Friday, July 14, 2017

5 Random Tales from the Road

Running gives us so much, doesn't it? Besides fitness and bling, that is. One of my favorite things about running is that running gives us plenty to talk about. Race recaps, product reviews, weekly workout recaps, running advice--I never run out of topics to write about here on my blog.

And then there are the running stories. The weird, random things we see or encounter on the run. Today I bring you 5 random tales from the road.



Hans and Franz
A couple of weeks ago, I was out for a run in one of the local preserves. After a few miles in the hot sun, I nearly drank all my Tailwind. There's one of those old fashioned water pumps but I've always been a little nervous to use it. Next to the pump was a shirtless, sweaty guy with a bushy beard who was doing push-ups. A dog (I assume was his) was running around. Burly Man stood up as I approached and I asked him if the water from the pump was safe to drink. He kind of glared as he pointed at me. "Try it," he said in a thick Eastern European accent. "Try it, and you tell me." I shook my head. Again, he replied and pointed at me, "Try it. " Meanwhile, a little enthusiastic voice from afar said: "I'm drinking it!" I followed the voice and there waving at me was a small, exceedingly happy guy sitting on a picnic table watching Burly Man. Meanwhile, Burly Man started talking again. "Where do you think the water in your bottle came from?" I started to back away. "It is the same. It is all water. Drink!" he commanded and approached me. I headed down the trail before things got really weird.

So many thoughts swirling in my head as I finished that run. What just happened? Does Burly man live in the woods? Were they together? Burly Man and Girly Man? Or was Girly Man just watching Burly Man? Was the water some kind of happy juice?


Deep Thoughts
Last weekend, I ran the bike path through the tunnel, which had been whitewashed since the last time I ran there. I kind of enjoy the thoughtful graffiti that graces the walls of the tunnel--it gives me a lot to think about for the rest of my run. Even though there wasn't much to see, I wasn't disappointed. You've gotta love a clever graffiti artist.

Punster, art historian, and philosopher all at once!

Let's be Running Friends
Earlier this week, I was out for my morning run. There was a guy jogging on the sidewalk ahead of me. I use the term jogging loosely. He was barely moving. Anyways, it was time for my walk interval and I entertained myself by watching him. He "jogged" for about 15 seconds and then started to walk. My Garmin buzzed and I started to run again. As I approached him, he looked back over his shoulder, saw me, and started to jog again. Only this time, he picked up the pace. As I began to pass him, he smiled at me and jogged faster, trying to keep up with me. This isn't the first time I've picked up a hitchhiker. One of my neighbors used to wait for me at the end of his driveway so he could run with me. After multiple run-ins, I had to tell him "it's not you, it's me". Painful. This time I was smarter.



Maybe he knows something we don't....
There's no end to the characters I encounter at the retention pond. For example, there are those women who walk or jog with 2 pound hand weights. Or the cyclists who treat the less than 2 mile loop as their own personal Tour de France. Last week, I spotted a shirtless elderly man standing on the side of the path staring at the tall plants that line the water. At first, I was pondering his shirtlessness and then I wondered what he was staring at. Did he lose something in the weeds? He was still there as I made my second lap around the pond, this time fondling the plants. As much as I wanted to know what he was looking at, I just kept on running. Some things are better left alone.



It was a power boost...
Yesterday's "shake-out" run felt unexpectedly easy. Considering that the day before, I could barely move--thank you RA--this was a pleasant surprise. Do you know this feeling? My legs felt light and I was breezing along the path. I made sure to take my walk breaks every 4 minutes and not to push my pace too hard. At one point, I took the little detour into the woods. The overgrown weeds were clogging the path. Instead of being annoyed by this--eww, they were touching my moist skin-- I spontaneously put my hands out and high fived the weeds. It was an impulse and it made me laugh. Because running should be fun, right?

Never take yourself or running too seriously. Enjoy the ride. Be grateful for every step you take!


Any running stories to share? What is up with those women carrying hand weights? Do they really think that is going to pump them up? Anyone else pickup unwanted running partners? Any tactful suggestions for ditching them or is outrunning them the way to go? How do you run happy?

I'm linking up with Fairytales and Fitness and Running on Happy for the Friday Five 2.0. Have a fantastic weekend!

54 comments :

  1. I enjoyed your running stories! I don't usually see anyone else running while I am...I live in a really small town! I really don't understand what is up with running with handweights - doesn't seem too safe to me. I have a friend who runs with a weighted vest, that is a little to hardcore for me!
    Have a great weekend :)

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    1. There certainly are a lot of characters around here! Who knew?

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  2. Love this, great stories! I've a had few times when people came up to me after races and told me that they used me as their motivator and pacer, but I can't think of any from being just out on the road!

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    1. Who knew that living in the 'burbs would be so interesting?

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  3. Haha, these are GREAT! I love reading about Hanz and Franz.

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    1. That was probably one of the weirdest encounters I've ever had. Totally unexpected.

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  4. Ok, burly man is just a tad weird and the shirtless man in the weeds even weirder! No wonder you can run so fast! LOL! TGIF!

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    1. Yikes, right? Who knew it was like this here in the wild suburbs? Oh wait, I used to work in the ER.

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    2. This one was a little too creepy. Glad you got away...

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  5. Haha, I love your running stories. As you know, I usually have a few.
    Okay, now it's the question and answer session.....
    Why did the man say "what do you think is in your bottle"? Did you fill your water bottle up with water from a near by fountain or something? Or was he implying that your water from home and the water from that spigot all come from the same source?
    Also, I find it funny that you call that man a "jogger". After all the blogs I've read about runner vs jogger an how if you are out there doing it (regardless how slow), you are a Runner! I wonder if that man sees himself as a runner? Again, I guess it's all relative to the one who is running faster. But I guess if he was wearing a Terry cloth track suit and headband he might have indeed been a "jogger".lol

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    1. Totes thought of you when I wrote this. Idk why Burly man asked me what was in my bottle--Tailwind is clear, so maybe he thought I had water in there? And all water is the same?

      That guy I called the jogger was NOT running. He was barely moving but making running motions with his arms. What do you call those people?

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    2. Maybe he was power walking but was losing his power???

      Thanks for thinking of me while you were writing Your stories. Funnily enough I did 2 runs this week and didn't see anything weird or interesting going on!

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    3. That's because all the weirdos were here! :p

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  6. I think the hand weights were a thing in the 80s, and yes, people think they are getting a better workout using them! I have never picked up a stray runner, so, really, I do think it's you. :-)

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    1. I can't imagine anything effective about walking with 2# hand weights. Lalalala...

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  7. the guy by the water fountain lol. There is a guy who looks a retired boxer who we pass on the trail and he kind stands by his old model car jumping rope and doing boxing drills. I need to stop and chat with him

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    1. I think maybe you shouldn't. Just saying. It was a mistake talking to Burly Man. But it did make for a good story.

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  8. The Hanz and Franz story is funny. :) You and Meranda from Fairytales and Fitness always seem to have funny stories from your runs. Why do I never see anything interesting at all? A bunch of normal people around here! That must mean... maybe I am the weird person THEY are seeing?? Haha. Have a great weekend, Wendy!

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    1. Well, they do say that if you don't see any strange people, it might be you... seriously, not sure why Meranda and I keep seeing the weirdos..

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  9. I love the image of you high-5'ing the weeds/flowers. I'd probably do the same ;-) It is all about having fun, and not taking any run for granted.

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    1. It was the most spontaneous thing...the weeds were right up against me and I had the impulse to slap them...

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  10. I am happy a friend or water view and if none of the above the miles are long, a podcast keeps me sane.

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    1. Whatever it takes to get through a run?

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  11. Thankfully I don't seem to "run" into things like that much. Some of that would definitely creep me out.

    I gotta admit that when I ran on the trails through the weeds -- yeah, I didn't find it fun. But it wasn't just on the side, I was trying to run through them!

    A lot of people seem to pick it up as you approach (that's the royal you). But take pity on us slower folk . . . what seems glacial to you is probably really fast for us! At least we're out there.

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    1. Absolutely! I never diss anyone who's moving. It was just kind of funny how he wanted to run with me. I'm definitely not looking for company (and I was sprinting to the portapotty).

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  12. Burly man would have frightened me! But then again, I think every odd looking person out on running/walking trails are axe murderers! lol

    I've never had a hitchhiker while running ...guess I'm just too slow for everyone else! :)

    I do love your stories ...keep them coming!

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    1. I wasn't frightened by Burly Man--I think he totally took me by surprise!

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  13. I've always used my headphones as a way to deter strangers who want to talk. I haven't lifted weights in a gym for a while, but when I did, I had my music. Quite frankly I'm not there to be social.

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  14. HILARIOUS about the high fives to the weeds. You remind me so much of myself and my friend Lora. We are super goofy that way and would totally do that too. Lora and I have this funny thing that we always laugh about. When we run together, people give us the thumbs up sign when they drive by and I told her that I NEVER get that when I'm on my own! And she was like, what? She gets thumbs up all the time!!! Isn't that weird? Maybe I'm just not paying attention or something? I was like, Lora... the guys that are giving you thumbs up just think you're hot in your little running outfit and she denies it. She says they do it because they think she's being "healthy." HA HA anyway, maybe you had to be there. It was funnier in person.

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    1. Well, if anyone thinks this 54 year old is hot, heck, I'll take it...

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  15. how interesting runs you have!!

    I once had an older man randomly join me during a run! it was out of nowhere, and a total stranger, but I really enjoyed his conversation.

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    1. I've had those random running partners and it just never seems to work out well for me!

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  16. I am still laughing over burly man and girly man LOL
    Since I am usually just running the neighborhood, the most excitement I get usually is from over zealous dogs and owners who have no control lol
    I use to walk all the time with hand weights and ankle weights LOL It just feels like it is a little harder lol not building muscle or anything...

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    1. I think the weights just put more strain on the joints. I'm glad I get my fill of strength in the CF box.

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  17. OK I don't know what to make of Burly man - so bizarre! I wonder what the older guy was staring at in the weeds?!?

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  18. The Ala Wai is a canal that runs 1.5 miles in Honolulu. I often run the path next to it on my way to Diamond Head. This week I saw a guy standing there, at first I thought he was fishing, then quickly realized he was peeing into the water!

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  19. I love your running stories! I haven't run in 9 months since having my daughter but I look forward to getting back out there and having fun stories to share.

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  20. You see some of the most interesting people on your runs! Sadly, all I get are these random dogs trying to run with me.

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    1. I get those dogs too, but it's the owners that entertain (aka annoy) me!

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  21. Oh my gosh! I love your stories! Hans and Frans! HAHAHAHA

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    1. Seriously, that was one of the strangest things I've encountered on a run.

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  22. You have some of the best stories! I love that graffiti. <3

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    1. I LOVED that graffiti. In fact, I ran by it and went back to take the photo. This guy's got skillz.

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    2. This was my favorite of your five stories. I especially like your caption. He captured a thought and you made it zing.

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  23. I never understood people who walked with hand weights. It just seems like it would be uncomfortable! You definitely have some interesting stories from your runs!

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    1. Those runs can get long and lonely, so I find plenty of amusement!

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  24. I like the Van Gogh themed graffiti. Perhaps the older man was into wildcrafting and looking for some good edibles. Or maybe he was into wildflower, butterfly or dragonfly ID. Lots of things to look for out there!

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    1. I thought those same things but you know with all that time on the road, the mind likes to wander!

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  25. You left BEFORE things got really weird? Sorry, no--things DID get really weird. And Ewwww! Too many shirtless men here! But of course at least your guy was fondling plants...not like what my guy was fondling! Good luck on Sunday!

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    1. I'm such a glass half full person--after I left, I kept thinking about what could have happened...

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