I’ll be the first to admit that we runners have our quirks (snot rockets, crazy tan lines and an affinity for talking about GI issues, to name a few), but like any healthy relationship, you take the good with the bad, right?
But now that I’m taking things to the proverbial ‘next level’ with swimming and cycling, I’m starting to notice some funny peculiarities in the other disciplines, as well. And each time that happens, I smile to myself because I can hear Jerry Seinfeld’s voice in my head with his “What’s the deal with…?” schtick.
What’s the deal with goggles?
I can never seem to get the suction just right; either they’re just a tad loose and water leaks in, or they’re airtight and sucking my eyeballs out of my skull. Then what follows is the lovely no-amount-of-makeup-will-cover-these under-eye circles that are anything but flattering.
What’s the deal with swim lane speeds?
I get it, it’s more of a suggestion than a hard-and-fast rule. But does anyone else get self-conscious about choosing a lane when it’s crowded and there aren’t many options? I’m not about to pretend like I can hold my own against the Michael Phelps-lookalike in the fast lane, but I certainly prefer not to bob and weave around the lady who’s taking up one whole end of the slow lane with her water aerobics routine.
What’s the deal with locker room etiquette?
It never fails — at the exact moment I’m wrestling out of my wet swimsuit or awkwardly hopping around trying to tug some clothes back on, someone shows up and needs to get into the locker right next to me. Urgently.
What’s the deal with getting into the zone?
Unlike running, cycling or even open-water swimming, where I can admire the scenery and entertain myself with the pursuit of a destination, staring at that black line for 45 minutes can get monotonous. But as soon as I focus on drills or — the opposite — get lost in my thoughts as a way to keep my mind occupied, I inevitably lose count of where I’m at in my workout.
Side note: I finally outsmarted myself here and got a SportCount (i.e. sanity-saver) so I can concentrate on things other than ticking down lap numbers. I just hit the button with my thumb each time I complete a full lap, and it keeps track of total time, number of laps and average time per lap (including fastest and slowest laps).
What’s the deal with training swimsuits?
It took me a good month of testing several suits to finally find a brand and style that worked well for my body type (read: opposite of your stereotypical swimmer). God bless you if you’re among the 0.5 percent who looks good in one of those one-piece Speedo suits.
I’ll stick to my Athleta tankini, thank you very much, and will be in the medium-speed lane, if you need me!
Got any athletic eccentricities you care to share?