A New Series By The Single Girl, Exclusively for FLEET FEET
Running and the single life were made for each other. Like Sonny and Cher. Maverick and Goose. Charles Barkley and Taco Bell. George Michael and that other guy from WHAM!
The benefits of being both single and a distance runner are delightful. No time for a run in the morning? No problem! Your evenings are wide open for a moonlight jog. Can’t afford a new dress and that new pair of running tights? Simple! Get the tights. You don’t need the dress anyway! Have to wake up at an unearthly hour for your long run on Sunday morning? No worries! Your commitment-free Saturday nights were made for an early bedtime. (Heck, you’ve even got time to fill your Amphipod bottles and line them up in a neat little row on the kitchen counter.)
Ah, and shall we take a moment to sing the praises of the commitment-free Saturday night, that little calendrical gem known only to a privileged, spandex-clad few? While others are out gallivanting around town, the single runner can choose from
myriad options to best fill her time. We’ve already discussed the ability to assemble and arrange Amphipod bottles in preparation for a long run, but what about charging your Garmin? Laying out your running clothes? Packing your post-run
bag? Even hitting up the roads for some late night miles? (Perhaps time has made me impervious to social stigmata, but I no longer feel the ignominy of being found blinking down the road on a Saturday evening. I probably should, but I don’t.)
The possibilities are limitless.
Yes, running changes your perspective on things. Namely, it changes the way you view the way the world views you. Case in point: I have several friends who contend my insistence on being perpetually dressed for a run may be detrimental
to my dating life. Apparently, frequent showering is, in general, a desirable trait in potential dating material.
Hey, I love showers as much as the next person. But you know how it is. You’re in training. You’re running two-a-days. Why take two showers when you can take only one? (That’s what hats are for, right?)
Then, of course, there is the whole issue of “looking good,” which I maintain is a nebulous standard anyway. (I mean, is it so strange that I think my radioactive yellow reflective vest and matching visor “look good?” I think not.)
“What if you run into someone cute?” my friends ask me. “Don’t you want to look good?”
Sure I do. In fact, my main concern post-run (at least, when it comes to appearance) is whether or not I have a white, salty sweat residue on my face or runner’s boogers in my nose.
“Looking good” is relative.
Then, of course, there was the time I “caught the eye” of a young gentleman at the grocery store. It was late in the evening, and I had just finished my run. Rushing down the cereal aisle, I noticed the said gentleman glance my way and, in what I assumed to be a gesture of admiration, give me a second, somewhat prolonged stare. Feeling rather pleased with myself and my apparent allure in Nike tights, a thermal turtleneck, my favorite reflective vest, and a moisture-wicking running hat, I finished my shopping and waltzed back to my car. It was only when I saw my reflection as I unlocked the car door did I realize that I was still wearing my headlamp and blinking armband. Both of which I had forgotten to turn off.
Yes, running changes things. (Oh, how quickly our bathroom standards devolve in the midst of twenty-mile long runs!) It strips us of our sensitivities to convention. It makes us more cavalier. It lets us wear headlamps and spandex through grocery
stores and not really care. It frees us to engage in a whole slew of otherwise ridiculous activities and not really care.
Except for the time I accidentally wore my running tights inside-out.
Hey, even single distance runners have standards.