I’ve had this blog post in mind for a little while but kept forgetting all of the funny conversations I’ve had by the time it came to put pen to paper. But when I jumped on the #ukrunchat conversation last week and threw the question out there I had so much fun reading through all of the responses and the post finally came to life! Here are just some of the topics that were put out there by the UK’s largest running community – UKRunChat.
The number one, without a doubt, top of them all, subject that pretty much every single runner reverts to at every opportunity. Food glorious food. Be it cake, what tonight’s dinner is going to be, or even a loosely-linked liquid theme (wine/coffee/tequila slammers) us runners do like to talk about food. In the depths of a torturous run, the promise of a bowl of comforting chicken stew, or a thick slab of cake with a warm cuppa, keeps us turning those legs over.
Perhaps an obvious one, but we all like to talk about races. Whether they’re the ones we’ve done and have the bling and PBs to show for it, or upcoming diaries choc-a-block with races. Some people like to run without racing, but most of us? Yeah, we’re in it for the glory.
Work-related, housework-related, wedding-related, we all have one drama or another to moan about. And who better to complain to than our devoted running chums? They lend us an ear when we need to let loose, and always seem to know when to offer a word of encouragement, or even just a gasp or “ooh”. We tell a little bit of our lives to each of our friends/family, but our running friends are the ones who hear it all – partner, work, family, that annoying guy from the gym who never puts his kit away – our running buddies know about it all.
Boobs, butts and everything in-between
“You should really clench your buttocks…” was all the stranger heard. How was he supposed to know that they were talking about proper technique whilst doing quad stretches? How many times have you had a moment where you’ve been mid-conversation and realised that a stranger heard just enough to think you’re a complete and utter weirdo or just a raging pervert? Yeah, me too.
Aren’t we great? Look how healthy we’re being! I can’t be the only person who runs past McDonalds with a smug look on my face. It’s amazing how soon after throwing a “but I don’t wanna…” tantrum, we can be praising ourselves for getting out on a run.
If I won the lottery, I’d have adidas boosts in every colour, sports massages every day, and I’d build an eight lane, 400m track in my garden (with one of those cardboard cut-out crowds that has canned cheering and flashing lights like paparazzi… I digress). The lottery chat has got to be a favourite of most runners’ conversations, mostly because it usually involves a craptonne of lycra purchases and never having to work again, but who’s to stop us daydreaming?
Religion and spirituality
What you’re giving up for lent, whether or not you believe in God, what you’re going to eat at Eid (see how we’re back to food again?!), religion may be a sensitive topic, but it’s almost certainly cropped up at least once in our running lives. Be warned, this topic usually leads to debates about the afterlife, evolution, and the classic “chicken or the egg” conversation as well. Save for long runs.
How to avoid them, how to treat them, the potions, lotions and downright crazy concoctions we runners come up with when it comes to niggles. It’s a sad fact that we are all likely to get injured at some point in our running lives. Naturally, it makes for great conversation – the more gruesome the better. If you want a really
good gross injury conversation, take a jog with an ultra-runner; they’ll have youhobbling for the hills before you can say “toenail”.
Whether it’s the ridiculous suggestion that pregnant women be paid to give up smoking, or the fact that hospital staff, police and the fire brigade should get their 1% pay rise and pension without having to go on strike, we’ve all got an opinion on political issues. Running seems to make us want to set the world to rights and we only get more passionate and loquacious with every mile run.
Talking to yourself (and apparently thanking yourself for making it up that hill) is another pretty common one in runners. Perhaps more common than you might think. I for one have had several an uncomfortable moment when I’ve been giving myself a positive affirmation right at the precise moment when a stranger overtakes me in a race. We must have all had that look, right?
Ginnels, snickets and mince. And other language quirks.
Running brings you together with people from all backgrounds and cultures – a fantastic opportunity to learn words that you never knew existed! Like, I had no idea that mince is Scottish word for “crap”, and that a ginnel (and snicket) is actually an alley! Then there are those awkward moments when you realise that a word can have two very different meanings in different countries, e.g. thongs, or apparently slush puppy (one I’m yet to find out the American meaning of…)
The meaning of life
I’m assured not the Monty Python version, though equally entertaining. This is the kind of conversation that can easily carry you for miles before you even realise that you’ve completely,hypothetically, overhauled your life while you turn your legs. Then you come crashing back to reality and realise that you’ve got to put dinner in the oven and pick the least smelly pair of trainers to pack in your gym bag for tomorrow’s run after yet another day in the office.
Fitcetera is a health and fitness blog run by Georgina Spenceley, a full time business analyst, part time sports massage therapist and blogger. Running, CrossFit and Yoga are her weapons of choice, but she also enjoys trying new fitness concepts. She has a passion for stylish apparel, and sometimes geeks out with science and gadgets. Georgina believes in a balanced approach to nutrition – no fads, no elimination – just moderation and learning to give your body what it needs, when it needs it.