I run alone pretty well 95% of the time. Up until this fall, that number was a strong 100%. Since starting running with my lovely lady friends twice a month, I’ve been getting a little social contact in. But most of the time, it’s just me and my music hitting the streets and pounding the pavement.
This means I’ve developed terrible habits.
I dance a lot to my music. And I mean a lot. I try to rein it in when cars pass me but there have been more than a few that have come around corners to surprise me mid-smooth moves. Mostly my moves involve a lot of arm flailing. A little bit of creative foot-work makes for what I’m sure is a hot mess of terrible for early morning commuters. I don’t really care. I have fun, and if a few people might get scarred for life, I’m willing to take that chance.
I also sing along to my music. This is less noticeable to passing drivers but much more horrifying for people I see on the trails. I’m sorry to everyone who I’ve ever burst upon while belting out the lyrics to “I Will Survive”. I know at first you were afraid, you were petrified, but I hope you’ve gotten over it.
I specifically bought both pairs of my winter gloves for their snot-wiping capabilities. Running so early on cold days makes for some runny nose issues. I’ve perfected a snot-blasting technique but some still needs a little wipe.
I spit with general abandon. This habit is particularly unappetizing on race days but I do honestly try to rein it in.
But the weirdest thing I’ve developed is what prompted me to write this post. I noticed the other morning that I am pretty rude to stop signs. I revel in not having to obey them as a pedestrian (although I do look both ways, thanks Mom) but I also see them as a kind of downer. They keep telling me to stop. Sometimes this idea seems pretty appealing when it’s -5*C and I can’t feel my face but I know I have 10k left to do. Seeing that big red sign proclaiming exactly the same thing as an evil little inner voice keeps yelling makes me angry. So I treat stop signs with contempt in order to shut that bugger up.
I’ll run up to a stop sign, and sometimes I try to be polite, and it tells me to STOP and I say “Don’t think I shall thanks,” and continue on. Sometimes there are people around so I’ll just make a subtle rude hand gesture (please imagine Ross Gellar’s alternative to the finger). Sometimes I’ll be extremely rude and swear at the thing. I also do that when people are around if my back hurts or something.
So do these strange running-alone habits make me abnormal? Do you have similar weird habits that you probably wouldn’t have developed if you ran with people more? Let me know, and otherwise, happy trails!