There are certain aspects of our sport that only a runner girl can truly appreciate. From hair bands to runderwear, we share some real talk about what it is like to be a woman runner.
- Hair bands. Ok, some guys can appreciate this as well. But after recently performing the life-saving act of having an extra band for two fellow runner girls, I feel that the importance of the band reigns truer in the female space than anywhere else. We’ve all seen movie scenes with the slo-mo girl running with her hair blowing in the wind. Number one – there isn’t enough de-tangler in the world to take care of that aftermath. Number two–The ponytail is, like, a runner’s trademark. If the rule really is wash your hair every other day, a hair band is essential for keeping semi-greasy locks up and away between off days.
- Extra “supplies.” Come on Mother Nature—why do you insist on arriving early, on the morning of my long run? There’s always one friend who packs for two, saving you from an, ahem, embarrassing plumbing situation in your cute new shorts. Getting “that time of the month” relief is like a secret language for us. The person who asks expresses a certain subtle urgency that’s well received, and the person who answers responds with a complete understanding of the emergency at hand. We’ve all been there; one girlfriend saved simply means good karma for you and Aunt Flo during her next visit.
- A good, sturdy (stylish) sports bra. In a fast effort to stuff a run outfit into an overnight bag on a quick trip, I realized the only bra I packed was my very-last-resort-with-no-support-whatsoever bra. My long run was less than smooth sailing. Sports bras, no matter the size of your girls, are essential for comfort. One bump in the road, and everything is moving in all sorts of directions, pulling different muscles in weird places, and really wearing you out in the process. Add in a hot summer day where a shirt is totally unnecessary, and you definitely need a full cover-up top!
- Beating dudes. First, let me say that this isn’t meant to place anyone in front of the other in any sport. It is merely a fact that, as a gender, men are viewed as (and often are) faster than women. So when you’re cruising along and spot a guy in front of you—no matter speed, location or situation—it can elicit a little happy jolt of “hell yea!” to pass the guy. I won’t comment on the “getting chick’d” term, but I know I do get a tad excited when I beat a guy during a race.
- Freshly shaved legs. Ladiesssss! Smooth, shiny legs on a summer day that look so toned slathered in sunscreen?! Come on! Because once the winter arrives and wearing pants becomes a necessity, the razor does not come out as often.
- Runderwear. Ok, this isn’t really exclusive to just run-undies. I’m pretty sure there’s an unspoken understanding that every female feels more powerful with a cute pair of knickers on—even if you’re the only one to ever read those flirty words across your butt. Or maybe you’re among the daring that prefer to go runderwear-less. How very #Cheeky of you!
- Public restrooms. You’re running late for a brunch date with your girlfriend, and you have nowhere to slip into something less sticky. There’s always the awkward front-seat crouch or the quick sports-bra-to-bra swipe before the person next to you looks over. Or there is even this nifty new idea. Or maybe you’re a pro on-the-go dresser and have other tips up your sleeve. But public restrooms—which are impeccable enough after early-morning jaunts—are the winner when you’re dashing off for some post-run munchies.
- A really good pedi. I spent years—YEARS, like 26 of them—having never gotten a pedicure. When I finally caved under the peer pressure of a friend, I was hooked. I will admit that there are fewer things more rewarding than a really good, cute, soothing pedicure treatment after a hard run. And yes, I do enjoy having my hangnails cleaned up during the summer. #officiallyafemaleat27
- A cat-call-free run. We reserve the right to be able to run outside, in public, in shorts during a hot day without being stalked, whistled, hollered, harassed or stared at. If any of the above happen, we reserve the right to feel flattered (or not!) but 100% ignore you. Going back to #4, if we are passing you, don’t make a pass at us.
- Running tights with no awkward bunching. I’ve spent many a run tugging at my tights that either slide down past my hipbones or ride up in places that cause embarrassing wardrobe malfunctions. But when you find that one tight that stays put, looks good and doesn’t squeeze the life out of your belly button, that’s a true gem among us women runners.
Now it’s your turn! What is something only runner girls understand? Share your thoughts by tweeting us @womensrunning!