Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Caution: Runner NOT Running

As the support crew for a runner, you know the inherent hazards of the sport. The chafing, the dehydration, and the ~ahem~ bathroom issues that many runners experience on occasion are all things that the support crew experiences second hand. Never is a situation more perilous, however, than when one is the support crew for the injured runner. Here are some important rules adopted from Chez Moi with the intention of promoting safety.

Be as Prepared as a Scout preparing for an Academy Award.  The first thing to realize when talking with the injured runner is that they are dying to tell you about their badassery. They cannot wait to explain how they injured their (xyz) running (xyz) distance on (xyz) date. Furthermore, be prepared to provide an appropriate response or wince when they go into great detail about how they ran 4 miles on a broken foot, or had fluid drained via a 6' needle, or my personal favorite - share how the bones crunched against each other for a few days. We've discussed this before, runners are weird. And gross. And weird.

The Importance of Math.  The injured runner is a delicate creature, vulnerable and prone to wild mood swings rivaling that of a 15 year old girl. The injured runner frequently believes at any given time that he or she is speaking in a sane rational voice about his or her return to running, when in fact, they are talking like a drunk frat boy on a Saturday night. Like a marathoner at the end of a race, the non-running runner cannot perform simple math. Gibberish about Couch to 5K plans and how well Physical Therapy is going can quickly dissolve into Fall Marathon plans. Oh the non-running runner is laughable with their plans to add miles in increments of 10% when the current base mileage rests solidly on a big fat ZERO.  Last I checked, 10% of 0 is 0.

the family holiday photo of 2015

The Approach.  When approaching an injured runner, it’s important to move in slow non-threatening steps, preferably while wearing sensible flats. Running shoes are a no go, as are heels or dress shoes. The injured runner needs no reminding that they are injured, and assuredly, they know exactly what kind of Brooks you have laced onto your feet. If they, like me, have a broken foot and are relegated to a boot, the dress shoes are just a further reminder of how “non-cute” their Christmas wardrobe has been thus far this year.

On Staying Grounded.  The Non-Running Runner who has been sentenced to a month or more of “Spinning Easy on a Spin Bike” is particularly prone to illusions of grandeur regarding their bike fitness. Suddenly they are planning Century rides and contemplating two-day charity events. This is typically experienced by the budding cyclist before their workout du jour, as at the conclusion of a 30 minute spin, they are usually more grounded in reality. In this case, “reality” is comparable to a deep dark hole in the ground where running doesn’t live.

Don't Ask, Don't Tell. One of the trickiest questions posed by the non-running runner is in regards to someone else's running plans. If asked what your race plans are for 2016, it's imperative to change the subject quickly and subtly. Equally dangerous is asking the injured runner when their MD says they can run again. Remember, dates are numbers, numbers are like math, and the non runner has limited math ability at this time.

Finally, Beware the Cookie. Never ever take the last cookie from a non-running runner, unless you have a death wish or are pregnant.

~ savor the boot ~

1 comment:

John M said...

Awesome , actually made me laugh out loud.