The Hallowed Ground of Girlfriend Running
Updated: Feb 26
While I love my husband and my daughters, there is nothing that can
replace the running time that I spend with my girlfriends. I would do anything for my running friends, we share everything, and I am protective of this time together. The roads we have traveled and miles covered are sacred.
In my book, See Mom Run, I discuss the importance of recruiting friends to train with, because we are always more motivated when we have troops that support us. It may start with running dates with a few neighbors getting together to train for a 5K, but then morph into a weekly routine that transcends the goal. As you become more conditioned and comfortable with running at a conversation pace, the chatter will start to flow, even if there are awkward silences at first. My friends and I share a trust that rivals a patient-therapist relationship. Training plans come and go, but running with friends will carry you through every stage of your life.
When you run with training partners, you become very comfortable very quickly, and this is never more apparent than when it comes to some of our less than ladylike bodily functions. You may bristle at the thought when you start, but you will be surprised what becomes acceptable once you become a more seasoned runner. Here’s some of the proper etiquette for handling these delicate situations:
1. The Farmer’s Blow: Running with a stuffed-up nose is not fun and chances are, you’re not carrying a lot of tissues with you. So to get that mucous out of your nose on a run, it’s important to master the Farmer’s Blow. Make sure no one is behind you, and push one finger against the unaffected side to close the nostril. Turn your head to the affected side and either tuck your face down toward your armpit or over your shoulder. Blow with a quick force out of the affected nostril (a tender blow will only be messy). Repeat with the other nostril if necessary. Your girlfriend runners won't judge you.
2. Tinkling in covert locations: It is illegal in most municipalities to urinate in public, and I am not suggesting or encouraging such behavior. That being said, there are times when a quick dash into the woods has to happen. When nature calls, be on the lookout for property lines, poison oak or ivy, and animals. Look in all directions before squatting; you may be protected by one direction only to have headlights beam at you from another. Your girlfriend runners can double as a great human shield in these situations. If you are in an urban area, try to search out a public restroom first. If none exists, ask politely at a store and offer to come back and support their business just as soon as your run is over (and make sure to actually do it).
3. Toot-toot: No matter how hard you may try, there will be times that you can’t prevent fluffing, poofing, breaking wind, or passing gas. Remember, running gets things moving intestinally, and so it is natural. It’s up to you and your gang whether or not this is spoken of, but chances are high that your girlfriend runners will be relieved if you break the ice on this topic. No matter what, a good laugh and comment about the barking frogs will ease an awkward situation.
These are a few tips to get you started on the amazing bond that is Girlfriend Running.
Megan Searfoss, Founder of Run Like a Mother and author of See Mom Run