch her undress. She unlaced her shoes and peeled off her socks, slowly so that the toenail that was about to fall off didn’t get caught and tear off. She ran her fingers along the edge of her shorts, and with one swift motion slipped them off, twisted them in her hands and wrung the sweat out of them on to his carpet. Throwing the shorts at his face so that he couldn’t see, she then started to remove her sweaty crop top.

The Chastity Crop by ADIDAS

The Chastity Crop by ADIDAS

Fifteen minutes and several increasingly limp cigarettes later, he watched her with fascination as she struggled to get the crop top over her shoulders and boobs and off over her head. He stepped in to help, and on the count of three he pulled and flung backwards on to the bed, crop top in hand and a fresh wave of armpit smell in his nostrils.

She stood before him, letting him take in every inch of her athletic body, from her messy hair that hadn’t yet had it’s weekly brushing, to her the tips of her mostly intact pretty red toenails. “Did my heart love till now? Forswear it, sight! For I ne’er saw true beauty till this night.” She painfully hobbled towards him, in a sexy way (pain is sexy in this story) and together they collapsed on to the bed in a smelly embrace.


Scene 4: Stuffed and with extra sausage

The tightness in her hamstrings meant that the options for love-making positions would be limited. He purred at her trying to imitate the engine of his Toyota; the vehicle for their love. Her stomach growled back at him and her eyes glinted with the murderous shine of a fitness freak who has been deprived of food for too long.

There was a sudden knock at the door. She grabbed one of the five well worn Pantera t-shirts from the floor to preserve her modesty (and mask the sweaty smell) and tip-toed towards the door. The front door swung open and there with the sun beaming in on him just like the moment Simba is thrust in to the sunrise by Rafiki in front of the Lions at Pride Rock, stood the Pizza delivery boy. The three stuffed-crust pizzas had arrived! Simba-Rafiki-the-lion-king-25952753-800-400 She was in ecstasy. The warmth of the pizza enveloped her, the smell made her hungry for more. She nibbled the edge of a succulent oily slice, then devoured it all with ferocity, barely stopping to breathe, and losing sense of time and space. For those fifteen minutes it was like time stood still, and the only things that existed in the universe were those three pizzas and her.  After she had finished she lay on the carpet, panting, with strings of chizz dangling from her lips and chin.

This could not have ended any better, she swore on her Nike Zoom Pegasus shoes that from this day forth she would ALWAYS reciprocate the affections of Men that yelled to her from their vans, because they probably had raging run boners too.


23 Comments

What missing toenail?

I mentioned in a previous post that I was sure I would see the death of my big toenail a few months after Tarawera. I’m always right, and I was right, as always, about this.

My toenail did die a very slow, dirt and unidentifiable particle collecting, undignified death. There is no getting around how ugly my toes look right now. The nail is making a slow comeback; it’s going through an uneven, lumpy Franken-toe awkward puberty stage right now. My feet weren’t ever model material, but with the added element of missing toenail making a return, something had to be done.

I’ll show you ten ways that you can disguise a missing toenail and have pretty, socially acceptable, non-vomit-inducing feet. If you haven’t been lucky enough to have this happen, keep a few tricks up your compression sleeve  for when it inevitably does.

What missing toenail?

IMG_2386

Click to zoom in for more yuck

Covering the offending digit needn’t be a chore. You don’t have to put in too much effort really, depending on the circumstance, the occasion, and who you think might see your toe it can be a very simple fix. Let’s begin with a few very basic ideas.

 1. Wear socks with bananas on them

Socks are unisex, and come in an array of colours, patterns and textures

Socks are unisex, and come in an array of colours, patterns and textures

Socks are the obvious solution, but what if you’re going to the beach or the swimming pool and your latex swimming socks don’t match your outfit? I have a solution for you!

2. Paint your toenails

IMG_2452

Sexy red nail polish. You can’t even tell that one toenail is a jagged half grown mess

Nail polish is fairly cheap, comes in lots of colours, and will stay on your toe until the nail eventually grows out if you are too lazy/busy/carefreeYOLO to remove it, it’s hardy stuff. It sticks to anything light coloured or expensive but will not stick very well to skin, and if you try to paint a ‘fake’ nail on to your skin patch it will only rub off after a couple of days.

 3. Add glitter to mask any imperfections

IMG_2458

Ruby Slippers!

4. Add a little more glitter

_MG_2516

Very glitter! So Sparkle. Wow.

If the toenail flaw is still a bit obvious, you can always go a step further. Apparently you can just put makeup on your feet, this would also do away with your sock tan. Can you do smokey eyes on feet?

5. Pretend a child painted your toenails for you

IMG_2464

My imaginary child painted my toenails last night, soooo cute!

When disguises won’t work, the next step to take is to create a diversion. Draw attention away from your gammy toenail by getting people to focus on something else, like how strange you are.

Some of these ideas are only workable in very specific scenarios and cannot be used in everyday life.

6. Toest

IMG_2442

Out for a bare foot breakfast? Try some Toe Jam.

 7. Toeblerone

Someone's been through duty free!

Someone’s been through duty free!

8. Potatoes

IMG_2475

Roast, baked, mashed, so versatile

9. Toepographical map

IMG_2471

Bet you barely noticed my missing toenail here.

 10. Eskitoe Pie

For those 'Can't beat Wellington on a good day' days

For those ‘Can’t beat Wellington on a good day’ days

I hope that you find at least a few of these useful, and if you have your own ideas on how to disguise those runner’s feet and missing toenails, please comment and let me know.


 

Note: Because I am injured, less time on feet (8+ hours a week) means more time on my hands, hence I have been in many different social situations requiring toe disguises.

I took away a few lessons from this time photographing my feet

  • If you have a fractured pelvis, take off your beige pants before painting your foot green or it will be difficult to wash said foot in the shower
  • Acrylic paint washes of skin, or toenail, not patches of toenaily skin.
  • Chocolate, glitter, and jam also stick to toenaily skin and are very hard to wash off
  • Don’t tell people that you ate the toest, they will think you are yuck. (Why waste perfectly good peanut butter?)
  • Ice cream on your toes for five minutes will make them numb and give you chilblains


4 Comments

How to run in the wind

The idea for this post came to me, believe it or not, while I was running in the wind. Something happened to me. Something I had previously thought was a physical impossibility, it happened to me.

If you run in Wellington you can’t avoid running in the wind.

025-banner

Some runners spit when they run, I am one of those runners. Sucking in air like a vacuum cleaner with a full bag means you get little spittles around your mouth. This is fine, you use your tongue muscles to collect them in to a nice little ball in your mouth, then you launch that ball off the side of the pavement. Look both ways in case any people are near. Look right, look left, look right again. Now you may spit.

Now add in 95km/ph winds that gust and change direction; you realise you have taken the care-free spitting for granted.

Males quickly learn about wind direction as soon as they are out of nappies, so have honed their skills in judging where a stream of saliva (or otherwise) will fly in a projection. Females are not so practiced at this.

I have misjudged the wind a number of times and my target of the pavement has been missed. What I have managed to hit is my legs, shoulder, chest, chin, neck, arm, cheek, and most recently, the inside of my ear. One very large,  and very stringy, 17km’s worth of hard running’s built up saliva spit ball straight in to my ear hole. GOAL! I’d almost given up on spitting in to my ear, thinking it was in the category of ‘kissing your elbow’, but I have finally added it to the ‘Impossible is nothing’ list alongside running an Ultramarathon and never eating bacon again.

Number of times I have spat on someone else: 0
Number of times I have spat on myself: 42 (20months of running, one mis-fire per fortnight)

When you run in the wind, you are either fighting a head wind that makes your eyes water and blows the snot clear out of your nostrils, or flying along in bounds with your hair streaming behind you like a victorious flag. Unless you run in one direction and get a lift back, you’ll have the pleasure of experiencing both.

996620_459851927463395_236952509_n

A  particularly windy day up on Car Parts trail in Wellington

When I encounter wind I try to lean in to it, like I’m running up a hill. Through teary eyes I focus on not being blown into oncoming traffic, ignore the sea water being blown over me and sniff deeply or employ the help of my sleeve to prevent having a sticky booger face. I put my head down, put one foot in front of the other and remain positive, thinking about the run back with a tail wind and all the energy being generated by those wind turbines.

Tips for being a champion wind runner

  • Tuck in behind someone so that they bear the brunt of it, and you can run in the ‘slip stream’
  • People with long hair- put it in a bun or it the wind will whip yo hair back and forth across your face, ouch.
  • Lean forwards a little, you won’t fall over unless there is a big gust of wind, and that’s only 60% likely
  • Purse the corner of your lips into an Elvis sneer if the wind is hitting you from side on to prevent spit from escaping
  • Don’t fear the wind! The more you get use to running in it the easier it gets.

If you are getting the tail wind, you’re prancing along like an excited pony and you run towards someone struggling against the wind, yell some words of encouragement! Or perhaps just give them a thumbs up in case they have something in their ear.


4 Comments

Runner’s guide to aesthetics Part 2: Feet

Do you have a favourite piece of clothing? One that you have worn and loved so much that threads are coming away at the bottom, holes are beginning to appear, and oily pizza fresh organic blueberry stains splatter the front?

If you use something a lot, it tends to suffer somewhat in the looks department with all the love and attention it is receiving.

Background: When I was 9 years old at Mararoa Primary School, Jenny the school secretary came to my aid once when I stubbed biggie (my big toe). When I tearfully presented my toe she laughed and yelled in her shrill Southland secretarial voice ‘Lila, LILAAAAH! Come and look at this girl’s giant TOE!’ And so began years of foot loathing and shoving my feet back in to the safe anonymity of my sneakers as soon as possible.

I’ve never considered feet to be an aesthetically pleasing body part. I do love mine for letting me run far and wide but when I wear jandals I’m aware that my runner’s feet aren’t going to be front and centre of a Havaianas poster any time soon. HOWEVER, despite me thinking I have ugly feet, I have garnered a small but enthusiastic following of foot fetishists to my Instagram account. Is it because I have really ridiculously good looking feet? I’m not sure, but I’m avoiding posting foot pictures right now as I feel my little piggies are under close scrutiny.

Screen Shot 2014-02-17 at 7.02.15 AM

Perfect ten

Your precious feet are treated to a variety of ailments when you run, here are the main ones;

Blisters

Sometimes you won’t even know when they appeared, and other times you will feel that blister grow with every stride. Blisters are just skin you don’t need any more. Sometimes it’s painful to say goodbye but you should know that other skin will come along. There’s plenty more skin in the sea?

Sock Tan

Unless you run barefoot you will have some degree of sock tan. Sock tan is sexy, you might not see Beyoncé rocking it but that’s because it has to be earned; money can’t buy a sock tan. If you have a sock tan you are awesome. Sock tan also helps you to define where your leg finishes and your ankle starts when it’s swollen from injury (I’m typing this with one ankle-less appendage raised and iced on a chair).

Toenail death

I like to paint my nails. Like painting a piece of furniture, any blemishes are covered by a few strategic licks of varnish, and if your nails are REALLY bad you can also add a bit of glitter.  Each time you take the polish off it’s like unwrapping a really awful present, and you get to see, for a few minutes while the nails are in their natural state, just how attached they still are to your feet.

Screen Shot 2014-02-17 at 7.02.53 AM

The first toenail I lost made me feel really cool. I pinned it on the wall next to my race numbers like a trophy, complete with it’s sparkly blue polish, there it was glinting on the wall (it’s that dot below them both down the bottom). I took it down because of all the nasty comments ‘That’s disgusting Amanda’. Actually no it’s abject art and you’re all mean.

The question on your lips now is ‘Amanda, how do I become a foot babe and have people leaving adoring comments on my toe selfies?’ Here are some tips for you to try.

  • Use hashtags and keywords like ‘toejam’ and ‘toeswag‘ when you post foot photos
  • Never not wear socks, if your feet look like they could be a different ethnicity to your legs you’re doing well
  • Have a point of difference, like a ginormous big toe, a missing toe, or lots of long and luscious toe hair
  • Just give the people what they want, at the first mention of ‘nice feet’, go ahead and make a full colour calendar with your foot photos.
  • Run! Run on trails, it makes your feet irresistibly beautiful. The more rocks you kick and tree roots you trip over the more perfect imperfections your feet will haveScreen Shot 2014-02-17 at 7.02.32 AM

Good luck future foot babes, run hard!

Amanda (and Biggie) xx


1 Comment

Runner’s guide to aesthetics Part 1: Facials

Everyone has a different reason as to why they run. You might be running to lose weight, to train for a race, relieve stress, keep a healthy heart, boredom, or enjoyment.

To run is a beautiful thing, we’re lucky to be able to walk, think of all the mermaids out there in their shell bras who wish they were running like you! To be a runner, well, it’s not always beautiful. There are a few physical characteristics that you’ll encounter as a runner, and this is part one of your definitive guide on running aesthetics.

Part one, Facials

I saw this advertisement by Nike a few years ago in a women’s magazine;run-yourself-ugly

Run yourself ugly. Run until your face looks bee-stung, sea-sprayed and contorted with eyes squinting framed by a veiny temple, and every kilometre you’ve run has etched a new line in your forehead.

In short if you remain photogenic while running you’re probably not doing it right. I think I’m getting there. The photo in the pink shirt is from the Wellington Half Marathon in June and that was giving 110%. Could be a bit uglier but this is a great effort from me.

Profile pic material?

I try to smile at people when I run past them, and it comes out like a dog baring it’s teeth at an intruder.  While I do feel like I personally own the Southern coastline after running so many kilometres on it, I will still share it with other runners. If you see me coming towards you, the whites of my eyes glinting in the sun, saliva hanging from my teeth, flared nostrils and breath coming in murderous rasps, just smile at my rabid running face. I’m harmless.

My tips for having a pretty running face for race photos;

  • Moisten your gums with your tongue before smiling so that your lip doesn’t stick up there like a curious rabbit
  • Flail all limbs so that your running form is so poor nobody will notice how your face looks
  • Pull a face, you’re going to look odd either way so you might as well do it properly
  • Raise your eyebrows, the look of surprise might make you forget how painful that moment was
  • If you feel particularly horrendous, cover your race number with your arm as you go past photographers so they can’t match you with your photos. Ha.

If you see another runner, give them a smile. That little acknowledgement helped me to keep going through so many long hard runs it’s amazing what a smile can do!