More to add to your running glossary

zombies_run copyI was thinking about my blog on running terminology, and realized there are items and events in the sport of running for which there are, as yet, no real words.

With a nod to Rich Hall and the stuff we watched before John Stewart, I have generated the following glossary of more running terminology to help runners, and those who love them (or would like to have a special language with which to make fun of them), convey all that heretofore remained unsaid for no other reason than we lacked the means of expression.

Glidegrief: The realization, well into your run, that you forgot to use the anti-chaffing stick that’s melting in your car right at this moment, and you’re going to be walking funny and screaming in every shower for the next few days as a result.

Hypochondrikneesis: The worry that the ache in your knees is actually the onset of an injury that is going to sideline you in the weeks before an event. The amount of anxiety is proportional to the difficulty involved in making arrangements to participate in the event, the longer the travel and the higher the cost of the non-refundable airline tickets and hotel deposits.

Missile-mislaunch: The snot-rocket you meant to surreptitiously send off to the side somewhere, that is actually now stuck to your shirt. Or worse, to the shirt of the runner next to you. If you need someone to define “snot-rocket” for you, I have a couple of adolescent boys to send over (See? I’m a giver, I tell you).

Neidermeyeremorse: The feeling – usually at the outset of a long event – that you’ve seriously undertrained. In fact, you’re so worthless and weak, you now have an image of that douchey ROTC Colonel from Animal House yelling at you in an endless loop in your head for the whole run.

Pessimismaplay: The playlist you put together for your Ipod that will not only get you through the entire run, but could also serve to keep you occupied in the event you have to wait for emergency medical personnel to pick you up.

Permastink: The odor that eventually locks itself into the fabric of any exercise clothing if it’s used enough, never to come out.

Shihtzunami: The collection of little dogs just ahead which is collectively going to dart in at your dog at the last minute, causing a big pileup on the running trail. Better batten down the hatches, that shih’s coming your way, and there’s nothing you can do about it.

Stinky-soup: That concoction of boiling vinegar and fabric in the pot on the stove is an effort to get rid of permastink, rather an attempt to ruin your appetite for dinner.

Stealth-shirt: The running shirt you thought was clean until you started sweating in it, thereby reanimating the permastink. Please stay downwind.

Van-daddy or van-mamma: The person in the relay van who holds the clipboard and keeps track of who is next in your relay. This is also the person who made all the hotel reservations and reminded people to register for the race. They may be the person who reminds everyone to stay hydrated, to eat a bagel once in a while, and for God’s sake to open the windows because the smell of someone’s shoes is overwhelming the seven royal-pine-scented car fresheners hanging from the rear view mirror.

Van-hole: The person in the relay van who is not really in charge, but thinks he is anyway and acts accordingly. This person is usually a last minute substitute for someone who flaked out of the relay team with very little notice. The Van-hole is also someone for whom the last-minute-flaker is going to owe everyone a beer when you get home. They’re also likely the person with the smelly shoes.

Wharrgarbler: The running companion, usually of the canine variety (but not exclusively) who will dart off trail to stick his full face in the stream of a sprinkler for a drink.


I have a dream of all these terms weaving their way into the mainstream. But we have to work it, people. Vote for my blog if you agree. Thank you.



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  1. This made me laugh so much! I really need to get back out there. I have a 5k coming up and, while I could run it without training, I won\’t be happy if I do.

    Here\’s to running! Even if I\’m not fast or cool while I do it.