Why I Think I Might Have Runner’s Tourette’s.

I ran again today, this time covering 11.35 miles in 112 minutes. It was a good run up until I made a fool of myself just short of a mile from home. I was already annoyed as I had another stone in my shoe and decided to wait until I was home to remove it.

Runner’s Tourette’s?

I think I might have Tourette’s syndrome but only when I run. I don’t want to belittle what is a harrowing neurological condition, but today’s episode proves that I’m not well.

I was running in the dark and talking to myself out loud as usual.

When I run I sometimes suffer from cringing mental episodes where I think back to something that’s happened in the past and I blast out words as a way to quiet my mind.

At the minute I like to shout “FLAPS!”, “FREE CRACK!” or my new all time favourite “BUY ONE GET ONE FREE, YOU CUNT!”

Running through difficult mental episodes.

I typically only talk to myself if I’m experiencing problems on the run. Normally it will be “you can do this!” or “only 5 minutes more until this is all over” amongst other things just to try to encourage myself along.

I think a certain amount of self-talk on the run is healthy, but today’s utterance was overheard by a third party.

You see I didn’t notice that I wasn’t alone on this particular stretch of road. It was getting dark and I could barely see 10 foot in front of me.

So when I half-shouted “you can do this, you great big hairy twat!!” in the presence of a man out walking his dog, it caused a shit load of embarrassment.

I couldn’t pretend that I was on the phone. I couldn’t pretend that I was singing.

I just bowed my head in shame and ran onwards as if it didn’t happen.

I couldn’t be bothered explaining to him that my words weren’t targeted in his general direction.

Fortunately he didn’t say anything, but he did hesitate as if he was gonna bring the issue up.

Talk about lucky.

It all leaves some unanswered questions.

Who was the great big hairy twat? Why did he need encouragement?

Most importantly for the man, who was this foul mouthed man in the Newcastle United top and the crew cut that was barking encouragement at foot soldiers who only existed in his mind?

I’ve had many near-misses like this before, but this is the first time that I’ve been certain that another human being has heard my talking to myself when running.

So what’s the answer to all of this?

Do I have to stop talking to myself on the run?


I just have to be more careful. I’m used to running at 5am in the morning when there’s no-one else around.

I could effectively run around in circles for an hour shouting “CUNT!” 150 times a minute and not offend another soul.

Now that I’m running in the evenings, I have to watch my step.

I have to be considerate to other human beings.

The last thing I want do is shout “BUY ONE GET ONE FREE YOU CUNT!” just as I pass an old lady.

That could have more dire consequences.