Friday, December 26, 2014

It's a free-for-all!

I'm linking up with the DC trifecta--Cynthia, Mar, and Erica--once again for Friday Five. This week there was no specific topic, so I get to talk about anything I want! To people that might actually want to hear it? Oh, man, I feel like a kid in a candy shop runner in a running shop!

Today I'm writing about random thoughts that I've had--stuff that has run through my mind, possible ideas for blog posts. I've been jotting them down over the past couple of months, and because they're just random, odd thoughts, you get an extra holiday treat of silliness.

Today I have the perfect excuse to put them all out there. Because....


"When in doubt, I whip it out, I got me a rock and roll band, it's a free for all..." (Ted Nugent)

1. Why do non-runners think all runners know each other?

Actually, this is a principle you could apply to just about any group with a common factor. I'm a nurse--really, a nurse practitioner, but there are even nurses who don't make the distinction. (A topic for discussion at another time and another place. This is a running blog, after all.) Anyways, my father-in-law's lady friend has a daughter who is a nurse. They automatically assumed we'd be best buds because we are both nurses. Seriously. Even though I work in pediatrics and she takes care of adults. Um no. Not a thing in common except that we are nurses.

A while back, a woman stopped me while I was out running. At the time, I had my earbuds in and was rocking my run, and as I passed her, I noticed her talking to me. I tried to keep going but she wouldn't stop trying to get my attention. Slightly annoyed, I took one headphone out, stopped my Garmin, and stopped to see what she wanted. She told me she sees me running all the time and asked me a bunch of questions about running, how far I go, how many days/week I run, etc. Then she asked me if I knew "the realtor". What? Who? "Do you run with her?" What? Why? Once I figured out who she was asking about, yes, I do know who "the realtor" is. She's the mother of a friend, who is about 70, sells homes in the neighborhood, and runs several days/week. Why would this woman assume that I run with "the realtor"?


Don't all runners run together? Don't we all know each other? I didn't even explain to her about running alone. I didn't think she'd get it.

I'll never forget the time the neighborhood weirdo (yes, you have one too), the recluse in the mint green house with the big cross made out of rocks in her front yard, was in her driveway and approached me as I ran by. She came out into the road and stupid me, I stopped. She asked me if she could run with me sometime. Because why? I backed away slowly and mumbled some response. I avoided her street for a while after that.

2. Why do non-runners tell runners how hard it is to run?

The other frustrating aspect of this conversation was when that woman who stopped to ask me 100 questions about running told me how "hard" it is for her to run, wanting to know how I motivate myself to get out the door. But why do non-runners feel the need to tell us runners how hard running is? How it just "kills" their knees? Is it to make themselves feel better because they don't run? And then we runners are put in another awkward situation having to explain why we find enjoyment beating ourselves up by participating in such a difficult activity. Ay.


This woman also told me how inspiring I am. Which was nice to hear, after being asked all these questions. I don't consider myself inspirational by running. Did you ever notice how non-runners assume we all run marathons? Way back before I ever ran a marathon, I was asked about this. When I replied that I hadn't run one, she asked me why not? After all, she said, "didn't I want to share my running with the world?"

SERIOUSLY.

Apparently, to non-runners we runners are gluttons for punishment. Because the idea of arthritis and heart disease are just so much more appealing than a few miles around the 'hood.

And no, she didn't ask if she could run with me.

3. Name the runners you see on the run

Ok, this isn't an original idea, Angela at Happy Fit Mama did a post on this a while ago. Her post made me think about the other people I see when I'm running. Like a guy I've mentioned before, The Windmill? He's the one who spins his arms while he runs. There's The Jogger, whom my husband I named way before we knew about the whole jogger vs runner thing. He's another neighbor who used to run, then jog, and now walks. Slowly. Still makes those jogging motions with his arms though. I do believe there are some "issues", since he's in his 50s and still lives with his mom. Has bad 80s hair and wears a leather blazer when he's not, ahem, jogging. The Gazelle is a runner I see quite often when I'm out running. He runs with really long strides and exaggerated arm motions. I can't help but think about all the wasted energy in that stride. There's a guy I see all the time who runs really slow and doesn't bend his legs at all, aka The Shuffler. I've talked with him a little. Seems like a really nice guy. Runs a lot. Finally, I used to see a woman at the retention pond who had a really smooth stride. I used to call her The Smooth Runner. Really original, right? But I saw her at my first Chicago Marathon, and yes, she crushed her run. So much for being judgmental.

I guess I'd call him the Streaker! (Will Farrell in Old School)
But tell me you don't do this. Name other runners, that is. There are runners who are streaking--but not like Will Farrell. Certainly, there's a lot to think about on a run. But with all that time on your hands, thoughts do wander...

4. James Bond-esque self defense for runners

In light of all the recent threats to the safety of runners at all my running hot spots, I've spent some time on the run thinking about self-defense should I be attacked on the run. The safest thing would be to not run at all, but that's not an option. Or to run on the treadmill. Again, not a viable option, for me at least. Mace? Pepper spray? What if it's windy and I'm facing the wind when I spray? I wouldn't be able to defend myself with burning, watering eyes, would I? A gun? Not my thing. I'm just not comfortable carrying a gun. If he's reading this, Ted Nugent is shaking his head right now. Maybe he'll make me take his video out of my post.

I do think my fists would be a viable option. Even more effective? Brass knuckles. You could easily run with them, right? Maybe with spikes embedded in the knuckles? Hidden spikes until you press a button, releasing them? The spikes could be embedded with some poison that would be injected into the attacker upon impact! Someone grabs your arm, you swing back and bam! Bye bye creepo!

I've actually given this a lot of thought!

Even better, how about combining them with the already existing Knuckle Lights? Then if you run in the dark, you'll be visible and protected! I'm waiting for the Knuckle Light people to contact me to discuss this idea further. You know where you can find me....and yes, when I become wealthy from this idea, I'm retiring from health care.

Or a jog bra equipped to shoot...this could work too!
5. What constitutes a good running song?

Is it motivating lyrics? A pounding beat? Something you can sing to? All of the above? Right now I'm tweaking my running playlist. Some songs, I'm just sick of. Spotify makes it easy and guilt free to delete songs.  Other songs never get old. I'm trying out some new songs too. I just love to listen to music when I run, which is why #4 above is so important.

In heavy rotation right now are:

Sunlight--The Magician;
Dreamworld--Midnight Oil (an oldie);
World on Fire--Slash and Myles Kennedy;
Jungle--X Ambassadors; and
Holdin' On--Monsta.

We'll see if any of them make the cut for my next race in March.

And no, Ted Nugent isn't on my playlist.




36 comments :

  1. Sour Couple running neighbors refuse to wave, speak, nod or acknowledge my greeting in any way! However, Visor Lady always does. I like to name them during races too. Double Mint Twins, Shirt Tucker, Prancer, Huffer, Too Much Makeup. I could go on all day!

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    1. Glad to know I'm not the only one who does this!

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  2. I've got the "running stick" in my neighborhood. She's super skinny, few years older than I, and runs every day. She'll wave when I see her out running but at parties she's super unfriendly and won't talk running...or about anything else....so weird.

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  3. I have a Running Gazelle, too! Though I haven't seen him in a really long time. He was super nice, I chatted with him occasionally as he strode majestically past me.
    So much funny in this post!
    I've come to the conclusion that non-runners seriously just don't know anything at all about running. And casual runners might be even worse than that! I know several people who run casually and complain to me about "all that pounding" and their knees and how ultra distances are just so hard on your body. OY! Stop, already. Or the one who totally assumed that I qualified for Boston, just because I had completed a marathon. Umm, no. I'm happy you know what Boston is, and that it requires a qualifier, but you clearly don't know how fast a person needs to be.

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    1. The whole knee thing bugs me. Either it's tendonitis, which all new runners get... or weak quads. But that isn't what they want to hear...

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  4. That marathon comment was strange. Anyway, thanks for sharing your running with the world via your blog!

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    1. Haha! I never thought about it--but yes, that's what I'm doing! LOL!

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  5. I have the few mommy runners that don't like to move their strollers out of the way. What would you call them? Sidewalk hoggers??? I tend to be courteous whenever I have my strollers, why can't they?

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  6. This is hilarious, Wendy; I needed this today! HA! I can totally relate to the idea that all non-runners think that runners all know each other; I can't tell you how many times someone has discovered that I run and begun to go through this list of people they know who also run...because I should know at least a couple of them, right? HA! Hope you are enjoying the holiday and have a great weekend!

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  7. OH! And I love the new look of the blog!! Looks fantastic!!

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    1. Thanks! It needed a little sprucing up, and I've been meaning to do it. Nothing like a few days with no running and no work...

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  8. All these are great! Especially the one that running is hard. How would they know if they don't do it....haha. -L

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    1. I guess it just "looks" hard...but then why do we do it? sigh..

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  9. I want that sports bra! ROFLOL

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  10. Haha! These are great random thoughts! I too have given a fair amount of thought to running self defense, maybe they should offer a class? I had a roommate who was a stellar runner who always took mace, but idk not my thing. I think your brass knuckle light combo sounds great lol! Until you get that rolling I guess I will just have to open a can of whoop ass, if the occasion does arise ;)

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  11. Funny! It is strange that people think all runners know each other like it is a special club and we are all automatically friends! Keeping working on the brass knuckles idea, I like it!

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    1. I thought it was a good idea....not at all cumbersome to the runner, either!

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  12. Very funny!! I also like to "name" runners when I am out and about.

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    1. I'm just glad to know that I'm not the only one!

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  13. Haha, it never occurred to me to give fellow runners names. I'll have to try that next time I'm cruising along a typical route. Great post!

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    1. It's a way to entertain myself, I guess! I wonder what they call me....

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  14. I have the "anorexic red head" runner in our neighborhood. I see her everyday!! So funny.

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    1. Crazy how we see the same people all the time, yet don't know who they are!

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  15. I love your random thought post :) And all of us runners don't know each other? ;)

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  16. My husband and I name the runners all the time! Hilarious! Thanks for the laugh :)

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    1. See! We all do it!!

      And sometimes we just have to be silly!! Happy New year, Jill!

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  17. Hahaha, love this post. And yes, I hear it all the time, I'm a nurse so I should know ALL the nurses in the hospital of 300 beds and how many THOUSAND staff members?!

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  18. I think #2 is my favorite! People just don't get it. Recently I told someone that I wanted to focus on my running/training instead of joining the do-good-er society she is a member of because running is more important to me at this point in my life. She literally spent 5 minutes telling me that was crazy, how time consuming running is, and that she might only run if a bear was chasing her...really?!

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    1. Oh, that comment is another pet peeve of mine...haha...not funny! :P

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