When we ran on Wednesday night it was a great run – I still can’t stop saying that – but we had an unplanned running buddy part of the way.
My husband and I have only run with each other. We see other runners though it never exceeds a dozen and on Wednesday there were literally less than half that number. We were about halfway through our first interval of 19 minutes and were turning right where the path dead-ends to the sidewalk that follows the seaside. At that intersection and at the very moment we turned there was another guy that had been running along the seaside that merged with us. The three of us took a few steps all lined-up and then this guy pulled away. I’ve told you all before that we aren’t so fast and this guy in his 40s was faster.
Of course, as he is running directly in front of us, I’m only looking at him, studying him. This man was wearing normal shoes, not running shoes, and cotton shorts and a regular t-shirt. He was bouncing as he ran, if that makes sense, like running was the easiest thing he could be doing. I watched him for almost a minute and then he pulled his phone out of his pocket and started walking and talking on it.
For me, this is just so weird. He obviously wasn’t out to run, but had seemingly decided to just start running out of the blue. Does anyone do this? When my phone rings and I’m running that person is not getting called back until I’m done and have had some water. What was really annoying was that we passed him as he chatted on the phone and kept running, only to have him pass us once again a couple of minutes later. I guess it was a short phone call. So, we kept chugging along only to see him stop a minute or so later and then we passed him and never saw him pass us again. When we turned around 10 minutes later and made our way back we saw him walking with two women. This guy was quite the multi-tasker. Is it just me who thinks random spurts of running is strange?
When we run people who see us seem to just start randomly running. On Wednesday night a guy pushing a small child in a stroller saw us and started hauling ass like his life depended on it for a solid 30 seconds before collapsing on a bench, and then there was a mother, father, teenage daughter trio who were sprinting in jeans coming towards us after they caught sight of us. But, again, only for about half a minute.
It’s very strange having people start running when they see you. Do we smell that bad that people need to run ahead of us? Is being downwind of us so bad?… I am beginning to wonder if it is “mob mentality” kicking-in. Do they think, “Maybe we should run right now, too, since that couple is?” By far the type of person we see running who is obviously doing it because we are is children. I can not count how many times kids from the ages of barely walking to young teenager have started running in front of us because they have seen us.
Recently, a 3-year-old girl, if she was even 3, saw us, squealed, and made off running. It was funny and made us chuckle, but then she was running faster than us. Show off! 🙂 Normally it’s the 8 to 10-year-olds. I think they want to see if they can beat us running. Spoiler – they can run faster for the full 15 seconds they run.
On Wednesday there were also 2 twenty-something guys running together who ran passed us as we were setting up our mp3 players and watches pre-run. Five or six minutes after we began running they came into view in front of us and they were standing and talking. When we saw them before our run they had been running at about our pace. As we got closer to them, one of them saw us and nudged his buddy and they immediately ran off, much faster than before. We were behind them and I kept seeing them look back at us. They cut through a shortcut a couple of minutes later and were gone from sight thanks to some trees. After we had permanently lost the guy in his 40s the 2 twenty-something runners appeared parallel to us walking on the grass.
I sort of feel like everyone is competing and they lack the camaraderie that running should cultivate. Sometimes I want to speed up and pass these temporary runners, but then I know that I will pay for it at the end of my run. I fight that urge and just keep up my normal pace. I try to console myself with the fact that despite seeing other runners when we run, none of them runs as long or as far as we do. I think all the runners we see, except for 1, runs 20 to 30 minutes at most. Suddenly, running 57 minutes doesn’t seem so shabby.
Do you get competitive with other runners? Do you ever have people see you and randomly start running?