If you aren't a runner, or really close to a runner, you probably don't know this. It's our dirty little secret.
During and after a run, in general, we smell pretty bad.
All of us.
It's not our fault. It's nature's fault. And polyester.
Here's the deal. We wear gear made of "technical" fabrics that "wick" moisture away from our skin. This keeps us from freezing in the winter, and carrying around pounds of our own sweat in the summer.
The downside is that these miracle fabrics somehow harbor the teeniest of microbes.* And these little guys stink when they get wet.
Washing the gear gets most of the stink out. But somehow those little buggers survive the soak, wash, rinse, and spin cycle.
Worst of all are the shoes. And to compound that, I run, typically, without socks. And to compound that, often I shove my shoes into my bag still damp after a run. So it's a festival of reproduction for stinky cooties.
My shoes are offensive. From quite a distance.
Desperate, I turned to the source of all knowledge... the interweb.
Athletic wear detergents... shooting BBs at a tank.
Freezing the shoes after washing... dubious and would ruin every subsequent batch of ice, forever.
Vinegar in the wash... maybe, if I had a couple gallons of vinegar handy.
But there was one idea that seemed crazy enough to work, and had nothing but positive feedback.
I am not making this up.
Several people swore up and down that this was a Can't-Miss solution to my scent problem.
So, to the horror of my children, I walked around Target for a good 30 minutes with a big box of denture cleaner under my arm. That, my friends, was fun.
After my short run, I plop-plop-fizz-fizzed**... and sat there... waiting... staring... half expecting to hear a billion tiny screams from the mass microbicide.
Results... wet, still pretty smelly, but pearly white running shoes. Just kidding about the pearly white part.
I used three tablets. The box came with 120. I'll give it one more Nuclear Option try this weekend. Like 20 tablets.
I'm not holding my breath.
But if you're unlucky enough to be on the elevator with me after a run, you might want to.
PS - My good buddy Dave, yesterday, voluntarily ended a 128 month streak of running at least 100 miles per month. That's almost 11 years, folks. He's healthy and still running strong, just felt it was time to end it (on a power of 2, no less).
Numbers: 1.6 miles - felt great and wanted more, but left foot just a bit tender and I want to race this weekend.
* Brooks makes a line of clothes with silver, a natural anti-microbial, woven into the fabric. Pricey. Works great. (thermoregulating, odor-fighting X-STATIC® )
**I know, that's Alka-Seltzer... hey, maybe that would work.