As I have not written anything worth my weight in gold lately, I feel it is an appropriate time to return to the blog.
Over the past six weeks, I have started to taking my running "seriously" again. This, of course, meaning that I am purposefully taking time out of my day to put on running shoes (aka: not flip-flops) and attempting to sneak out of the house- unnoticed by my boys who desperately fear for my safety as I 'round the block at depressingly low speeds.
All good runners know that at least one long run must be accompanied by shorter runs throughout the week when training for endurance. Thus, the past weeks I have "taken it to the streets" in order to accomplish said task.
Runners and bikers must follow specific laws when running in traffic. First, runners must go AGAINST the flow of traffic. This, in effect, will alert you to all vehicles making a direct attempt to hit you. You can see them coming. You have time to dive into the bushes. You can wave your arms madly when someone isn't paying attention. You can look into their eyes and KNOW what they think about sharing the road with you. Truly, it's an eye opening event.
As a runner who enjoys running on busy streets, I have found it very important to alert the rest of you to the categories of drivers and the risks included with each. Please take care to pay close attention.
The "Young Mother": As you are running, beware of mini-vans filled with mom-toting children. They are either for or against you. Beware of the distracted mom. Driving while on the phone ordering pizza for dinner, trying to find a sippy-cup that is rolling under the brake, admonishing the children in the rear-view mirror and attempting to apply mascara. Once they spot you, brakes squeal and the 7 seater goes flying into opposing traffic. They missed you, but the driver of the Corolla on the other side of the street just saw his life flash before him.
The "Grandmother": They've spotted you two miles away and instantaneously begin driving 11 mph on the OTHER side of the yellow line. You can see them glaring at you for causing the drive to be sooooo slooowwww, but it just isn't in them to even consider going any faster, because they are a Grandma after all.
The "Teenager": I may be absolutely broad brushing, so all you careful and responsible teenagers out there...forgive me in advance. It is my experience, however, that young drivers (under the age of 20) have absolutely no idea that they are sharing the roads with other cars, let alone a runner. They drive so super-close to you that you can almost smell the Starbucks Smoothie that they're slurping on. The rush of wind brought on by their car is SO close, that it turns you around in the opposite direction.
The "Watcher": Inevitably, there are odd people out on the roads. You can usually hear the car before you see the car. When they get really close to you, they almost come to a complete stop- NOT because they are being careful, but because they want to stare, whistle or throw something at you. Do not make eye contact and keep running. The "watcher" is one of the main reasons I, a) rarely run at night and b) carry a gun in my shoe.
The "Semi-Truck": If you are so fortunate to run on busy roads, you will most likely be passed by a semi. My advice? When you see them coming, simply stop running and go sit in a ditch 24 feet away until they pass. Seriously, who wants to even come close to getting hit by a Semi? It's like...hello- see you next Thursday.
The "Other Runner": Most people involved in some sport that involves road-training will show some compassion when passing you on a busy street. They slow down at a reasonable speed, get over slightly and raise the all knowing "hand of friendship" as they pass by. Ahhh, the camaraderie. You raise your hand in thanks as you continue on in your mileage goal.