Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Walkers vs. Runners; Plus: Too Much Chipotle

Yesterday’s little car incident has kept me thinking. I’m grateful for everyone’s comments and really wanted to share my scoop to make the thought of car awareness (and, when you’re driving, of pedestrian awareness) top of mind.

I laughed the hardest when I read Jen C’s comment:
My husband got into an argument when he was crossing in a crosswalk while running and a car got pissed about it. The next day, he made a sign with the driver-pedestrian rules to post on that corner […]
Which sounds precisely like something I would do (and, I’ll admit, it was something that crossed my mind yesterday!).

But doesn’t it seems that the car-pedestrian relationship is most strained with runners? After work today, I walked about 1.5 miles to meet Neil at Starbucks and then crossed the street to eat too much at Chipotle. On more than one occasion, I had to cross the street in front of cars (no, no one hit me today) that willingly yielded for me. It was a nice change of pace.

I initially thought it was a conditioned response—I was on a college campus where students run rampant, defying the laws of traffic and sense; people are used to yielding on a dime. And then I saw a runner.

The guy ran past me and seemed to encounter troublesome cars at every turn. Sure, he was moving faster than I was walking, but he wasn’t Michael Johnson! Lucky for him (and for my sanity), he didn’t get hit… within my eyeshot at least.

What is it about runners and drivers? On one hand, I think it’s just rude people who have lost touch with any trace of civility. Everyone seems to want to bull through everything in an SUV. On the other hand, I wonder if there isn’t a tinge of entitlement (over every piece of land) mixed with jealousy in the rude driver. How many times have you, as a runner, had someone like that say something nasty like, “I wish I had time to run” or “I would run if I didn’t have to [insert excuse here]”? They imply that somehow, by running, you have fewer things to do, an easier life or fewer responsibilities. But I think we all know the truth on that front.

I can admit it: I’m still angry (it’s not obvious, is it?) and as I went out for a loose and relaxing late-evening run (around 8:30 p.m.) for 2.52 miles I was hoping to see Mr. Cadillac and his dented hood. But it was pretty desolate on my neighborhood loop today and pretty difficult for me to get going. Perhaps everyone else ate too much at Chipotle (vegetarian tacos) like I did. It was that overeating (or thinking about it), however, that pushed me over the edge to just put on my shoes and hit the road. With that much food in me, I thought, how could I truly lack energy?

While I’ve enjoyed running in the evening, I’ve been skipping lunch runs lately for this or that reason. And, of course, the rec. center is closed for the week, so running during the day has a bit of a stink factor weighing against it. I had considered rigging up our water cooler (it has hot and cold water) to the office bathroom wall to shower after a midday run this week, but I thought my co-workers might find me less bizarre if I were stinky than destroying the bathroom and the water cooler.

More bright ideas to come…

So, today was supposed to be a resting day, but I took the brief run and did some weight training. I quipped for a while because it was the perfect night (mentally, physically and weather-wise) for a bike ride… but I still have a flat! One of these days I need to get to the bike shop to get a tune-up, a pump and a patch kit. In other words: I need to get on the ball and get cycling.


JenC said...

If you think the driver/runner relationship is bad, just wait till you get on your bike again. That is the epitomy of road rage. Seriously, will it kill the driver to wait 2 seconds to go around a bike and then speed up again? It is the worst in parks where there is a designated bike path not on the road. People call you pleasant things like "f'ing idiot" and then point to the bike path and say "there is a bike path, you know". Of course, I know that, but do you want me going past your 2-year-old on a tricycle at 20 mph? Ok, getting off my soapbox now. Stay safe.

miss petite america said...

i was once almost hit by an SUV not at an intersection but who swerved off the road onto the sidewalk!!! for no good reaason except that they were drunk at 6 am or just plain stupid. or both.

be safe chica!

The Salty One said...

What on earth are you talking about?! There's never too much Chipotle!

Ok. I might be crazy, but I swear some people have a chip on their shoulder when it comes to runners. I think they think runners are judging them for being lazy and out of shape and they have to prove that they're better by trying to run them over! One time I was running near my mom's house on a "country" road. I was running along the berm going against traffic. I see a car headed toward me. No biggee. But then it started honking wildly and the driver actually steered the car at me! It was an old guy and as he passed he was screaming at me (of course as I laughed at him from the lawn I jumped onto to get out of the dude's way)!!! I don't know what he said. I think it was something like "I'm having a hard enough time not careening into a group of school children to keep my pesky kids from taking away my keys and now you crazy runner have to get in my way!"

PS You are too kind to leave such a nice comment on my blog. I wish I was so worthy!

DaisyDuc said...

Just another NE Ohio girl that just came across your blog!

Lots of good stuff to relate to here. I have heard the negative exercise comments soooo many times! The point is that we make exercise one of our priorities with all the other ones.

tritrain55 said...

Iron G,

I read your Blog a few months ago...I was a fat guy in a little speedo. I wondered how people could swim 200o meters, when I could barely scatch 500 m. Well, I wanted to give you an update. I am now down to 195 (23 lbs less my former self) and here is a typical swim workout for me.

WU - 200 m
WO - 300 m free (1minute rest)
200 m free (1 minute rest)
100 m free (1 minute rest)
50 m free (2 minute rest)
50 m free (90 sec rest)
100 m free (1 min rest)
200 m free (1 min rest)
300 m free (2 min rest)
2x50 kick (30 sec rest in between)
2x50 breast (30 sec rest in between)
Cool down
300 - 50 free 50 back
50 free 50 back
50 free 50 back

That's a total of 2000 m.

I can swim 600 m straight no rest and I usually run about 3-5 miles afterwards.

Thanks for the encouragement.