10 tips for female runners on how to tackle a first date.
Outside of the post-NYC banter, holiday weight debacles, judgy-relative reunions and post-holiday comeback planning (“holiday 15” is the new “freshman 15”), the winter months spark an additional concern for us single endurance ladies: What is the most appropriate way to honor your runner love affair but also attract a companion sans the “running will always be my No. 1 priority” mentality?
I can neither confirm nor deny that the following is based on personal experience (and errors in judgment); it is, however, inspired by a beer-induced conversation with a girlfriend who shares a similar loyalty to running. We came up with the worst things to do when creating a life profile entitled “Runner Seeking Runner.” Rule No. 1: Do not use that name, even if only between friends. Non-runners are people too.
1. Don’t Cancel A Date For A Run
Runners do not receive a get-out-of-jail free card here. If the date is written in pen, keep it — a missed run is not an emergency (I promise). As tempting as it is, canceling for running will not elicit a phone call for a second — well, first — date three days later. This is a two-way street, and running against traffic does not apply here.
2. Wash Your Hair
Yes, us lady runners sometimes use such cheating methods as dry shampoo, hair bands, hats and other at-home remedies for day-old runner hair. But when it comes to impressing dudes, sometimes it’s OK to scrub out the sweat and put on a fresh face for a potential candidate.
3. Don’t Start The Conversation With A Race Recap
I’ve grown accustomed to the glazed-over stares I receive when trying to explain my race splits, improved cadence and perfect water grabs during my last race with the wrong audience. Accept that some just are not into running like you — he has his own passions, and awkward first dates are not the place to convert him to your religion.
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4. Don’t Wear Your Watch To The Table … Or A Bar
I personally think my GPS watch goes with anything, but I was recently told that it needs to come off pretty much whenever I’m not laced up. There is some logic there — unless you’re stuck in dull-ville looking for a quick escape (Hint: Calling your girlfriend from the bathroom works pretty well), there’s no reason to clock your conversation.
5. Go Easy On The Beer
Runners love beer — this is a scientific fact (at least for the sake of this blog). Enjoy a night off from your usual workout, but don’t go overboard with the liquid courage. Sloppy not only leaves a potentially harmful lasting impression on him, but it also makes for a, ahem, potentially painful rise in the a.m.
6. Ignore Your Bedtime
Endurance athletes get anxious after 8 p.m.; we calculate exact sleep hours needed to accomplish the morning miles without a mid-run slump, all in the name of getting to the office on time. But I promise you — one missed alarm clock won’t put a cramp your stride. If you’ve ever engaged in an overnight relay, you know it’s possible to knock out a long-ish run on 30 minutes sleep or less.
7. Save The Gastrointestinal Jokes
Coming from a colitis carrier, this one is especially difficult for me. But respect your audience, ladies — feel out the prospect before diving into stories of crouching behind bushes for a quick GI business trip. It’s common knowledge that running is a natural laxative anyway — no details needed (yet).
8. Ask Him What He Does For Fun
Basketball, baseball, football, cycling, swimming, gymnastics, golf, lacrosse, hockey and pretty much anything else that yields a sweat is considered a sport as well (but our sport is still your sport’s punishment).
9. Ditch The Bling
I know you have jewelry that’s beautiful, perfect, brings out your eyes and doesn’t say “runner” or “26.2.” Now is the time to test it out and ask for opinions — and let me borrow it when I’m sick of my 13.1 earrings.
10. Appreciate His Personality And Respect Your Own
When friends claim that they “are not a real runner,” I assure them that anyone who laces up, steps out and starts moving is a runner. If this guy “isn’t a real runner,” appreciate his willingness to join you (even if only for your recovery days) and respect the fact that you can still be that runnerd without dating a die-hard Prefontaine fan.
Got a dating woe? Tweet @caitpilk so she doesn’t repeat your mistake!