Running partners are a special type of friend, not just one who knows your favorite GU flavor or the worst songs on your playlist, but someone who knows those eccentric things about you, too. We 901 girls laugh about some of those quirky things we are still learning about each other that are just downright silly, but truthfully can diminish the potential for a good run if they don't go as they should. Because we get to travel together as well as run together, we really know each other's quirks before, during, and after a run.
To some degree I'm sure most people can relate to being specific about their hair. Those ladies who run with their hair down make us cringe. No loose hair. Janell and Stacey don't like their's touching their back or neck at all. It's all bun for them. Jennifer can't stand those loose pieces flopping around on the side when they slip out of the ponytail. Janell also will only use a certain brand ponytail holder while she is working out, and Jennifer will never ever run without a headband. Weird? Maybe, but whatever works, works!
When it comes to clothes, we don't always put fashion before function, but when we do, it can be a unique situation. We're not talking Lady Gaga on the red carpet weird, but we've all got our "things". Jennifer has less than 4 pairs of matching socks, and that's okay. The height of the sock however, makes or breaks her run. She always has to fold them down below her ankle if they're too tall before she can concentrate on anything else. As well, Janell and Stacey will never be seen in compression socks. Somehow their lungs and feet are connected, and they feel like they're suffocating if they ever put them on. Stacey's tanks also can't be too tight in the Summer, but for Winter it's okay. Dana can never wear her race bib over her stomach and always lays out her race outfit from head to toe the night before. Jennifer can’t seem to double up on underwear. If the shorts have it built in, she's not going to wear another pair on top of it.
As if these weren't enough to earn us a reputation, we've saved the quirkiest for last. Jennifer really likes to run with mint flavored gum. She has convinced herself it makes the run easier and go by more quickly. She chews on one side and then switches to the other, back and forth. The way the flavor changes from side to side gets her attention each time, and it's just the smallest distraction that keeps her going sometimes. Our girls that carry HB Tune, typically wear theirs on their dominant hand, Stacey however favors the other. Her feet just won't work otherwise. No bouncing fuel belts for Debi. They drive her crazy! She does however have a very specific approach to protecting her sensitive skin. She uses several different products from Body Glide to Skin Sake, each with their own area to protect. In the name of complete disclosure, I think all of us, as well as runners in general, really appreciate a productive trip to the loo before a run. Some us accomplish it with coffee, others with Spark, or an occasional sugar free Red Bull.
We can't always explain why or where they come from, but these crazy quirks make us who we are. For some, it may be a lucky jersey on game day or a morning routine before work, for us, it's ponytail bands and bathroom trips that mentally prepare us for the challenge ahead. We don't fight it, we embrace it! Feel free to chuckle at our bizarre ways, and then let us know some of your unique running habits. We know we're not the only weird ones out there.