Smoke Signals

Going Postal

WELCOME TO EARTH: Fartlek Training

Well, we offered a free prize for this month's best letter, and you guys really delivered. Wow. A whole seven letters. Cool. Guess we'll just give the prize to the weirdo with the story about the inner lining of his brother's running shorts... Just to be clear, the prize is a good prize. It's not a balloon and a pencil. And now we're giving it to some dude who probably sniffs aeroplane glue. I hope you're happy.  

If you'd like to write a letter to the editor, hit up POSSESSED here!

Dear Jason,

When I was a child, my older brother was obsessed with running. He was constantly training, subscribed to all the magazines, and buying all the latest gear. He lived and breathed running. This would have been sometime around 1985. One day, he arrived home with a pair of the latest running shorts made of a parachute-like material. They were very lightweight and had a pair of mesh underpants sewn into them. It was all very hi-tech, and I had never seen anything like them before. At some point, when they had worn out a little bit, he cut the mesh underpants out and had my mother sew them into his school trousers. I asked him why, and he said, 'It's a running thing, you wouldn't understand.' I didn't push it any further. Over the next few years, he bought several more pairs of running shorts, and this 'mesh underpants transferral' went on until I left home, at which point he must have had twenty pairs of various pants with running underpants sewn in. I hadn't thought about it for years. I recently started running with some guys from work. At a lull in conversation during a recent meet-up, I asked them, 'Do people still sew old mesh underpants into their trousers.' There was an awkward silence. When I got home, I did some googling about the subject, but nothing showed up. Can you please clarify if this was ever a common practice amongst runners in the 1980s?


Simon Walsh

Simon, congratulations. You won the prize. 


To the Ed

There has been a boom in run clubs worldwide and I think this is great. Giving each and every type of a runner a place to find their community and grow their running capabilities. There was, however, some articles lately touting run clubs as the new dating apps. Honestly, I think this is ridiculous and takes away from the actual goal (sharing the joy of running), and can create an environment that is uncomfortable and unsafe at its worst. What are your thoughts?

Best, Ollie from Long Island

Hey Ollie. I think it's trouble, to be honest. Imagine being a girl who has enjoyed membership in a run club for however long, and now she's getting hit on every week. I don't know. It sounds kinda gross. Also, if I'm in a run club, I don't want to worry about who has started dating whom or who might be getting harassed when I go for a run, y’know? I guess we’ll see what happens.


Dear Possesseds [sic]

I saw the post about writing letters-to-the-editor, and there was a joke about offering dream interpretation. I think it was a joke anyway, but I think that would be a good thing because last night I dreamt about being in this weird trail race on a tropical island. There were thousands of people and the race went through a waterfall. Anyway, I couldn't find my shoes and had to run in roller skates, so I was running but also rolling sometimes like I was wearing Heelys. At the end, they disqualified me. What does it mean?

Chloe xxx

Hey Chloe, I just ran this past a friend who is really into dream interpretation, and she said you must be worried about not being equipped for some upcoming event or change in your life. According to her (Janet), the island/waterfall means you feel excited and positive about whatever this event is, but the roller skates represent your feelings of inferiority or not being prepared to deal with it. Then she went on to say some other stuff, but I hung up on her.