I have to be honest, before I started dating a distance runner, I had no real interest in the sport and knew nothing about it. A Fartlek to me sounded like a word someone made up to describe a combination of a couple dirty and disgusting things. And a split was a term that was vacant to me unless beside the word banana or when pluralized by my dance teacher cuing me to attempt a very painful exercise.
But since then, my eyes have been opened to a whole new world of distance running. I now know that it is normal and celebrated by distance runners to push your body to expend such an effort that at the end of your race or workout you might dry heave, throw up, and/or walk in a dizzy fainting spell. All of which symptoms, if observed by a normal every day human would instinctively cause them to dial 9-1-1. If you are new to observing the sport like I was, be assured that the person dry heaving , waddling and falling onto the ground at the finish line will recover, and probably get back up on the starting line next week and do it all over again. It is normal to think, “why do they keep doing this to themselves”, and to come away without an answer that will suffice. It is best in these instances to agree with yourself and your partner that you don’t fully know and may never understand what draws them to inflict such pain on themselves time and time again but to believe that it must be worth it.
This is a four-part series that will focus on restroom emergencies, ‘optimal weight’, and social etiquette/style for runners outside of running.
About the Author: Jordan Haddad is a writer for Runners Feed. She has recently revisited the running scene searching for that illusive runner’s high. When she isn’t writing or running, Jordan loves to dance, swim, and bike. She was also well-known in her neighborhood for riding a bike with a large orange flag attached to the back because she never had the patience to do anything slowly.