Random Spurts of Running

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.

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photo courtesy of pixabay

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?

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photo courtesy of pixabay

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.

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photo courtesy of pixabay

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?

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16 thoughts on “Random Spurts of Running

  1. Kids do this. And it’s wonderful to see. They just run for the sake of it. No “reason” to do it: just because they want to. I love it. I think it reminds you of how lucky we are to have bodies that allow us to move and lollop and dash. Some people do just dash about and, yes, I think it just is a natural thing to them. They’ve never developed that inhibition we feel as we get older. Some people are competitive, obviously, but some just do it because they love it, I think.

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    1. I agree that there is an innocence in kids when they just randomly start running, especially the very young ones. They just get so excited and it always makes us laugh. The pre-teens are less adorable. The adults are a little bizarre to me.

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      1. haha! I know what you mean about getting beaten by an 8 year old! I just think… look! for all you know, I might’ve run 26 miles before this… and you’re going to crash and burn at the next bench! 😉 same for the adults… 🙂

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  2. I don’t get why the adults do this. I can’t say I’ve experience this. I’ve ran a route where I’ve come across a running group, the competitive side of of me needed to over take them 😉😉 and I’ll answer my phone depending on who’s calling because I keep my phone in my armband and use headphones.

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  3. This is some of the strangest behaviour ever. Some adults get like this in races, ones they are already running. But that’s more for pushing yourself than beating others. It’s kind of like shit, I passed them now they’re ahead I must be slowing down gotta pick it up. Walkers do not do this. Walkers smile and continue on with their day. They may be impressed, but they don’t start running. Unless they’re the joking dad type who play at like they’re going to beat you and run 2 steps lol.

    Also no other distance runners? So strange. I find them everywhere.

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  4. I love it when kids do it, and honesty I’m a bit competitive and will try to catch up to someone I see if they’re running ahead of me, but I’ll have been running anyway and continue to run.
    I think 57 minutes is awesome and don’t let it get to you. Keep to your own pace and share your amusement with your husband; it makes the run even more fun 🙂

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  5. I’ve never had that happen to me with adults, but I probably looked like the crazy one when I broke out into random running a few days ago! I was taking one of my dogs for a walk, and she’s excitable and not very well behaved on a leash. A woman ended up walking behind us and my dog was more interested in her than in walking, and I literally ended up dragging my dog down the sidewalk while she was turned around backwards watching the woman. The woman was walking the same route we were and eventually I ended up breaking out in a run to put some distance between her and us to get my dog under control, but she probably thought I was nuts when I just randomly started running away from her.

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  6. Never happened to me although I do get a lot of comments about my legs… from builders. I hate running leggins so I always wear shorts and the riverside is full of construction sites. I usually just ignore them, I am too busy huffing and puffing!

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  7. Gosh, sounds like I am missing all the fun! I live out in the country and run by myself in the orchard. I talk to the birds and the trees. Greet the pears and the forming pecans, and sing to the morning sky:) Sometimes I do startle a young deer grazing by the fence, but there is no way I can compete with a runner who’s that lite on her feet! 🙂 d

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  8. Kids for sure…and they are always 4-6 years old. Almost 100% of the time, they will break out and run with me. I love it!! And i must confess I am the a-hole who races others in the park. I like to think I am stealth though. I only race those going in the opposite direction of me. Since the path is circular, I note a landmark where we pass each other. Then try to be beyond that landmark next time we pass.

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  9. That is so weird that it keeps happening to you!!! I do sometimes get competitive with other runners when I am out doing a workout, though. It was hard for me to have legitimate recovery runs because I just wanted to race everyone. I’ve learned not to do that anymore, though! I get a lot more out of my runs when I just focus on what I should be doing. Sounds like the people in your park need to start doing that and leave you guys alone!! People are so weird!!!

    Liked by 1 person

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