Thursday, March 6, 2008

The Scent of a Run



As a frequent Running Blog Reader, one might notice that runners love to give the play by play of their runs.

I realized this morning that my morning runs have a distinct smell to them. And it's usually the same. So today you get the "smell by smell" instead of the "play by play."

  • Smell 1: Upon opening my door in the morning, I am met with the distinct scent of TRASH. Yes, my oh-so-friendly neighbors love to put their stinky trash bins right in front of MY gate. I move it to their side and they move it back. Bastards.
  • Smell 2: I cross the street to get to the "boardwalk" where I'm engulfed by scent of the BEACH... salty, crispy with a little fishy mixed in.
  • Smell 3: Just when I'm getting into my grove, the scent of REHAB floats by. One might be surprised to learn that there are probably more rehabs in Newport than there are bars. Narconon has a distinct smell. And no, it's not of aliens. It's like bleachy cleaner mixed with cheap shampoo.
  • Smell 4: Now this is actually probably the worst smell of the morning. OLD LADY PERFUME. The sweetest little lady goes for morning walks and always says "good morning" to me (major brownie points in my book). I just love her. But her perfume makes me want to hurl. It's a powdery, Rosy scent and that shit lingers like no tomorrow.
  • Smell 5: By now, I'm hitting the pier where there are restaurants & bars galore. This is a two-punch combo of scentification (I just made up that word). First there is food smell - usually PIZZA, then you're smacked with the SMOKE smell. All the bars have big stinky buckets or ash trays outside and I don't think they clean them out too often. **Note: A third smell can come into play if this is a weekend run - the smell of VOMIT. Occasionally you can tell there's been an "incident" outside of the bar and hopefully you don't see it.
  • Smell 6: The boardwalk temporarily ends and the run must continue in the alley. The main scent now is CAR EXHAUST and occasionally CLEAN LAUNDRY.

Then I turn around and run thru the same scents again.

What does your run smell like?

Song of the day: Moments by DJ Godfather & Starski

31 comments:

shelley said...

Mostly wifts of horse poop here :) That old lady perfume would really get to me too, it always gives me headaches!

Laura N said...

Fun and original post, POM! My favorite outdoor running smell is laundry/dryer sheet. And in the spring, wet dirt smell is the best. Oh, and fresh cut grass. What I wouldn't give for beach smell. You've got a lot of crappy smells to run through, though, to get that beach smell pay off.

My Life & Running said...

Ummmm.... mostly poop. We're surrounded by fields heavily fertilized with nasty, fragrant shit. Or rotting lettuce... after they harvest the remains are left to bake in the sun. It's simply lovely.

I'll take your pizza smell any day!

chia said...

If cold and crisp had a scent, that would describe my neighbourhood trot. There isn't much traffic downtown so we really don't get much of the exhaust or anything.

fun post :)

Carly said...

Ohhhh the running smells....

These are common smells that I run across, cigarette smoke, bus exhaust,fire from wood burning stoves, laundry, and just recently....people grilling out!

eurydice said...

my run smells like bread baking (when i go outside) because i live near a big bakery.... it's torture!

Lucas said...

I love this post! I totally went on that run with you. And now I have a homework assignment; notice smells while on next run.

ThickChick said...

Hahaha!! What a creative post, Miss POM!!

Let's see.... It depends on the route but...
Mine is usually fresh air, followed by sweaty construction guys on a smoke break (condos have been under constructions for the past eon behind us!), followed by breakfast-y smells alternating with dryer-sheet smells alternating with garbage as I make my way through the residential section, then my favorite part: damp earth and awesome, fresh, spring air as I climb the hills of seemingly isolated Forest Park, with occasional hints of dog shit when lazy pet owners didn't act responsibly. Then back.

Tigerlilly said...

How funny... reading that reminded me of living in Ft Lauderdale. Same smells I guess!! LOL

Lily on the Road said...

Nothing like a good whiff of Chantilly, (old lady perfume), gag....

I run in the country, so we get a mix of "rural & farm".....oh and the odd aroma of dog dooooooo!

Judi said...

test

Judi said...

Ok, my smells aren't near as good as your smells. In the summer I smell piss and beer on the sidewalks where I run. In the winter I don't get much of anything.

Marcy said...

ROFLMAO! HAHAHAHAA Mine are usually a combo of car exhaust and cig smoke. A lot of peeps smoke outside their homes around here, I guess?!?

Meg said...

Very interesting. I miss the smell of the beach and boardwalk. Lately, my runs smell like snow. In the football season sometimes they smell like beer (I run by some frat houses) and barbeque (yum). There's one middle eastern bakery that I've never been to that always smells like fried dough. That's the best.

Maddy said...

I mostly run on the treadmill, so my runs don't smell like anything - I'm used to the way my house smells.

When I go on the bike trail for my weekend long run I love it when the bike people pass with freshly laundered jerseys. It smells so good. Why doesn't my laundry smell like that?

SLB said...

Reminds me of when we lived in Pacific Palisades. As for the SFV...smog, smog, smog!

Brianna K. Grant said...

I'm guilty of treadmill running in the winter, too. That means my runs are more about sounds than smells - if I can knock out a run BEFORE the kids wake up, I like to run with nothing but the gentle, encouraging whirrr of the belt as it makes its way around, punctuated by the rhythmic thumping of my feet. Hey, I don't get to run by the beach, so I have to enjoy the soothing sounds that are available. I like to keep things simple in the mornings and let my thoughts unfold slowly, so no music, no TV for this gal.

If I'm less lucky and my son's "parent awake" radar detects me, I'm surrounded by the sound of Word World, Bob the Builder or Jack's Big Music Show (ah, parenthood) which enable me to finish my run and take a shower before the second kid awakes and we get going with our day.

I'm looking forward to adding regular outdoor runs to the mix so I can think about the smells . . . though we're in the country, which means that fresh breezes are sometimes punctuated by cows and horses.

Southern Fried Girl said...

I love this. I have not once paid attention to what the smells are but I so will now.

Run For Life said...

Such a great post! Mine are usually of the beach, forest pines, and that earthy smell you get after rain.

RazZDoodle said...

last night's "special" at the local restaurant. Yea!

Fantastic post!

Lisa - Slow & Steady said...

Great post.

One of the things I love about running outside is the smells. I run on a ditch bank that is popular with people walking their dogs and horseback riders. So in between the scent of the great outdoors (whatever is blooming or wet leaves or whatever) I get the occasional scent of dog or horse poop. But I don't mind...it's better than the smell of my own sweat (which is all I smell when I'm on the treadmill). :)

Sarah said...

I run where there are bars upon bars, so my smells are really stale beer and leftover cigarette odor...Of course, there are a lot of trees and flowers, so there is some fresh air to enjoy!

Non-Runner Nancy said...

Very graphic scentification. Loved it. I don't think mine smells anything like this but I will pay more attention and let you know! :D

RunnerGirl said...

When I was doing the marathon training group downtown Cincinnati, we sometimes ran on this super long, super boring road called Eastern Ave. And for at least two miles of that road, it smelled like piss. Seriously, there were sometimes still-drunk men hanging out on the sidewalk as we ran by at 6 in the morning. The other half of Eastern Ave smelled like exhaust/factory emissions. I'm not sure which end was worse!

Jess said...

Interesting. Usually the only smell I associate with running is my own stink.

J~Mom said...

Sometimes cow poop as we live by several dairies. Other times dryer sheets (one of my favorite smells) and usually different dinner smells. I really don't like the smell of food when I am running. Bleah.

kate said...

Hmm, usually car exhaust or my own stink. Sometimes in the summer the smell of steamy dog poo but that's about it. I can't STAND the smell of smoke when I'm running. Makes me what to hurl.

Pokey said...

My favorite running smell is Downy from the dryer vents!! It sure beats the smell of my own stinkiness :P

Anne said...

This time of year, I smell a lot of suntan -- not from the beach but from the wildflower blooms. It's wonderful, and nicely masks all the other nasty odors.

the Bag Lady said...

The Bag Lady doesn't, as you know, run, but her walks smell mostly of eau de cow poop, fresh air, leaves, hay, dirt. Because she doesn't pass any other places (she walks out in the pasture in the summer, on the road by her house in the winter), all the smells are produced by her own place! Smoke from the woodstove in the winter, too.
Your beach smell makes her jealous, but you can keep the vomit and car exhaust....:)

Mendy said...

Too funny and very original! Love it. The smell I have to run by is burgers, and I love it, but think that actually running is better, so it's easy to pass it, then it's a coffee joint, a sub station, pizza place then a wings restuarant. It's all in the same strip mall. Blah.....