Out There: Runnerspeak, The Runner’s Dictionary

All runners are familiar with the form of English known as Runnerspeak. Photo: www.shutterstock.com

Check out these newest additions to the runner’s vernacular.

Runners speak a language all their own.

We talk about “junk miles,” “dreadmills,” and “rabbits;” we make up words to describe our insane post-workout gluttony (“runger”) and inspiring feats (“badassery”); and sometimes, when there are no words at all, we make noises: “That run was just … blergh.” It’s OK—your fellow runners know exactly what that means.

As a runner, you’ve probably made up a word or two when current vocabulary doesn’t suffice. I’ve found that the only word appropriate to describe Coach Dude’s workouts is “WTFery,” because every week, I look at the plan and say “What The F…?” Some other good ones I’ve heard from my fellow runners lately:

Achilles Neurotitis: A runner’s exhaustive use of the Internet for self-diagnosis of “that weird pain.” Symptoms include frenetic typing, repeat visits to message boards, and the conclusion that amputation of the affected limb is inevitable.

Arm Crotch: The weird, swampy spot between your chest and your armpit that always chafes.

Black Toe Cry: The audible gasp of a pedicure technician upon seeing your runner’s feet. Can usually be silenced by assurances of a hefty tip.

Breakfalsity: The act of lying to your coach about cutting your long run short due to weather, when you know damn well you cut out early to eat pancakes.

Garminbrag: A photograph of a GPS watch face uploaded to Facebook, because actually typing how far or how fast you ran would be narcissistic.

Joguistics: Trying to carry on a mid-run conversation with a new, faster training buddy while maintaining the illusion that “Oh, yeah, this pace is totally fine.”

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Longgoner: A run you knew right from the first mile was going to suck in every way imaginable.

Lottostalk: The process of checking your e-mail every five minutes to see if you won a lottery spot for the Chicago, NYC, or Marine Corps Marathon.

Maraternity Leave: A sick day utilized the Monday after a marathon, solely to avoid walking up the stairs of your office building.

Neontino: A runner dressed in head-to-toe neon clothing. Reserves the right to yell “Are you blind?!” at inattentive drivers and/or mountain bikers.

Quesotherapy: A proven cure for post-run grumpiness, involving salty tortilla chips and melted cheese in a carefully measured dose of “all-you-can-eat.” For maximum effectiveness, combine with beer supplements.

Racetipation: The inability to poop before a race, despite repeated trips to the port-o-john and talking to your digestive system like you would a two year-old: “You don’t have to go? Are you sure you don’t have to go? Just try one more time, OK?”

Shinning: The act of kicking, tripping over, and/or walking into furniture while sleepily dressing in the dark for your early-morning workout.

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Shoenomics: The logical arguments used in justifying to your spouse that yes, 100 dollars is a perfectly acceptable price for a pair of running shoes—a steal, even.

Toot Speed: The small acceleration that comes while pretending your mid-run fart is actually a tiny jet propulsion.

Wikiologist: A sedentary acquaintance who develops a sudden expertise on your mileage, nutrition, and/or race distance. Usually pulls up a Wikipedia entry as evidence that running will, in fact, kill you.

Have you heard new runnerspeak lately? Tweet us at @RunCompetitor and we’ll add it to the dictionary!

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About The Author:

Susan Lacke does 5Ks, Ironman Triathlons, and everything in between to justify her love for cupcakes (yes, she eats that many). In addition to writing for Competitor, she serves as Resident Triathlete for No Meat Athlete, a website dedicated to vegetarian endurance athletes. Susan lives and trains in Phoenix, Arizona with three animals: A labrador, a cattle dog, and a freakishly tall triathlete boyfriend. She claims to be of sound mind, though this has yet to be substantiated by a medical expert. Follow her on Twitter: @SusanLacke

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