One Conversation About Running, with Some Idiot Who Only Runs if Chased*
*And, surprisingly and quite possibly accidentally, is a member of Mensa
Me: So I was driving in the neighborhood today, and seriously 3 women were walking side by side in the road with their dogs, taking up so much space that I had to drive British to avoid them.
Manchild: [reading iPad] Hmmm.
Me: Why couldn’t they walk on the sidewalk? I mean, that’s the safest place to walk your dog, to avoid road salt. Right? Am I missing something?
Me: But when you run you avoid the sidewalk?
Me: Why is that again? I don’t see what’s wrong with the sidewalk. It’s for pedestrians. One of these days I’m going to yell that at a runner.
Manchild: Please don’t.
Me: Why not.
Manchild: They run in the road so they don’t trip.
Me: Sidewalks seem fine. Why would they trip on sidewalks?
Manchild: Trust me, if you ran you would understand. Sidewalks are uneven sometimes, have lots of cracks…and if you’ve been running awhile you start to get tired, and if you trip up your feet on a crack you can wipe out and gnarl yourself up pretty badly.
Me: Seems like if you’re that tired, tired enough to get all sloppy and trip over cracks, your body is telling you to stop running.
Manchild: [Sighs, closes eyes, seems to summon patience of Jesus or something, as if he were talking not only to a child, but one equally annoying as the spectacled geek from The Polar Express movie]. You can really really mess yourself up if you fall while running on the sidewalk.
Me: Ohhhhh. So, like, it’s challenging.
Me: So, like, you could still do it, but it’s kind of extreme. So you might need a helmet, some elbow and knee pads….you know, I’m seeing a future Olympic sport possibility out of this, this Sidewalk Running event.
Manchild: You’re an a-hole.
Me: No, I’m not. I’m just saying, it’s possible to do.
Manchild: You don’t know what you’re talking about. [Walks away.]
Me: [louder, so Manchild can hear me from the other room he’s now in] Hey you know how runners put their 26-point-whatever stickers on the backs of their cars? If I ran, like, a half mile, do you think I could put a “.05” sticker on my car? Or…hey, is there a sticker for an elliptical machine?
(A quick solemn request to those of my friends who run: Please continue to accept my friendship, as I promise I do respect what you do).
Click here to participate in the WordPress Weekly Writing Challenge (7/8/2013).
9 Responses to “One Conversation About Running, with Some Idiot Who Only Runs if Chased*”
No offense taken. This runner does not understand non-sidewalk runners, either, having read about too many car/runner collisions. Car. Always. Wins. Also, as a regular runner, I’ve had the opportunity to observe from a great (and thankfully safe) perspective on sidewalks and crosswalks exactly how many drivers are not paying half a rats ass of attention to what should be their primary focus….driving. Sidewalks are safest and preferable – except when its icy or snowy. When its icy or snowy, roads are safer and preferable from a footing perspective. Some people shovel and clear their sidewalks, some dont. Switching from sidewalk to road to sidewalk to road every other house is a P.I.T.A. However, in such conditions this runner still avoids roads. Not about to play chicken with a distracted driver who suddenly discovers they are on a collision course with runner – oopsie, no traction) and opts for trails or the Arboretum where they keep roads clear and at least the traffic is minimal. I have never had trouble navigating cracks or potholes on sidewalks (sorry Andy) – those occur on most road surfaces, too. Having to step up or down a curb is a minor thing. This runner does understand the 26.2 stickers, although continues to resist the urge to put one on her car. Dont need to brag about how awesome I am. Yet. 😉
Julie, I love you. So wait…you are a participant in this extreme sport?? I am concerned about your safety! 😉 Manchild made it sound like anyone who runs always rolls roads. You are even more badass than I knew. You deserve the sticker and bragging rights.
HA! And thank you. But, I did think of one other thing…..I have been known to run on roads when running with other runners. Its just too damn hard to converse unless you can run abreast of the other runners. Otherwise, two runners are always shouting over their shoulder to the runner squished behind due to two-person-wide sidewalks. For some of my friends, our running time together is just about the only time we have to catch up with one another, so there is a lot of chit chat. Until we get tired. And then there are just the three of us huffing silently along. Three abreast. In the road. Anyway, this may have been the mindset of the three abreast dog walkers.
This is really funny and interesting. I ran cross-country in high school and we usually ran on the sidewalks although I can’t remember whether this was a coach-enforced decision or not. I usually stick to walks now! I do seem to remember certain late-night walks last year with a certain friend with a certain dogchild and I’m pretty sure we usually walked down the street… Though definitely not in the middle of the street! Is my memory failing me?
I do not know this certain friend, who takes it to the streets. I am quite certain I do not. 😉
What a fun piece! Manchild will be a member of Mensa, too, before long. One reason I run on the streets is that asphalt is easier on old legs like mine than concrete. Concrete is probably the worst surface you can run on–it is so hard. I do, however, run on the side of the road, and facing traffic so I can jump out of the way if someone looks like they’re planning to run me over.
Another thing runners do that is not smart is to run at night in dark clothes. Hello? Put on reflective gear and light or fluorescent colors.
Sue, I appreciate your comment about concrete v. asphalt. This makes sense! 🙂
[…] few months ago, when I posted “One Conversation about Running, with Some Idiot who Only Runs if Chased”, Manchild became a bit sensitive about his nickname. He had misinterpreted the “idiot” title […]
[…] More and more each day, he loves his commute of over an hour into the city. Hobbies include running away from us for “exercise”, coaching me on my parking, tripping over toys, selling strollers […]