ruettimann bull shitThe past two weeks have been busy. Just wrapped up my longest run (22.5 miles) and final big run (Bull City Race Fest) before my marathon. Feels good to finish on a high note. This unflattering but funny-as-hell photo was taken by Lindsey Alexander. When she called my name, I nearly wept for joy.

Someone knows me! Someone witnessed this crazy suffering!

I wanted to share some facts about running, deconstruct a few myths, and break a few stereotypes in the process.

Your nipples will chafe. At some point, something on your body might chafe. Everyone overstates the nipple chafing because it’s titillating and funny. Nobody wants to talk about bra chafing or capri pants chafing. Hell, my ass chafed because I wore the wrong underwear, and I wasn’t even running! You can address chafing relatively quickly. We have science for this.

Good running shoes are expensive. This is both true and false. You can get great shoes at a reasonable price point. You can get shitty shoes that are very expensive. Smart shoppers be smart shoppers, yo. Do your homework.

You will lose a toenail when you run. Gag. I don’t even want to talk about this. If you wear proper shoes and minimize the abrasion to your toes, you will not lose a toenail. You will lose a toenail if you wear ill-fitting shoes. This happens to lots of people who wear heels, tight boots and other funky footwear.

My knees hurt, and I can’t run. Dude, listen to me. It’s your shoes. I know you think it’s not your shoes. It’s your shoes. Try some Superfeet inserts. Stick them in your Converse, too. Are your shoes old? March yourself into a local running store and buy a new pair. Great running stores will earn your loyalty. They will fit you in a shoe and honor a very liberal return policy if it’s not the right one for you.

I’m too slow to run. I just ran behind a woman with bowed legs. You know what? She was faster. If she can run, you can run. You probably can’t get off your fat ass and run a 5K on Friday, which is fine because nobody expects you to do that. Why is it all or nothing?

Running is boring. True. Also, adulthood is boring.

So what’s it gonna be? You with me on training for a race in 2015, or are you going to buy into the misconceptions about running and decide to sit another season out?

I’m going to start training for something — I don’t know what — in March 2015. You should join me.


  1. Congrats on finishing! Running is incredibly boring, but the feeling of crossing that finish line and downing a bagel makes the weekly monotony of the exercise totally worth it. I’m with you in 2015! Do you have any races you’re traveling to?

  2. The picture is NOT unflattering. So there.

    But I totally hear you about the whole “someone called my name???” thing. The first time I ran a 5k (baby stepping to bigger things) I wanted to hug all the volunteers who lined the last 100 yards to cheer on the finishers. It’s a big damn deal to some people.

    Impressed as hell by the training and running and all that crazy stuff. The fact you keep it up with all the travel you do should alleviate some of the excuses other folks might use.

    Two questions: what shoes do YOU like? (I’m a Brooks girl); and how do you not get lost when running in a strange city?

  3. My son ran a marathon yesterday – his first! – and he thanked the family profusely afterward for all our cheering and support. We moved several times to see him at different places on the course and he said it was so awesome to know we were going to be there and see our smiling, cheering faces. I will never feel like a doofus again when I yell and smile (and often weep) while watching a race!

  4. First of all, congratulations and way to go! And you look far better in that photo than I ever do in race pix, even though I usually confine myself to 5k runs.

    I once did a 13.1 mile walk with an ill-chosen shirt that chafed the underside of my arms. Horrible! But a good lesson.

    The slowness lesson is an important one because it took forever for me to realize that running was a gait, not a speed. I’m still more of a walker, but it really helps to know that I don’t need to be fast.

  5. Thanks for the links to information. I’m at the point of being sick and tired of being sick and tired, and any information about getting my fat ass off the couch and moving is appreciated. (Plus, the diagram of lacing shoes to prevent over-pronation from the toenail article is really helpful. Particularly for those of us with Fred Flintstone feet.)

  6. Like you, I joined a running club to get me through the boring long runs. It’s amazing how well you get to know someone after hours of running together.

    I always save up my best stories for those long runs. I always finish feeling physically and emotionally buffered. Running friends are incredibly supportive by nature!

  7. This has been an amazing training season for you! Hope to be back hitting the pavement with you in march!

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