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Confession Time

19 Jan

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.

My moves are only slightly worse than this.

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.

It's pretty much this except I'm wearing clothes and I jump out of bushes.

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.

Screw you, inanimate object with no actual power over me!

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!

The Running Club

12 Oct

Just a quick note today. I wanted to let you guys know about my running club and why if you run alone most of the time, you should look into forming one yourself.

My group is small; it’s just myself and two other ladies. I created the group for a number of reasons. First being, of course, that running alone every day can get pretty boring. Not only that, but the runs we do together give me some valuable socialization time that my schedule doesn’t usually allow. The runs certainly go a lot faster while we’re chatting too. Did you know that talking while running is a valuable tool in pacing yourself? You can tell when you’re working too hard because your friends are getting confused trying to decipher your meaning using your bursting words and gasping breath.

We try to run together at least once a week, but that doesn’t always happen. We do keep in contact during the week though about how our runs are going. The ladies I run with would be considered beginners, which is fine for me, because I can train them however I please and they can’t say anything about it. I set them up with the original Learn-to-Run 10k training program I used a couple years ago, and try to join them on their long run. I’m enjoying my position as coach because it means I get to talk about running at length and people actually care. They often call or text me with a question or comment about their runs and I try to help them out with my limited expertise. It makes me feel smart. I like that.

There are some downsides of course, especially with our different levels of experience. But it’s so much fun and worth it in the end. And, if you’re reading this and I know you and we live close to each other, let’s run together okay?

Happy training everyone!