Sunday, December 29, 2013

The Rules of Running

I've been running continuously for almost 4 years now.  I ran in high school, but mostly sprints and middle distance.  I went to States in the 4 x 400 my senior year.  I like to run, but now that I'm older, it's not as easy as it used to be.  This year I've run about 650 miles.  And lost zero pounds, but that's a different story.

I picked up running 4 years ago when my daughter was diagnosed with leukemia.  I didn't start running to get in shape, or to release frustration and anger, or to give myself time to think and sort out all of the craziness going on our lives.  No, those were just the side effects.  I started running so that I could participate in Baltimore's Port to Fort 6K, which was sponsored by the Believe in Tomorrow Foundation, which provides respite and hospital care for families with critically ill children.  If you read this blog regularly, I'm sure you've heard this all before.  But it meant something to me.

Now that I've been running for 4 years, I feel that I have ample justification to go off on a rant about people and running.  And here I go.

If you are driving a car and you see a runner/jogger/etc..., here are your rules:

1) Runners are pedestrians and thus they have the right-of-way.
2) If you're backing out of your driveway, don't just look for other cars.  Look out for that runner.  We're watching you because we know that you're not watching us.  I will run right up to the point where I'm standing right next to your car and peering at you through your window laughing at you with that befuddled look on your face.
3) When driving at night, when you see someone running, turn off your f-ing high-beam.  Especially you pick-up trucks.
4) When you see a jogger on the road and there are no sidewalks, move over to the middle of the road if you can.  We don't like it when you pass us with 6 inches between your car and our ears.
5) Slow down when you pass us.  You know you're already going 10-15 mph over the speed limit.  It's no very comforting when that speed is that close to us.

If you're a runner, here are your rules:

1) If you're running at night, where a headlamp.  Yes, you'll look dorky, but when you're running you're not out to pick up hot girls or hot guys.  Face it - running is not sexy. It's sweaty.  It's snotty.  It's spitty.  It's gross.  But it's good for you.
2) When you're running on the street, you run against traffic, not with traffic.  It's the law.
3) Wear bright obnoxious clothing.  Again, you're not hear to pick up girls or guys.  Stand out.  Black may look cool, but people can't see you.  And that's bad.
4) Always assume that cars cannot see you.  Don't assume they are going to stop.  Think smart, if that makes any sense.
5) Try to avoid running on roads with no shoulder or no sidewalk.  You're unnecessarily putting yourself in danger.


1) Cut your trees and bushes back from the sidewalk.  All I need is that unseen branch slapping me against the face slashing my eye in the night.  It's no coincidence that the tree branches, bushes, and ornamental weeds that you have in your yard are no longer in my way!
2) Shovel your sidewalks!!!  Just because you don't walk in front of your house doesn't mean that no one else does.  Think of people with strollers that have to get their kids to the bus stop.  If I run by your house and fall on your unshoveled sidewalk and get hurt, you can guarantee you will have a lawsuit on your hands.

Follow these simple rules and you'll be safer and runners won't get pissed at you.

What rules should I add to this list?

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