You roll out of bed, throw on your running clothes, and know exactly where you are running. You are heading to your favorite spot to run alone. Your own personal hideaway that rarely has cars and never any people. You could look like crap, feel like crap, or plan on trying some new moves that you want no one to see. Whatever the reason, you count on that solitude to run by yourself.
That was me this morning. I hadn’t run all weekend. I have stress overload and couldn’t stomach 5AM on Saturday (glad I didn’t try because the humidity/heat cancelled the run anyway), and my Sunday morning 16 miler was dashed by thunderstorms. Nothing worse than being wide awake and ready to run at 5AM and then shot down by a thunderstorm. So this morning, determined to make up for my horrible lack of running, I suited up in what clothes I could find. Not pretty or matching by any stretch. I didn’t care because I was heading to my hide-away. The cemeteries by my house are small, close, and always deserted. I can always count on a relaxing run.
I jump out of my car and take off. Neon Zensahs and Saucony Mirages. Ugly pink and green with camo KT Tape. If I saw me running I would run in the opposite direction. I was completely lost in the run, thinking about Grandma Christ who my family is burying today (in another cemetery). I won’t be at the funeral service due to work obligations, but I’m still thinking about her and my family. Out of nowhere this guy comes running past me in the opposite direction. Perfect form, sipping from his Camelbak, just sprinting right by. Just like that I lost my solitude. It made me really angry for a minute. Most days it wouldn’t have bothered me. I usually run in places like Forest Lawn Cemetery or Delaware Park. There you expect to see people and runners. If you don’t see any you must be there at 3am. I’m a pretty social runner on a usual basis. Just not always….Several more turns and he comes at me again. And again. Lapping me about 5 times (which I think is excessive) and just going on his merry way. Towards the end of my run, I visited my Grandma T’s grave and headed back to my car. I see him one more time going back in the opposite direction. No runner’s nod or wave has been passed between us. Now I am miffed, sad, and wet from the misty rain.
As I stretched and wondering if being so disturbed by this other runner makes me a bad runner. I mean, he was just out there running like I was (if much faster). I didn’t have exclusive rights to this cemetery. Who am I to get pissed at someone else running on “my” turf. I still can’t seem to figure it out, but something about being disturbed on a run when you expected not to be really put me off balance. I went out intending to be alone, and was disturbed when I wasn’t.
Has anyone ever had this happen to you? Have you found yourself annoyed at other runners for random reasons? Just wondering if I am the only one…..