Just Wondering

07/17/2008 - 09:03

By Pete Rea/ZAP Fitness/Running Journal/May 2008


Working full time at a center designed by and for long distance runners provides an interesting view into the world and lives of runners and the sport of running at large --along with a unique historical perspective being that I am almost a full generation removed from my competitive days. Be it the physiology of training, the psychology of preparation, or the daily rituals we as runners put ourselves through, I, along with the ZAP Fitness athletes and staff, have formed a range of opinions and musings -- and even more questions about our sport (and other often unrelated topics). These subjects and more are often the banter thrown around at the ZAP dinner table each evening. I like to call these random questions... "Just Wonderings."

  1. Just wondering why athletes are commonly referred to as "former Olympians?" Once an athlete has made an Olympic Team, aren’t they an Olympian for life?

  3. Just wondering who invented the running skirt and how in Paavo Nurmi’s name have they become popular.

  5. Just wondering what distance running event will see an American on the medal stand this summer?

  7. Just wondering what happened to the brand Kangeroo, and if anyone ever used the zipper?

  9. Just wondering if anyone actually eats the original "Malt Nut" PowerBar anymore?

  11. Just wondering if there is anyone who legitimately prefers to be called a jogger rather than a runner?

  13. Just wondering if Running Journal readers share my hatred of those who respond to you mentioning you ran 10 miles by saying...."10 miles, I don’t drive that far."

  15. Just wondering if you can name the last American distance runner to win an Olympic Gold Medal? (Joan Benoit-Samuelson - 1984)

  17. Just wondering why I am 10 times more sore after a five-mile run now at age 39 than I was after a 12-miler at age 30?

  19. Just wondering if George Bush still runs?

  21. Just wondering how anyone can train for marathons in South Florida in the summer?

  23. Just wondering if there is anything more painful than a shower after a run with nipple chafe?

  25. Just wondering if we could slow the East Africans down (thereby improving American hopes) by introducing fast-food to Kenya and Ethiopia?

  27. Just wondering what happened to the post road-race beer truck?

  29. Just wondering why middle aged distance running men (such as myself) insist on jacking our shorts and pants up to our sternum?

  31. Just wondering why so many athletes fear setting their goals high?

  33. Just wondering if I was hallucinating when I saw a woman running while talking on her cell phone in Atlanta this winter?

  35. Just wondering if runners realize that most running injuries can be cured (or prevented) by massage therapy, acupuncture, osteopathy, and chiropractic rather than traditional medicine?

  37. Just wondering if the Peachtree Road Race will ever hit 100,000 runners?

  39. Just wondering if anyone remembers when Runner's World named Johnson City, TN, the top running city in America? (1983)

  41. Just wondering why so many competitve runners commonly fail to realize that resting is part of training rather than the absence of it?

  43. Just wondering why anyone would choose to run on a treadmill as opposed to outside?

  45. Just wondering why we never get tired of the simplicity of putting one foot in front of another?


ZAP Fitness is a Reebok and NY Road Runners Sponsored non-profit facility that supports post collegiate distance runners in Blowing Rock, NC. ZAP puts on adult running camps during the summer and is available for retreats all year. The facility has a state of the art weight room, exercise science lab for testing and a 24-bed lodge. Coaches at the facility include 2 time Olympic Trials Qualifiers Zika Rea and Randy Ashley as well as head coach Pete Rea. For more information go to or call (828) 295-6198

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