runner humor

Top 5 favorite things found on the runIf you’ve been running for any period of time, you are bound to encounter some, shall we say interesting, items. Interesting stuff you find along the roadside is the topic of today’s Tuesdays on the Run, the weekly link-up with hosts runner bloggers MCM Mama Runs, My No Guilt Life and Marcia’s Healthy Slice.

So here are the my top five favorite finds:

  • Moose. The familia camps at the same campground every summer in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula around the Fourth of July and each year I get to see a moose dressed for the occasion.

Moose sighting.

  • Wildlife. Yes, this back-of-the-pack runner sees the irony in seeing turtles during my runs.
Turtles are a common sight by the River Trail.

Turtles are a common sight by the River Trail.

More wildlife.

Deer (along with geese and ducks) are also a common sight.

  • The rock. For my first two years of running, I kept seeing friends’ pictures by this cool rock with the words “It’s a perfect day to run.” I so wanted to find the rock, but had no idea where to even look. My friends eventually pointed it out on a trail where we’d run many times, but at a distance I had just recently mastered. Now it’s a favorite spot to take pictures with my friends, especially with newbies who have covered virgin miles.
With my running mentor Janet.

With my running mentor Janet.

The rock.

The rock.

  • Inspiration. Sometimes, a little chalk can make a run more meaningful.

    Inspiration on the run.


  • Christmas. OK, so maybe not literally, but things seen on a run last year brought to mind the holiday in song.
Things seen on this 10-mile run inspired a song.

Things seen on this 10-mile run inspired a song.

What are some of your favorite finds during your runs? Feel free to share a link to your blog post if you’ve written about this topic.


Running’s supposed to be an easy and inexpensive sport, but some of us (OK, me) may take every opportunity to buy and test new running gear. How can you tell if you, like me, may have just a little too much running equipment around?

running gearAnswer these simple questions:

  1. Do you still trip on running gear when you’re getting dressed for your morning run even though you have one, two, three spots in your home assigned for running equipment?
  2. Do you not only have the Runner’s World Ask the Gear Guy column link saved on your “favorites” but you still turn to that page first when the magazine arrives in the mail?
  3. Does your family budget have a running gear/race line?
  4. Is three-quarters of your closet made out of tech fabric?
  5. Does your Amazon one-click option get a bigger workout than the TV remote control?

If you answered yes to at least three of those questions, you may just be a gear hoarder. And if you haven’t, what are you waiting for? There are new shoes, tech shirts, shorts/skirts, socks, watches, hydration systems and a plethora of other gear to try.

But first, stop by and see runner bloggers MCM Mama Runs, My No Guilt Life and Marcia’s Healthy Slice who are hosting today’s Tuesdays on the Run link-up.

How about you, are you a gear hoarder or minimalist? What are other signs that you may just have too much gear? Is there such a thing as too much?  If you’ve written on the topic, feel free to share your blog post below.

As I’ve mentioned before, runners lie. We also have our own lingo which appears to be specific to each running group. Here are some of my favorites:

  • Craptastic. Any time a run is hard (read: brutal), especially when the runner did not want to go out in the first place. Caveat: A run still worth doing
The face a runner makes halfway through a craptastic run.

The face a runner makes halfway through a craptastic run.

  • .Muggylicious. A run where the temperature is 70 degrees with 80 percent humidity. At 6 a.m. Hat tip to my running friend Erinn for this little gem.
My runner friends enjoying our muggylicious run. Source: Erinn Sullivan Hadley

My runner friends enjoying our muggylicious run. Source: Erinn Sullivan Hadley

  • Marathon whisperer. That runner we all know who manages to convince you that if you can run eight miles you can certainly run 13.1 and if you can run 13.1 you can certainly run 26.2. Caveat: You tell all new runners to stay away from the marathon whisperer (I’m looking at you, Brandess!) but you find yourself signing up for things like 50Ks after spending time with her.
Our very own marathon whisperer.

Our very own marathon whisperer.

  • Mullet crew. Back-of-the-packers who run in one of the slowest pace groups but have the most fun because they’re “the party in the back.” Hat tip to Brandess and Shannon B. for that one.
Mullet Crew pacers!

Mullet Crew pacers!

  • Creeper. That creepy guy who just keeps showing up to your group runs despite endless teasing. Oh, that’s just Scott? Never mind.

our resident creeper.

What are some terms specific to your running groups and how were they coined?
5 Running terms defined

Feel free to share your blog post below if you’ve written about this topic.

I like to think of myself as someone who likes to try new things, but this week’s Tuesdays on the Run topic — whether you run races once and done or do repeats — has convinced me that I may be more of a creature of habit than I thought. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, of course.not that there's anything wrong with that



As a very new runner, I did Ele’s Race in Okemos, Mich., by myself. The yearly race iss well organized, has a flat course and supports an awesome organization that helps grieving children. But I didn’t know anyone else at the race and was surprisingly lonely. I may try it again, but only if I can do it with runner friends.

The other onesies were all novelty runs: the Color Run and a couple of virtual races hosted by Skirt Sports. I encourage brand-new runners or people who like to walk to do the Color Run. It certainly had a party vibe and I can see why newbies would enjoy it. It was anything but a race, so I just don’t see myself doing it again.

What I really liked about the virtual races was having the goal on the calendar plus the flexibility to run the miles over a certain period of time and still get the race swag. I especially enjoyed the 261 Fearless virtual race and I would consider doing it again.

Yes, someone makes these.

Yes, someone makes these.

Then there are the races that were better than Cats and I want to do them again and again.

Capital City River Run was both my first half and my first full marathon, and certainly a race I plan to run in the coming years. It’s a well-run, fun race with lots of spectators right in my hometown. I loved sleeping in my own bed, getting up at a reasonable hour and still making it to the starting line with time to spare.

Another repeat is the Lansing Turkeyman Trot on Thanksgiving morning, my first 5K ever and one that my favorite 16-year-old and I have done for the past three years. I have visions of doing this one every November, even if said daughter has to wheel me down Michigan Avenue in a wheelchair many moons from now.

Because I obviously like to run races with runner friends, I have also signed up for the Lake Lansing Team Marathon the past few years. If you like festive (read: with lots of food), then this is the race for you. Teams of up to five people sign up to run 5.2 mile legs that begin and end in the same spot so you get to hang out with friends while one person runs around Lake Lansing at a time.

I recently did the Gazelle Girl Half Marathon in Grand Rapids, Mich., and enjoyed it so much that I’m adding it to next year’s race schedule. The gorgeous blue-sky and warm temps didn’t hurt and neither did knowing a dozen amazing women who were also running that morning.

That all said, there are so very many races to be run that I’m not sure how many races I’ll repeat each year. I’m fortunate to get to scratch three new races off my wish list this year: the Two Hearted Trail Half (next month!), Run Woodstock 50K (September) and the Labor Day Bridge Run over the gorgeous Mackinac Bridge (September).

But there’s no way to tell which of those, if any, will make the short list for years to come.

Please make sure to visit the TOTR link-up hosts runner bloggers MCM Mama Runs, My No Guilt Life and Marcia’s Healthy Slice!

What races have you run once? Any repeats? Why?

This week’s Tuesdays on the Run topic is “Race shirt controversy: Wear TO the race or only after the race?” for the link-up hosted by runner bloggers MCM Mama Runs, My No Guilt Life and Marcia’s Healthy Slice.

In a word: Nope. Never. Not gonna do it.



I mostly agree with David E. Graf who explained in Runner’s World magazine:

“I would like to start off by quoting the good book, The Runner’s Rule Book, page 133, Rule 3.5:

“Wearing the official race shirt during the race is like wearing a U2 t-shirt to a U2 concert. Not cool. Don’t do it.”

That said, I could care less whether other people wear theirs to the race. I also don’t care whether they wear a tutu, costume or — gasp! — new gear or shoes on race day. None of which I plan to ever sport, but especially not a race shirt.

While it doesn’t hold the same significance as a race medal, there’s something about the race shirt that makes me feel that it should be earned. Another sort of carrot that I need to chase until I achieve my goal.

There should be some blood, sweat and tears involved before I pull out my race shirt. I’ve been known to bring it home from packet pickup, admire it, wash it and hang it up to wear immediately after my post-race shower.

It may not be socially acceptable to wear a race medal to Lowe’s (OK, not above the age of, say, 10), but nothing’s going to stop me from slipping my T-shirt on. It’s kind of a secret handshake as other runners wearing the same shirt nod to each other knowingly.

Once it’s been worn post-race, I especially like wearing my tech-material race shirts while on my weekend runs. I know they’re going to wear out sooner (and be especially stinky), but that’s how and when I enjoy my race shirts the most.

I wouldn’t go so far as to call them lucky, but they certainly are treasured on those runs when I need every bit of inspiration.

How do you feel about race shirts being worn on race day? What’s your favorite shirt and when do you enjoy wearing it most?