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Coming clean: if it didn’t get sweaty, it didn’t get washed.


Today’s run was on some backwoods dirt road, and comprised a 15′ warmup, 6×10′ at a pace I like to pretend is somewhere in the range of 10K pace (with 5′ easier trot between pieces), and then a 20′ cooldown. Puts me at 14-16 miles for the day. As we know, I’m mentally wimpy and tracks magnetically repel me, so I’ve come to prefer my perceived-effort style “speed” workouts.

Sometimes I feel a bit guilty about my habitual shunning of the track, but then I say to myself, “Heck, self, you never race on the track anyway.” What’s the point of driving myself into a salty puddle of neurosis over 100m-interval splits when I will never have such an objective luxury in a road race? As such, I justify my perceived-effort speed workouts with the hope that it’s probably a more efficient use of my legs, mind, and time to learn to feel a pace over varying terrain. Is there any credibility to this thought, or am I just being a pansy?

More importantly though, I’ve been wondering this for a while: do non-Sweaty Kids even need to do laundry on a regular basis?

 I’ve evolved a policy wherein I really only bother washing clothes that

  •  a. Smell blatantly like feet, and
  • b. Look like they’ve recently endured a monsoon.

In other words, they’ve been subjected to the Sweaty Kid workout and will be thenceforth relegated to hanging about my room and making it look like a shantytown while they dry and infuse the vicinity with the pleasant aroma of a gym locker. (I really don’t like leaving my sweaty clothes in a rotten bacteria-enabling pile, so I hang them up instead. Sometimes I rinse them out in the sink first, but by the time you get to that effort, you may as well just do an honest load of laundry).

Everyday underwear and socks, yes, those get suds-up regularly.


Everyday work clothes? Nope.

Black slacks? Never.

Cute going-out tops? Who are we kidding, when was the last time I had a social life that didn’t involve sneakers?

Sometimes khakis get a cursory spin through the suds, but that’s only because they betray my slob-like tendencies if I so much as incidentally color on them with a pencil while rushing to write down my grocery list, having employed my thigh as a last-minute backing device for the flimsy piece of paper I will inadvertently poke my writing implement through:

“Let’s see… almonds, almond butter, walnuts, pecans, cashews, peanut butter –


[Confirmed: I’m nuts?]

Moving on.

A swift visual comparison of Sweaty Kid workplace pants:

Yes, they are riddled with scuzz, but it's all camouflaged, making this the perfect workplace pant. Will never take up excess room in my laundry machine and crowd out more necessary and urgent matters like sweaty running gear.


Yeah, now you're stuck washing them for the third week in a row. Taking up valuable space in the ineffective coin-operated laundry machines of Sweaty Kids all over the nation.

Woooof.  This is getting gross.

I understand that undue smelliness isn’t generally tolerated, so I try to keep the laundry situation all within some semblance of order. But I’ll be honest: life gets in the way, sweaty clothes get all up in my hamper, and regular clothes get set aside with grand aspirations of finally being washed someday.

Maybe next week.

Really though: am I alone in this? Or are there others out there who are secretly locked in a perpetual quandary about how to prioritize sort-of-clean laundry?

6 Comments leave one →
  1. 07/01/2010 17:09

    i give credibility to your thinking of track-avoidance. in fact, i’m going to have to use that exact logic to make myself feel less guilty hahah

    sort-of-clean laundry = clean laundry. while it doesn’t go back into my drawers (i’m too anal about cleanliness haha) it can be re-worn guilt free. and everyday workout clothes get worn multiple times before they hit the wash. because i’m way lazy like that hahah

  2. 07/03/2010 21:04

    i do not do non-running laundry, other than the (maybe) once-a-month tossing of the khakis, or if i happen to get some sort of food on a work-shirt. there really is no point.

  3. 07/07/2010 22:49

    i honestly think we are soulmates. i am the same about my laundry. i have lots of running clothing hanging up in my bathroom drying out. i rewear it at least once. or twice. i think it’s the habits of the college athlete in me. with practice 6 days a week and twoadays 5 days a week…that was way too much laundry to do all the time in a dorm. so i started rewearing a lot. and it just stuck. even though i have a washing and drying in my house now…

    • 07/08/2010 15:41

      Even if you DO have convenient access to a washer and dryer, who wants to waste time doing more than one load of laundry a week?! Definitely not me. No way.

  4. 01/27/2011 20:17

    Shantytown?? hahaha! If only it weren’t so familiar to my experience as well.

    I completely agree about the laundry. I only wash if it smells or is visibly stained.

    Who can fault me; I’m being green and conserving water!


  1. Soggy days in the sweat dungeon: the sodden life of a rainforest running shirt « Sweaty Kid.

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