Friday, June 22, 2007

Ted? Is That You?

Something that has always bothered me is that us women have these cyclic hormonal fluctuations that change the way we behave throughout any given month. We (I anyway) get emotional, moody, nesty, tired, irritable etc depending on the time of the month. But for women, it’s cyclical—you can count on it and it’s part of nature. But to me, there has to be some equivalent in men. Men must have hormonal fluctuations and what not and because there is some order in nature there has to be some system to it like a woman’s cycle, no?

I was reading an article the other day about men’s hormonal changes that occur when they are embarking on parenthood. The basic gist is that when men know they are going to be a father and are around their pregnant partner, their hormones change. Testosterone levels drop a bit. This is important to male parenting because, as the article says: High levels of testosterone … are associated with "incompatible non-nurturing behavior.," … If dads roared along on their usual levels of the hormone, … they'd be too busy fighting other men and seducing other women to do much diaper-changing.

Heh. This is funny. It all made sense last night on my run. For the most part I am a modest person. I’m not into over-exposure. Many runners, male and female, feel perfectly comfortable running shirtless (women, hopefully still have a sports bra on!) I can’t say I do. Sometimes, though, it’s too darn hot and sticky for a shirt and in the interest of getting through a workout I’ll bag the shirt (I definitely have a sports bra on!) Usually, if I do this, I’m running in the woods and not many people see me. Maybe this explains why this is the first time I’ve experienced this.

Last night I did my tempo run. I used the same 2-mile stretch of road as last week. The park tends to be crowded on weeknights when the weather’s nice. Tonight was no exception. Anyway, I did my one mile warm-up and felt uncomfortably warm. I decided that it was time to bag the shirt. I hung it on a rail near the start of my tempo course. I started the workout. The first repeat went great. Often my first mile is slow as I get up to speed. This time, that wasn’t the case. My goal, as always is 7:03. My first set was 6:59, 6:58. Since it was warm, I went for the water fountain. I just finished my first three sips when I felt somebody’s presence behind me, a little too close for comfort. Before I could see who it was or move away to let that person have a turn, he said in a creepy voice, “don’t drink to much. You might get a cramp.” “Ok.” I said in an irritated voice. This might sound innocuous, but I was there and my creepo-meter was headed off the charts. Really. Trust me. Anyway, I was so annoyed. One, I know how much I should or shouldn’t drink and who the heck do you think you are that you know better for me. And two, CREEPY!!!! So you know what I did? I drank more! Heh. Then I turned and jogged until the end of my 2 minute rest and then began the second set.

I really was so annoyed, I cannot begin to explain. Of course, I felt all over-exposed, but darn it if I was going to be uncomfortable just because of some creep doesn’t know how to handle his testosterone. Then I was even more annoyed as I made my way to the ½ mile point a car full of teenaged boys drove by and whooped at me. Poor teenaged boys. They are all passive aggressive in handling their testosterone. They REALLY don’t know how to handle it yet. Heh. On top of that, what should have been the easiest mile was pretty hard because it was so darn windy last night. The wind actually felt good because it cooled me off. But what’s interesting is that I think the headwind here made the miles all equally challenging. With no change in effort that I could tell I ran 6:59 and 6:59 for this stretch.

I have to say, all throughout this time there were plenty of men I passed that were not creepy. They did not whoop or gape or gawk or anything like that. Anyway, back I went for my third set. This one was uneventful. Strangely, it was very consistent again. 6:59, 6:59. This is good!

I went to the water fountain and this time, thankfully, was not harassed by any creepo. I turned and headed back into the wind. I was feeling much better and cruising right along. I was just about at the first mile of this set when a truck drove by me from behind. The driver stuck his head out (while still driving, mind you) and turned his head, looked at me with a creepy smile and said, “You. Are. Gorgeous.” And then continued to drive ahead. WTF?! I’ll admit, there is a small part of me that is flattered that some random dude in a truck would risk life and limb to declare his assessment of my attractiveness. But it’s small. The rest of me is fearing for my life. I suppose serial killers aren’t going to announce their presence. The serial killer would be one of the many men to pass that I didn’t take notice of. But. BUT, the fact that these guys said and did these things makes me wonder about those silent guys who handle the testosterone in really unhealthy ways! Yikes! Must I wear a shirt and be uncomfortable? Will this happen every time I do a tempo run in the summer. Are these guys harmless? Is there a Ted Bundy among the many anonymous park goers? Should I invest in a burka? These thoughts all raced through my head as I hustled to the end of my workout, if for no other reason than to get my shirt! 6:48, 6:45.

Anyway, getting back to my original thought. See, just like women can’t help the moodiness and whatnot that comes with their hormonal changes, men can’t help but be apes with their hormonal changes. You know, PMS isn’t so bad!


E-Speed said...

I never used to wear a shirt in high school. It was always just a sports bra and shorts. But now I avoid just the sports bra for just this reason. A lot of men are pigs!

Great workout!

DaisyDuc said...

Oh, I hate when someone creeps me out!

It is really too bad that oftentimes we feel "uncomfortable" wearing just a sports bra b/c sometimes it really would be much more comfortable with the heat, etc.!!!

Uptown Girl said...

Ugh, I hate that. I often keep the shirt on for the reasons you spelled out! Men can be such pigs.

Anyway, nice splits!

Quinto Sol said...

If you do invest on a burka, make sure that it's coolmax or similar material, and by all means white :o) I know, I know... I am not funny; but you cannot blame me, I am a porcine.

Seriously, good 4X2... shouldn't you ease up the pace so as to hit them at your coach's recommended 7:03s?

Tall Girl Running said...

Loved this post!

I've worked very hard to get a pretty good looking six pack of abs. But I NEVER run without a shirt because I'm too self-conscious about attracting attention (creepy or otherwise). The hundreds and hundreds of crunches sometimes seem a waste when I don't have the desire or guts to show off their effect, but until that happens, I'll just keep on soaking one shirt after another.