Monday, January 28, 2008

Holla at a Runner When You See Him in the Street

Whenever I’m in my car driving to and from work, or driving to and from the donut shop and I see a runner, I always get this tremendous urge to yell something encouraging to them. “Keep going!” “You can do it!” “Great job!” Fortunately for all you Denver based runners out there I usually manage to smother that urge. I realize that the runner won’t know that I’m also a runner, will think I’m mocking them, or won’t hear me over their iPod anyway.

I’ve had people shout things at me occasionally from their cars while I’ve been running, usually things like “go faster,” or “good job,” or “hey, that track’s not open to the public!” More often than not it happens when I run past the high school and it almost always annoys me more than it motivates me. Why then do I feel so compelled to yell at fellow runners when I see them? Perhaps it’s because when I see someone running, I wish that I could be out there running instead of whatever is taking up my time at that moment. Perhaps it’s because I feel a sense of kinship with the runner and want to encourage them to give it their best today, or perhaps I’m just an emotionally stunted jerk who enjoys making others miserable.

Most days when I’m on my way home from work I drive past a lady running up this really steep, long hill. It seems like she’s always out there running, and she always inspires me to get out and run if I haven’t already. A few weeks ago, I arrived home from work early (unless my boss reads this blog in which case it was definitely a Saturday) and I decided to go for a run. I was running down the aforementioned hill (because Momma didn’t raise no dummy) and I passed her coming up. I didn’t realize that it was her until we were already passing each other. We both smiled and nodded politely and I almost wished that I’d stopped her to tell her that she was an inspiration to me, that I always saw her out running this hill. Upon further reflection, I was glad that I didn’t have a chance to say anything. I probably would have fumbled for the right words and then ended up getting a face full of pepper spray when I said “I watch you run everyday and wanted you to know that you arouse me... wait, no... inspire, I meant inspire…”

I guess I’ll just stick to smiling and waving at fellow runners, but if the blond chick with the ponytail who always runs the big hill east of the golf course happens to be reading this, then just know that you arouse me.

Despite the title of this post, Half-Fast does not endorse shouting at runners from your car no matter what your intentions are. Also, please remember that when you see someone running from your car, you’re probably driving on the sidewalk.

19 comments:

  1. I'm sure the pepper spray would've only stung for a min or two. Okay 5 tops.

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  2. Funny, when I see other runners while I'm in the car, it makes me feel guilty and I want to swerve and hit them. Just lightly -- maybe enough to topple them into the ditch. Is that wrong?

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  3. ah yes, but how many times have you been told to "get a life!" while you were running? I've even had a guy stop his car to yell at me because he had to wait an extra 2-3 seconds to make a left hand turn.

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  4. Aww. I was a kid in the '70s and my dad was part of that first big wave of joggers. He would roll down his window and cheer for anyone we saw running on the street. Somehow I think that time has passed, though...

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  5. I prefer to just leer at my fellow, female runners. If I were faster, I'd chase. I suppose a smile and wave works too.

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  6. The nod is fine. But I get sooo ticked when I nod or waive or say "good morning" and I get no response. Sometimes I yell back "Nevermind then!"

    Once some idiot said "you need to keep runnin." I almost (almost) ran back and smacked him.

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  7. I agree with POM!!! Nothing annoys the shiz outta me more than when I wave and say hello and the moron runner that passes me just looks at me like I'm the weirdo. A-hole!

    Vanilla I also find it very odd that you have not yet received a "Hey Mommacita can I give you a lift?" yell :P

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  8. The comment POM got is waht keeps me running on the off beaten path. UGH! I always give the nod, with the wave and smile. I did get a yell on the bike, like "go Lance Armstong!" Whatever

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  9. Thank you for this post. It gave me a good laugh. I too always want to shout out to runners as I'm driving by, but after reading this, I think I'll just keep driving. :)

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  10. Arouse me...ROFLMAO!

    I usually just feel like a lazy POS when I see other people out there running, unless by some miracle I have already done a run earlier in the day...then I feel connected :P

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  11. That is why I wear sunglasses while running, I will smile and waive at the runners I pass, but never enough energy to say much.

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  12. I rarely say anything to runners I see when training, but in races I sometimes get inspired to be encouraging. In my first 5K, some guy saw that I was having a tough time, and told me "okay, you're running with me, and you're not slowing down." It was exactly what I needed! I haven't been ballsy enough to do that yet, but sometimes I do say good job (especially if it's an out-and-back and I'm passing people going the other way). I always feel patronizing though... it's so awkward.

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  13. I always have the urge to honk and wave, especially if I see a runner out in a blizzard or freezing cold. I want to encourage them and say, "hey, fellow runner here, you're awesome." I never do. I figure they would think (probably correctly) that I am insane.

    I've been fortunate not to have too many bad encounters. I'm sure there's still time...

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  14. I get a lot of whistles, cat calls, and other unseemly attention from passing drivers. But I'm sure you get that too.

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  15. Addicted to RunningJan 29, 2008, 1:22:00 PM

    I know what you mean... I always have the urge to shout "Run, Run... He's catching you up" out of the car window.

    And another thing - don't you think it's the rudest thing in the world when you acknowledge someone when you run past them and you get nothing in return?! I mean in opposite directions... obviously it could be construed as sarcastic if you actually overtake them!

    Mart

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  16. We have a lot of steep hills around us and I always want to yell encouragement to people as they run up, but then I worry I'll scare the daylights out of them. Sometimes I say something like, "You're almost to the top," but they're always too winded to say anything back. Since no one ever says anything to me when I run the hills, maybe I should take a cue and knock it off! There must be some etiquette guide that I never received...

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  17. I feel the same way, it's like, I feel like I need to explain to them..."Yeah, I'm a runner, too, but I ran this morning, which is why I'm in my car now, instead of out there running with you now. But, I'm a runner, too! See the stickers on my car??!!" Luckily, I've always resisted the urge.

    Awesome blog, by the way!

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  18. My macbook got a screenload of water all over it. I was definitely aroused... I mean inspired :-P.

    There is a guy at the gym that inspires me the same way your little blond hill-climber does. When faced with the "do I primarily cycle or run" decision this year, he was definitely the one to persuade me in to an upright position (unless otherwise prepositioned, respectively). It's been 2 years of covert ogling now, and I can almost keep up now. If on a moped.

    So why is it so difficult to tell someone they inspire you/me/whoever. It's more mad respect and admiration than anything - I wish we humans were wired in a way to recieve that kind of news sans risk of pepper spray or other forms of permanent physical or mental damage.

    Cool blog. brb.

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  19. i always want to go up and give 'em high fives. then i feel totally nerdy.

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