Thursday, March 12, 2009

Take it and Run Thursday: Only in running

Today's theme is .... Only in running... Have you ever noticed that your definition of "acceptable" changes when it comes to your running? Your standards of public dislays of bodily functions lower, you find it acceptable to give bear hugs to sweaty complete strangers who you bonded with in the last mile of a tough race, you easily pay $100+ for a pair of shoes you may wear a few months, and on and on. Share your take of the interesting and peculiar things running brings into our lives.

When I was a kid my mom read me Ms. Manners to go to sleep. I'm a please and thank you person. I try to hold the door for strangers, I always introduce myself to the "new kid" at work, I never litter, I let the pregnant lady or older woman sit on the bus ... pretty standard stuff, really. Don't get me wrong, though - I absolutely have my "real life"quarks. Living in San Francisco I fume when out-of-towners don't know how to drive (I often give the tall finger hello - terrible, I know). I can't stand when people walk 4-in-a-row on sidewalks so often briskly walk around. But running brings out a different side.

Before a race I'm no stranger to the outdoor loo. I'll try to be discreet, of course, but there are times when action is required - the Kaiser half marathon was one of these for example. Before the Kaiser race, the line for the port-a-potty was 300 yards long so I ran to the woods. Once there I found a group of men and women around a tree. Shamelessly, I joined.

I'm a big fan of the "runner's etiquette" - shouting "on your right!" Is not rude during a race, it's required. On the flip side, staying to one side of the trail is imperative.

Even though as a kid parents taught us to never talk to strangers, during races strangers are my best friends. 1,000 ft. climb in the middle of a trail race? The guy next to me turns into family and we egg each other on. All runners coming the other direction get a wave, a smile, and a "great job!" On the street in "real life" I would never be so bold as to say hello to everyone (there was a crazy lady in San Anselmo that used to do that - it didn't work so well for her).

Bottom line, there's race world/runner's world, and then the rest of it. Different rules but similar gestalt - be polite, proper action for proper situation, have fun.


Erik said...

That is so true. It's like your running with a 1000 of your closest friends every time you line up for a 5k. :)

Great write.


Shilingi-Moja said...

You actually smile at, wave to, and speak to strangers?! What would Ms. Manners say? LOL

RunningLaur said...

Great point! I'd never wave to random people on the street, or start conversations with them, but if I'm running and they're running - totally fair game.

And good for you for being a please and thank you person - the world needs more of you!