Isn’t it Ironic? The Top Running Ironies

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There are so many great parts of running. But there are other parts that just don’t seem right, that don’t seem fair.

I’ll call them running ironies, although I know I’m using that term more in the Alanis Morissette ‘what a bummer’ sense than the true classical rhetorical sense.

My Top Running Ironies

Post long run shower

After a long run or a race, I am exhausted. I am sweaty. I am sore. Few things sound better than a long, hot shower. In that moment, I am sure a long shower is exactly what I need to help me relax and jump-start the process of feeling human again. Until…


The first few moments of a shower after a long run are brutal. I soon discover all of the areas of my body that have chafed in the last few hours. ‘I didn’t even know I could chafe there’ is a thought I’ve had more than once.

The extra agony is that not only does the water hitting your chaffed areas hurt like a mofo, but the water makes your salty sweat also run over your tender, exposed chafed areas. Talk about rubbing salt in the wounds.

I’ve tried different tips and tricks over the years to soothe this a bit. Most involve covering the chafed areas with something like Aquaphor or vaseline before the shower, but I have not been impressed with the results. First of all, it still hurts to rub anything on those areas and second, I almost alway miss a spot. Better just to rip off the proverbial band-aid and get it over with.

It’s brutal. And so not right. It should be so relaxing!

Race photos

For a long time, I thought this one was just me not liking myself in any photos, but I have come to discover that it is more universal than I first thought.

So often, when things are going right, I feel great during a race. I feel fit, strong, powerful and accomplished. Nothing can stop me. I feel like Wonder Woman.

Then I get the race photos and… ugh… I’m lumpy and red-faced. I look worn down and exhausted. My photos don’t even remotely match how I’m feeling in that moment.

Just once, I would like my race photos to come close to looking like how I feel on my best races. But I’ll settle for one instance of ‘not terrible.’

Stop and enjoy the viewthe harder the climb the prettier the view

Trail runs often take me into the most beautiful scenery in the Bay Area. ‘What’s the bummer there?’ you may ask.

While in this amazing country, I need to pay so much attention to the trail and my footing that I often can’t enjoy much of the view.

Bummer. I can run (or more specifically, not trip), or I can take in the scenery, but I can’t do both. At least at the same time.

I’ve actually turned this one to my advantage. I will stop running to enjoy the view. This, conveniently for me, often takes place after a long uphill climb. Yeah, I’m stopping for the view, yeah… not because I am exhausted and need to rest… Yeah, the view…

Just how exhausted am I?

My mind often plays tricks on me during those long miles during training. No matter how exhausted I am during a run, after I finish I will always wonder why I didn’t push harder.

During the run: I can’t go on, I just can’t keep going, I need to stop, I need to rest, I need to walk.

When I’m done: I could have gone harder, I didn’t need to walk that uphill. I could have been just a few seconds faster.

Every time. I’m not sure which part of my brain is right or wrong, but they sure can’t seem to agree. Just once I wish they would fall in line so I’m not second guessing and doubting myself.


Do you have any running ironies?


Running Ironies pin


Sara is a runner, running coach, writer, blogger, and a lover of all things written.

2 thoughts on “Isn’t it Ironic? The Top Running Ironies

  1. You are so right about the view thing!! I live in Venice which of course is so beautiful. But who can enjoy it when you’re trying not to mow over tourists or trying not to get mowed over or having to watch every step so I don’t step in dog poop or break my ankle on broken pavement….

    1. Thanks Lisa! I used to live in LA and often ran the path by the ocean in Venice, so I know exactly what you mean. I get really stressed out running in crowds, either at a race or in congested urban areas. ‘Dodge the tourist’ is for sure not my preferred running mode.

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