1) Seams/tags: I am certain that there are a few sadistic athletic clothing designers who conduct focus groups to discover the most precisely annoying place to situate a tag or seam and then sew it with barbed wire. For me, this rogue seam usually starts as a small annoyance. But at the furthest point possible from the end of my run the annoyance peaks to a miserably raw, festering wound that feels as if it's being assaulted by a chainsaw or electric sander set on high.
2) Ill-fitting clothes: A close cousin to viciously placed seams is when a garment doesn't fit "perfectly." This is defined differently for every runner. In my case, shorts have to be a certain length otherwise my lack of thigh gap results in some amazing chafing. Ditto for sleeveless shirts. (Is there such a thing as armpit gap? If there is, I don't have it.) The only way I could possibly get away with some of the "barely there" swimsuit-esque outfits that more "elite" runners wear would be to take a pre-run bath in Glide (think KY for running). I'd probably be faster because I would just ooze down the street.
3) Shoe lacing. Did you know that on a shoe with six pairs of eyelets, there are almost 2 trillion ways to feed a shoelace through those twelve holes? I'm not a math genius, but if I were, I could claim to have figured out that little mind blowing tidbit. (If you want to try out a few unique lacing ideas check out "Ian's Shoelace Site".)
4) Accessories: Every runner has a "MUST HAVE" accessory. Mine happens to be a hat to help keep the sweat, hair, and sun out of my eyes. For some, it's music, or a GPS. Another of my favorite accessories is my running buddy, Kim. However, since our schedules don't always overlap, I've taught myself to be able to run without her. Barely.
5) Time: Athlinks.com is a great site that has pulled almost every run and runner statistic for the last 10+ years from all over the world into a database. Anyone who has run an officially-timed event can see those results compiled on their personal athlete page. With this database, they were the first to identify a "phenomenon" among runners in regards to marathon finishing times. It seems that most people (probably somewhat arbitrarily) shoot for a 4-hour or earlier marathon time. More runners finish just before the 4-hour mark than any other time. Between 4 hours and 4:05 the number of finishers drops significantly. You can also see it spikes at all the "even" times (:30 and :00).
Seriously?! How could you even ask that question?
6) Distance: When your runner friend says they ran 5 miles this morning -- if they use a GPS -- you can be assured, they ran 5 miles. Not 5.13 or 4.96. I know I'm not the only runner who has run back and forth in front of my house to be able to finish my run on an even number. I don't always run with a GPS since I know routes and landmarks that let me calculate my mileage. However, when I do, I MUST end my run with a finishing distance of .50 or .00.
There are probably people who run for 6.34 miles, but they're likely also the people who put toilet paper rolls on the wrong way, load the dishwasher inefficiently, or squeeze their toothpaste from the middle. Not that those things bother me. Ahem.