kyle cassidy (kylecassidy) wrote,
kyle cassidy

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Things that bug me about running

Me, about 10 pounds ago. Clickenzee to Embiggen!

A reader writes:

What kind of headband do you wear? I've been using a band to keep my hair back but it keeps sliding off. Also, I don't have contacts right now so it's like, slipping glasses, slipping headband, tissues for allergies... Do you bring headphones? Mine fall out of my ears. I can't run two steps without one of the above screwing with my run. I want to run again but writing this text reminded me that I'm blind, I have very fine hair, allergies, and a wish for headphones that work. Advice happily taken.

I've actually been meaning to write about this for months now, so thanks for the opportunity. This list pretty much sums up 80% of the things that bug me about running (apart from the agony). It might be my OCD or it might be something else, but things touching me in certain ways is are some of the most jarring and persistently unpleasant experiences I can imagine, a sock that slides down, watch band that's too loose, all drive me to distraction -- this includes major annoyances like sweat dripping into my eyes, or hair getting in my eyes, my glasses being a fraction of a millimeter in any direction but the exact one where they Have To Be, and earphones that slip out, or move, at all.

Luckily for my local running store, I'm the kind of person who is positive that technology can solve all of my problems. I know some people who can just walk out the door and chase the antelope, but I can't, I have stuff that I need.

I've tried a bunch of headbands and the one I like the best is the Halo II which has a plastic lip around the inside that catches sweat and keeps it from ever getting to your eyes, the fabric is wicking rather than absorbing, so, theoretically, it evaporates from there. One day when I couldn't find it I ordered 12 pack of ordinary cotton headbands and found that they work just fine when it's not too hot out and you're not going on a super long run because they hold quite a bit of sweat and even after that, you can wring them out or whack them a few times against the side of a tree, spraying your pheromones everywhere and they're ok for another little while. Plus I like haveing twelve of them rather than having to track down my one Halo II.

To keep my glasses on I was using a Croakies eyewear retainer, it's just a neoprene strap that slide over the sides and hold the frame snug against your nose no matter how much you sweat. They're oddly expensive, but they work well. Recently I told my eye doctor about it and he just bent my glasses so that they hug my face really tightly so I haven't been using it lately.

Apart from OCD I'm plagued by something called Exercise Induced Rhinitis which means the more I work out the more my nose runs, which drives me crazy. At first I was stuffing one pocket with tissues, but when you sweat they turn into a wet ball and I never seemed to bring enough of them. So I bought this thing called a "My Hankie" which advertised itself as a handkerchief for runners, it was a STUPIDLY expensive very heavy cotton handkerchief that worked pretty well. It was so big I was able to cut it in half so that one could be in the wash and the other in my pocket. I used that for maybe a year when I discovered that if you just take a technical running shirt that came from some 5k you didn't particularly like and cut it into pieces about 9 inches square it seems to work just as well because it's constantly drying out, rather than holding everything you wipe with it, so now I have a drawer full of those plus one of the half's of the "My Hankie" -- the other having fallen out of my pocket during a 5 miler in South Philly.

I've tried all sorts of headphones -- starting out with my super-fancy Ultimate Ears Triple-fi's, which have great sound, but the foamy things get soaked in sweat and a) it feels like you have a slug in your ear b) they start to slip out and c) it's actually possible to run the cable right out of the earphone if you're going at it hard and there's little more distracting than your JAMS STOPPING in the last 100 yards while you're neck and neck with a guy pushing a stroller. I spent a lot of time looking around and discovered the MEElectronics Sport-Fi M6 Noise Isolating In-Ear Headphones with Memory Wire which go for about $20 and they're fantastic. They fit snugly in my ears with rubber(ish) plugs, the memory wire keeps the cable from slapping against your head and neck, it includes a neck-clip to keep that bit of the wire from bouncing around, and they actually sound pretty good too (much better than the set that came with your iPhone).

Hope this helps.

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