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Out There: Mailing It In

No reader question is too tricky for Susan Lacke to answer.

No reader question is too tricky for Susan Lacke to answer. 

This week I’ve been using my using time normally reserved for writing this column for something that will benefit the greater good of humanity – writing a strongly-worded letter to the NFL, urging them to end their referee strike once and for all. You know things are bad when you recognize the ref as the same guy who sold you a pair of Nikes at Foot Locker last weekend. Not just “the same clothes.” The same. Exact. Dude.

People, my efforts (some might call it “ceaseless whining about the Packers loss”) were successful! However, my tireless work achieving football peace means I’ve got no good stories to share in this week’s column. Listen, I can save football or I can be funny. Which do you want?

Thank goodness for the fallback of the “Out There” mailbag. Let’s dig in and see what questions you’ve got:

How do I run a successful beer mile?

You gotta treat this like the Olympics. If you puke during a beer mile, you’ll never hear the end of it. Train a couple days before the beer mile itself, using extra-fizzy beverages like seltzer water. Your goal during training is to find the right pace. Too fast, and you’ll puke; too slow, and you’ll be called a pansy. Get it just right and, like Goldilocks, you’ll be belching obscenities while pass your competitors.

On race day, have fun, stay upright, and always, always, always hand your keys over to a sober driver.

I want to take a memorable finish-line photo. What pose do you suggest?

Gangnam style.

Is it polite to say “morning/hello” to other runners?

It’s always so awkward to try to figure out that etiquette, isn’t it? If you wave and they don’t, it brings back memories of not being invited to sit at the cool kids’ table in junior high. If they wave and you don’t, are you being rude?

Then again, I’ve seen my friends ahead of me on the trail and given them a good smack on the butt when I catch up. Usually, it turns out these people only look like my friends, and I need to make a very abrupt change to my route before the police arrive.

To be safe, I’d suggest you just smile. Maybe nod your head in acknowledgement. And definitely keep your hands to yourself.

Is it OK to eat the Bananus at an aid station?

Dear god, please let this be a typo.

Why do people need music to focus while running, but when in a car and lost they turn the radio down?

I’m told running is boring and headphones are a necessity if you want to avoid death by tedium. Yeah, I know, I find that hard to believe, too. I feel sorry for those people, because if the thoughts in their own head can’t keep them entertained, they must really suck at hosting dinner parties.

At any rate, I’d suggest folks get used to doing a their runs without the iPod, since many races ban headphones for safety reasons. You don’t want to be that guy who goes through Katy Perry withdrawals at mile 16.

I’m running my first marathon this weekend! Do you have a mantra you use while you’re racing?

“Keep calm, don’t be stupid, and try not to suck.”

Good luck to you, and to anyone racing this weekend! If you’re feeling out of place just remember the old saying: running is a mental sport, and we’re all insane.

See you Out There!


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