Runners are a different breed. The kind that was not, generally, bred to smile.
Of course, I didn't know this as I started out my meek little running career on the streets of my neighborhood. And you know no one told me. So I've just been running around at my ultra slow pace smiling and "Good morning"ing other runners like a damn fool.
First it was Mr. Ultra Marathoner in his whippy red running shorts, breathable wicking blue top, wraparound reflective shades and mesh ballcap who utterly ignored my offensive "Mornin'" and jaunty chin nod by shooting past me (going the wrong way in the bike lane I might add) as though I were a stinky dog donut on the sidewalk. Which is where I understand pedestrians (of any speed) are meant to travel.
I won't lie, it burned me up a little bit. I mean, who is he that he's so fancy and good that he doesn't have to return a friendly 'hello'?
I still hope he meets a cyclist head-on one of these days. Those fuckers can really move. Unless you're driving up the Santa Cruz Mountains, of course. Then they're really slow and like to ride in the middle of the lane and get all pissed when you try to pass them even though they're moving at, like, one mile an hour and look like they're going to tip over.
But this is about my gripe with Ultra Douchebag and his lack of manners. Just because you're running does not mean you're outside the laws of common courtesy. And don't let me catch you in that bike lane while I'm out running errands. I'll clip ya.
During the first Long Run of my 1/2 marathon training, when I'd had the nerve to venture beyond my safe six mile loop to add on the dreaded seventh mile, I met with a frightening creature.
We'll call her The Devil in Green Shorts.
I'm quite sure she would have knocked me straight down had I not carefully held my (slow) pace and avoided eye contact. I had gained enough Runners Intuition at that point to know that any greeting I offered would go unrequited, so I didn't even try. I focused more on how friggen fast she was moving and how little her bare tummy giggled as she did so.
Remarkable. A mid-section that moves not during rigorous pavement pounding.
Never seen anything like it. I must have one.
Either way, as I stared through my sunglasses at the Tightest Belly on Earth, I watched this speeding beast rip past me without an inch to spare and, I swear, kick turn at the corner and speed off in another direction. All but leaving me in actual dust. If she could have flipped me the bird while kicking me in the face at the same time, I don't doubt she would have.
It's also possible that she was a Cyborg. That'd at least explain the abs.
Anyway, after these two interactions and a handful of fun moments when other runners pretended I was either invisible or dog poo, I stopped offering any manner of greeting altogether. I stopped waiving, nodding, peace-signing (sometimes I do this if I'm feeling extra whimsical) and looking in the general direction of any being moving at more than your standard walking pace.
I was going to be hardcore, too.
I don't want to be mistaken for an amateur after all. I mean, I *have* run a full 10K and everything. Plus, PLUS, I am training for a 1/2 marathon. Come ON - that's gotta count for something. I'm not just out here trotting from one Starbucks to another. This is serious business.
So, last Saturday, I steeled myself.
This Long Run would be my debutante ball of Running Like an Asshole. Because, people, this is not a game. I've got eight (!!!) miles to tackle here, I'm adding mileage, I'm prepping for a real race - this is no time for socializing.
I looked at no one. I greeted no one. I wandered off into my mind's own world and pretended I was running fast and wearing tiny shorts that whipped around my tight muscular thighs instead of stretchy black capris that hugged my jiggling ass.
"I'm so hardcore!" I told myself over and over.
I think I was actually starting to see this activity through the eyes of UltraDouche and The Green Devil until a tall buff chick in tiny orange shorts rocked past me, clenching her fist (but smiling) and said,
"Work, girl, work!"
Teehee, ok :)
That one instance alone has ruined me for ever becoming a Real Runner. If, indeed, a Real Runner is someone who ignores other runners as though they are dog donuts and can't say hi.
Because after that tiny moment of like-mindedness with this very accomplished looking runner lady who DID NOT act like I was slow moving dog doo unworthy of the sport of running, I was uplifted damn it!
I pulled my shoulders back, loosened my clenched fists, relaxed my face muscles and, seriously, increased my pace.
I arrived back at my doorstep in record time - 80 minutes. That's, hello, a 10 minute mile pace. For eight miles.
I am so hardcore.