This past week at the beginning of a meeting, a woman I know only slightly confronted me asking why runners "insist" on running in the street. The question had a tone. I know this tone. After 25 years of distance running, this tone is very familiar to me. Not-quite-hostile but definitely adversarial, it used to put me off. Now, I consider the source. I doubt this person could run a city block and my running acts as referendum on their own level of fitness. It's almost as though every time I slide my feet into my running shoes, I am judging them for not doing the same. Nothing could be further from the truth. Personally, I have enough trouble keeping up with my own fitness and weight maintainance to busy-body with someone else's issues.
But the encounter got me to thinking about runners and the general public's ideas about them. First, let me qualify everything that comes next by telling you that anyone who engages in a particular sport in a reverant way is a little bit odd and I count myself among the oddballs. It is my belief that most distance runners are inherently unhappy people. Running allows them to re-work their attitudes into a more contented state. What follows is a brief—and I hope enlightening- look into the minds of those who insist on running in the street, in no order of importance.
WHAT RUNNERS HATE:
Heat and Humidity
Large Mean Dogs
Small Mean Dogs
People who yell at us to go faster
People who yell at us
Too few porta-potties
WHAT RUNNERS LOVE:
Lawn Sprinklers in July and August
Fifty-Five Degrees Farenheit
Large Friendly Dogs
Small Friendly Dogs
May I shout out to Dick Pond Athletics and The Big Break for Small Business! Runners: Please vote every day for the next week for this very deserving small business that does so much for our running community!