i’m grumpy / running pet peeves

Guess what I’m writing about?  BEING TIRED.  It’s an ongoing theme.  That being said, I got some glorious knocked-out sleep last night (unaided by Nyquil, mind you!)…although I did wake up no less than three times in a heart racing panic thinking that someone was breaking into my apartment.  Not to mention the dream where the Nazis were taking people into their camps and demanding that we all turn in our iPhones…what would social media have looked like in the 1940’s?

Well, that’s a bit off topic.

One of the main points I have to say about working night shift is that I’m tired a lot…because I haven’t mentioned that before, right?  Anyway, plenty of people say, “Oh, wow, it must be REALLY easy to train with your schedule…you can always run when the sun is up!”  I hate you all.  But really, on my days off it is quite nice, and on the nights that I work, well, the sun is up, but it depends how tired I am.  I just worked five nights in a row (never.  again.), so I was all gung ho for the first two nights and then spent the next three nights on a work-eat-sleep rotation.  Apologizes to my co-workers for being a bit too grumpy on that fifth night.

And because I’m grumpy (well, not so much anymore, I just drank some coffee), I’m going to share with all of you things in the running world that make me more grumpy.  Because although I do think that I am a happy runner in general, sometimes not so much.  Away we go, things that make me grumpy/running pet peeves.

people who run with their hair down.  This less so makes me grumpy as I do not understand how you can do this.  I can’t even run with my hair in a ponytail because that annoys me, my hair must be tied up as tight as possible in a bun/knot/French braids etc.

the emphasis on looking cute while running.  My running clothes might not match.  I might wear the same San Francisco Ambassador shirt/Boston/Nuun Hood to Coast shirt over and over and over again.  (Without washing most of the time…sorry?)  I don’t need frills or ruffles on my running tights.  I don’t want flowers on my shirt.  The sparkly headband is just to keep my bangs out of my eyes.  I sometimes look like death in my race pictures because if you’re dropping race pace (especially in shorter races…), I’m be impressed if you can still look cute because I certainly do not.  And most importantly…

that's about right.

the increasing list of running “essentials.”  One of my favorite things about running is how simple it is.  I like that I can walk out my door and just go.  I’ve seen some lists on the internet/blogs about people’s running essentials.  These lists include anything from running shoes (agreed) to compression gear (ehhh).  I’m not fully sold on the use of compression gear (especially when comparing how compression-y [it’s a real word, I’m a nurse, okay?] [okay, mm Hg…] they are to my medical grade stuff) for most people.  It certainly isn’t an essential.  Things that I consider essential:  Shoes, whatever works best for you whether it’s Brooks (my favorite!) or Vibrams (if you must…).  If you’re female:  a sports bra (for obvious reasons).  That’s it.  Otherwise, just get out the door.  I like my Garmin but I could obviously run without one.


gear getting fancier and fancier.  Trust me, I love my sweat wicking material clothes.  They really are fantastic, and I have a nice pair of running socks (meaning…thin as possible, just like I like my men) that I like.  However, I started my running career in cotton tshirts and Soffe shorts.  (Anyone remember those?)  And you know what?  I survived.  I still ran fast, and I actually kind of liked when my shirt was impossibly heavy from being full of sweat.  Badge of honor.  You don’t NEED Dri-fit clothes.  You don’t NEED the fancy socks.  You just NEED to get out the door.

My first marathon…in a cotton shirt.

taking pictures on the run.  I’m going to assume that this is a function of social media/blogging and the ease of having a phone with you that takes pictures.  Before Facebook/blogging/Instagram took off, I’m pretty sure people didn’t run with cameras to show everyone that they ran along the Hudson. Maybe they did, I have no idea.  Are you running in a new city?  Okay, fine, snap some shots.  A pretty run you want pictures of?  Great.  Your four mile route you run every day and could run with your eyes closed?  STOP THE PRESSES.  Literally.  Just run, you don’t always need a picture to prove it.

people who cannot deal with being passed.  This mainly applies to the men of the world.  Guess what?  We all run different paces.  Sometimes, some of us are doing recovery runs.  Other people are doing speed work.  We pass each other.  If I run by you, then you speed up to run by me, I get your little trick, and I bet you’re not doing a fartlek.  Calm down everyone, pace is personal.

not paying attention while wearing headphones.  Studies have been done that show that more people get hit by cars while wearing headphones.  SHOCKING.  Right?  My own personal study shows that I’m more likely to run into you if you’re wearing headphones because you don’t hear someone coming behind you when you decide to change your course or make a turn, etc.  Be aware of your surroundings, it’s important!  (And that car will cause you much more trouble than I will…)

running six-across.  I run with friends often.  Sometimes, big groups of us run together.  I started my running years on the junior year and high school teams where I learned to run in two person lines.  When we had more space, we’d sometimes run three or four across (so crazy, I know) and refer to ourselves as a semi-truck because we took up so much room.  In other news, don’t do that.  Be respectful of others in the road, especially on busy time in your local running place.  (For me, that’s Central Park when EVERYONE is training for fall marathons.  I will not comment further on the charity groups that seem to take up the entire road.  Oops, I just did.  Sorry.)

hydration/fueling obsessions.  Guess what?  Staying hydrated is important.  So is fueling properly.  I will drink my nuun and water.  On long runs (like 14 miles and up-ish), I will take some fuel.  Anything below that and we all need to calm down.  Don’t wear a Camelbak.  Don’t take a gel before the Fifth Ave Mile.  (Seriously, saw it happen.)  Don’t blame a bad workout or race on the fact that you ate Goldfish crackers the night before, and that was a “new food.”

stopping in the middle of a road/race/at a water station.  Betsy talked about this during our last run together, which happened to be during the ten miler in Central Park.  You know when you’re coming through a water station and the runner in front of you comes to a dead stop/walk and you nearly plow into them?  That’s not fun for either of you, right?  First of all, if you’re coming to a stop/walk, look behind you first and maybe pull over to the side as necessary.  Second (and lastly?), some time ago, people would put their hand in the air to signal that they’re going to stop as a warning to people behind them.  LET’S BRING THAT BACK.  Okay?  Starting right now.  Practice it on your run tonight as you approach stop lights or something.

Well friends, that’s off to a nice start and I feel better getting that off my chest.  But you know what?  I love running so much that these things don’t bother me that much, and running in general makes me less grumpy.  After five night shifts, I had last night off and then I’m back for one night tonight then off for almost a week.  That’s nice.  I slept for a few hours after getting off work yesterday then work up and got ready to run.  As I was drinking my coffee, my fellow UESer Abbe asked if I was running before work.  Well, no…because I’m not working, but I am running soon!

After finishing my coffee and changing out of my pajamas and into my running clothes, I met Abbe for her four mile speed workout (at her half marathon pace) followed by the rest of my long run for the week.  Since working all weekend isn’t conducive to a long run and I needed a cut back week, I did 12 miles.  My legs were definitely tired and running 7:30’s with Abbe didn’t feel as easy as I would have hoped, but you can’t beat this:


Shorts weather in January.  12 miles feeling easy at just under eight minute pace.  I’m a fan.  It’s even warmer right now…56 and cloudy, so I’m about to head out for an easy eight.  It will be glorious…then one more night of work.  I can do anything for twelve hours.

Tell me…your running pet peeves?  I can’t be the only one…

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  1. says

    Oncoming runners who are too close to the wrong side and won’t move over on the sidewalk when you reach each other, forcing you to jump to the grass/dirt, or worse, the street. I suppose I could jump to the left if there’s space, but it’s a matter of principle–hello, if you were driving a car, you’d stay on the right!

  2. says

    Ha, I totally agree with all of these. I used to ride horses (which requires tons of gear, tons of prep before riding, even more to do after riding) and the whole appeal of running is that it’s simple. I don’t understand the appeal of making something complicated when it doesn’t need to be that way!

  3. says

    YES! to all of this. Especially the running as a fashion statement, I just wrote a post on that yesterday. I would say my biggest pet peeve is people hogging the sidewalk and refusing to share…it gives me run rage!

  4. says

    I cannot stand when people say a race was short because their garmin said so. GARMINS ARE NOT ALWAYS CORRECT. ESPECIALLY WHEN YOU RUN NEAR BUILDINGS. ok sorry for the all caps. There are a bunch more things but I want to seem like a not totally angry person :) Running itself makes me happy and I try to ignore all the crap.

    • says

      UGH YES! I just have to second this. The “course was long because my Garmin told me so” is one of my biggest running pet peeves. I sort of hate that blogging/social media just perpetuates this way of thinking. First of all, people have been running races LOOOONG before Garmins were invented, so let’s stop acting like they are the holy grail of race times/distance. Second of all, they are not 100% accurate! Why do people think that they are?? I’m sorry, but just because your Garmin says your ran an extra .3 miles on a certified course doesn’t mean that you can actually count it as your new PR. /rant.

      (Sorry…apparently I had more pent-up frustration over this issue than I realized. Oops.)

  5. says

    YES! So agree on all of these but the gear snobs annoy me the most. Running is about enjoying that time and feeling free not wearing a Garmin, iPod, heart rate monitor, 4 gels, calf sleeves, and arm warmers. I also wore cotton for my first marathon….and I survived just fine :)

  6. says

    Omg, the fuel one. I knew a girl in NY who claimed you needed fuel anytime you’re doing an hour or more of running. Calm down. I didn’t fuel until I ate some bananas at Mile 23 of my first marathon. In hindsight, this probably wasn’t the wisest idea since I was definitely wilting at the end, but I still beat my goal time by more than 20 minutes. And hello, I survived.

    Another pet peeve is when I pass walkers we’re in the home stretch of a race, like I did at the 20K mark of the half I ran a few weeks ago. Come on, you’re almost done. RUN!

  7. says

    I so needed to hear your rant on the increasing list of essentials and everything getting fancier. When I first started running I ran in a giant T-shirt and sweatpants. Obviously I had some room to improve, but you don’t need to run in 100% Lululemon all the time, and I’m tired of people telling me I can’t run in a cotton T-shirt! Watch me! :)

  8. bethp262 says

    It makes me crazy when people do not line up correctly at races. Um, if you are planning on 10-minute miles you probably shouldn’t be up in front!
    At the start of a race I once overheard a runner say to her friend, ” Oh, we are next to the sign for 8-minute pace so we need to move back. The friend replied “I don’t care, I’m staying here!” So I made sure to bump into her as I ran by! (Kidding, but I really wanted to do that!)

  9. says

    I really don’t understand how the people who don’t tie their hair up do it AT ALL. I once had my elastic break when i was out running and I almost quit and went home. Luckily, it was winter – so I had a really thick earband holding my hair back, but I still almost went home…

  10. says

    I’m with you on the hair thing. If I feel my hair move, like at all, when I run, it immediately becomes the only thing I can think about.

    I’d personally amend your “not paying attention while wearing headphones” to just “not paying attention,” because good lord, there are some people out there who have no sense of personal space. I almost always run with headphones if I’m alone (I know, I KNOWWWW, not a real runner, but I like my podcast time), and it totally baffles me when someone (just as often NOT wearing headphones) suddenly takes a wild step to the left or stops suddenly without looking. WHO DOES THAT? YOU ARE NOT THE ONLY PERSON IN THE WORLD! Gah. (Related: I love this putting-hand-up-to-signal-stopping thing. In general, I’m in favor of turn signals for people.

    My other pet peeves include people who say the way they run (barefoot, not barefoot, newtons, whatever) is the only right way; the noise when you hit a mile marker in a race and EVERYONE’S GARMIN BEEPS AT THE SAME TIME; and the people who feed the geese/ducks at the lake on my regular running route so I have to wade through lots of birds and their shit while running. Ok, that one’s a little specific.

  11. says

    Ok. I’m a little guilty of taking pictures, but only if it’s a nice picture. 😉 Other than this, RIGHT ON!

  12. Jenn says

    I’m running a “race” this weekend, but I’m tacking it on to my long run and I’m pacing my sister. The race is 5 miles and am doing 10 miles before. I hope no one judges me for taking a GU before the race!

  13. says

    My two main pet peeves are

    1) people who are so anxious to pass you that they run into you (One girl actually ran right into me and tripped both of us, luckily I recovered on my feet, she faceplanted. Another time an old guy couldn’t stand that I was passing him, so whenever it happened, he sped up to get past me, but couldn’t hold on, so I would pass him again. Each time he sped up, he kept on brushing right up against me. After a few times, I got annoyed and yelled loudly, “Quit touching me, you pervert!”).

    2) Walkers walking in the fast lane (left most lane).

  14. Nikki says

    Sounds like you could use some sleep to put you in a better mood :-). One of my pet peeves is actually runners hating on other runners..what works for someone might not work for you, but that does not make it wrong. Let people take as many photos as they want, wear what they want, and do what they want.

  15. Lexi says

    I agree with getting to the basics of running. And people wonder why runners seem elitist, right? We can be high maintenance. I see a fast runner and think I need to copy that person. Honestly, if you wrote a post on how you needed $60 socks and $100 shorts, I would want to buy them;)

  16. says

    Okay, now that I sound like an angry runner from my above comment, let me just say that I love running AND runners. We’re all generally a pretty awesome group. However — that doesn’t mean that there aren’t things that annoy me about this sport of ours. And by that, I mean basically everything you mentioned above! 😉 To add to the not being able to deal with being passed one – it’s especially frustrating when you come up behind a runner (particularly a guy, at least in my experience) who is walking…you pass them and suddenly they sprint by you like they had been running all along…they work up a good lead, start walking again and then repeat the whole process as soon as you catch them. So frustrating!! (Okay, so maybe this has more to do with the fact that I’m just annoyed that I can’t pass them than anything else…haha)
    Oh – and I still wear cotton long sleeve t-shirts when I run sometimes. I love them!
    I’m sorry you’re overtired and grumpy…although I have to admit that I find grumpy Susan entertaining. Hope you get some rest soon!

  17. says

    Good list. Although, I’m most definitely guilty of taking gels early. I’m hypoglycemic to a pretty bad extent, so I have to be super careful with fuel. Fuel early and often to keep the blood sugar from crashing! :) I take every 5 miles if I’m going 12+.

    Totally agree on the headphones and passing and ESPECIALLY the big groups. Big groups are the worst in races (hello, Nike Women’s…)

    • says

      Yeah I’ve totes done a gel before a short race too but it’s mostly bc I can’t eat breakfast and then race so gel’s about all I’ve got.

      Very spot on pet peeve post though. I don’t know what compression socks really do, I just like that they keep me warmer. Like a leg-arm sleeve.

  18. Nicole says

    I dislike it when people run on the bridle clockwise at night while wearing all black – I don’t mind a reverse-direction runner during the day nor a well-lit reverse direction runner at night, but I was doing repeat 800’s once and collided with a man running in the opposite direction wearing all black. He had seen us earlier during our first loop and barely apologized when it happened!

    I also hate when I see loose dogs on the bridle and bikes on a bridle – I guess all of my gripes have to do with the bridle!

  19. says

    Running still is simple, people just complicate it. And it doesn’t have to get expensive…expect for shoes! I do have some nice running gear, but I bought it crazy cheap which pretty much guarantees it doesn’t exactly match!

    But people are only complicating it because the companies make it possible…and they can afford to make it possible because people buy into it. Round and round…

  20. says

    One thing that drives me nuts is when people don’t line up in their correct corrals at races – it boggles my mind how I could be passing walkers before mile 1! All in all, running makes me happy and if other people need to do certain things in order to get out the door, that’s fine with me (even though I don’t agree or do those same things). Bottom line is they’re getting out the door!

    Running store pet peeve: person comes in and asks: “What is the BEST running shoe??” ARGH. haha.

  21. says

    1. Changing “lanes” without looking behind you.

    2. Talking on the phone and running. MOVE TO THE SIDE AND STOP RUNNING.

    3. Throwing your water cup (with water/sports drink) on the ground (aka flying in the air) without looking behind you first during a race.

    I will stop there. I have a lot of pet peeves….

  22. says

    OMG yes on the running with hair down. I lump them into the same category as women who wear the big Audrey Hepburn bug-eye sunglasses while running….they aren’t real runners. I just can’t take them seriously.

  23. says

    Yes! To all of these. My biggest pet peeve is people who overdress for running. When it’s over 40 degrees, you DO NOT (IMO) need as many layers as most people wear. You are running, you WILL warm up plenty and be much more comfortable without all that fabric! Maybe I’m just especially warm blooded, but I think overall, it is SO much better to under-dress than over-dress.

  24. Frogoutofwater says

    1. People who don’t pay attention to the blockage they’re creating in a race (either because they’re part of a group of 2 or more people who are deliberately running together or because they’re running in sync with a stranger or two and have created the same kind of blockage). I try to pay attention to who is on my left and right and avoid inadvertently creating a blockage.

    2. People who cut in front of you, especially in the chute.

    3. Leg warmers.

    4. People who think that people taking walk breaks while running (that would be me) should have to shift to the right side (outside edge) of a race. Just because I’m taking walk breaks doesn’t mean I’m not chasing a PR, too, so why should I have run a longer race than you? As long as I signal and/or check behind me before slowing down, and as long as I stick to the edge, I think I have every right to be on the left. (Most of the speedy people are far ahead of me anyway.)

    5. To an earlier commenter who mentioned that she’s bothered when people coming in the other direction refuse to yield any space so that she has to step off the path, you could try doing what I do on NYC sidewalks all the time. If I’m faced with someone (usually part of a group) who doesn’t seem willing to give me any sidewalk space (I figure I deserve a body’s with at the edge), I just stop moving and square my shoulders so that they either have to walk around me or smack into me. 99.9% of the time, they yield.

  25. says

    Haha I like it. Mine is definitely people who don’t line up correctly at races. It’s cool if you’re going to walk, but don’t line up at the front!

    Also, I’m totally guilty of camelback-wearing. I just sweat *so* much, and it’s more comfortable than a fuel belt.

  26. J.P. says

    Groups that run three or four across a path are the worst. Unfortunately, said groups make up a solid majority of the running population on the lakefront path in Chicago on Saturday mornings during the summer. And don’t get me started on when these groups pass each other going opposite directions (thereby monopolizing the entire path) and say cheesy inspirational quotes to each other (“Looking good runners!”) — blah.

    Closely related pet peeve: runners who are part of these groups taking five minute water breaks every two miles and then later complaining about how they bonked in a race while trying to cover the same distance without stopping.

    By the way, I run alone. And I like your blog.

  27. Karen says

    Agree with the corral comments above. I dislike BIG races because you waste so much energy avoiding walkers and running around people who, I don’t know – are too entitled? – to start in the back like they should have. That is my only running pet peeve. I love splurging and buying fancy running clothes. I have more nice running clothes than regular/going out clothes :-) I say do what you like on the appearance part.

  28. says

    Barefoot runners who act like the rest of us are all running the WRONG way. Also, do people actually run with their hair down? That sounds terrible.

  29. says

    Stopped by from the Brooks ID facebook post.

    My pet peeve is when I am passed by a runner and they get in front of me and slow their pace or start walking, having me to make an evasive move so I dont run them over.

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