I'm finally back into the swing of training for the London Marathon having got over my latest injury. It feels great, but it's also reminded me of all the stupid little things that annoy me when running. If you're out for over an hour you've got far too much time to think about things...
With that in my mind, here are the top things that really grind my gears when I'm out and about. We all love a good moan, don't we?
Roadblocks - When doing a 15 mile + run anything that makes you slightly veer off course and expand more energy is infuriating. Tourists are bad for this, especially in London, where I and people I know have been stopped to ask to take a picture when they're clearly training! The ultimate roadblock though, is two mothers side by side with pushchairs. You may as well be facing head on to a tank. Naturally they don't notice you, as you don't exist as an outsider to 'yummymummyland'. But of course, I'm far too British to actually complain and end up apologising for existing.
Short shorts - Unfortunately, it's the people who shouldn't be wearing short shorts that take them so north of the knee it gives nosebleeds. To make a sweeping generalisation, it's mainly the older gentlemen who opt for a more 'European' fit. I struggle to imagine (not that I want to) the moment when they are about to set off have a look in the mirror and say 'yep, this is fine'. Yes, I wear shorter shorts for running but there is a line. The line stops where you look like you are advertising for a buyer at the meat market. Leave something up to the imagination.
Pet peeve - Dog owners - 'Oh don't worry, he won't hurt you!' they say. I don't care, I don't want your hound on me! I then spend the rest of my run thinking of witty come backs I could've said whilst I'm running away. Or as the French say l'esprit d'escalier (I never remember to say that either dammit!)
Seeing people you know - 'I'm honestly fitter than I look'
Developing an unhealthy trainer fetish - Seeing other runners wearing 'go faster' trainers and having that feeling that maybe those are the trainers that will finally make you faster. Staring at them on the internet or in the shop window - 'They will be mine, oh yes, they will be mine'. Well these ones are green, so they must be faster. I get played like a fiddle every time.
Locking onto victims - Sometimes to entertain myself I pretend people ahead of me are targets to aim for and overtake (sad, but true - does anyone else do this?!). What does really annoy me though is if they dare leave the track we're on. Who are they to spoil the game?! Selfish inconsiderate a******!
Normal people enjoying themselves - When I'm flogging my guts out and I run past 'normal people' outside a pub soaking up the sun, sitting on a bench or enjoying a leisurely stroll a level of hate boils through me that I didn't know existed. I go to a very a dark place.
Glamour runners - Nobody looks good running. The sooner we all accept this fact the better. I see people dressed up as if they are about to hit a club in Chelsea (I hate those people too). If you find yourself running in a Ralph Lauren polo or in your best Ray Bans, 1 - you have more money than sense and 2 - I hate you.
Runner's nipple - A problem for the lads. It's basically where the material on your running top cuts up your nips after a long run. There's been a couple of occasions when I've forgotten to protect against this and it ends up feeling like a sadistic Leprechaun is floating around giving you a paper cut. Quite unpleasant. Sorry for that disturbing imagery.
You don't know real friendship until you've helped a friend apply Vaseline or plasters to his nipples. I feel that me and my mate Andy crossed the Rubicon of friendship that fateful day of the Sheffield Half Marathon 2012 and we've never looked back. I probably could've done it myself but why deny yourself a defining friendship moment like this.
The crowd - People standing there with arms folded waiting for one person (out of thousands!) to come past them - this does my nut in. Clap every runner! Everyone has trained so hard and is in a world of pain so surely you can muster the energy to clap one hand against the other? I'm relying on the loudest cheerers out there, the Green Army of Team Macmillan to get me round the Marathon.
Show-off runners - Social media. It's great for everyday life but it's like crack for runners. I admit I'm an utter and complete hypocrite; I've become one of the people I used to hate on Facebook and Twitter. I'm a degenerate addict, I just can't help myself. Sometimes a run doesn't feel real until I've shared. What a utter (insert expletive) I am. Is this blog part of it too? What's happened to me?! The cycle continues...
So fellow runners - what really grinds your gears? Tweet me your #RunnersProblems or comment below