I’ve had some situations lately that sparked the need for some sharing of knowledge. Sometimes I think things are obvious and widely known (like what an awesome writer or great runner I am), only to realize: Perhaps I’m wrong or others just don’t realize it. It happens.
As I move forward with daily posts, I am going to include some fitness and training advice. This is the one (and some might argue, only) part of solving the Big Cube, I have been most successful in. So, if you choose to ignore any other advice I offer, that’s fine. But please tuck these training nuggets away for later, if you don’t currently workout or start obeying them if you do currently workout.
Here is one of the recent situations. Before I took my detour down Monts Road last Saturday, I was running west on U.S. 1 in Lexington County, a four-lane highway with a speed limit of 55 mph in the section I was using. Trucks and cars go whizzing by, but I run facing traffic on the narrow paved shoulder, left of the solid white line. I’m ready to bail farther into the grass if I see tractor trailers approaching or cars drifting toward me.
In the distance, I spotted a moving object on the edge of the road coming toward me. I figured it was a cyclist, as the this is a common cycling route and other cyclists had already ridden past me that morning. Since my sport sunglasses are one prescription behind my regular glasses, it was a few more minutes before I could tell it was another runner. Encountering another runner is pretty unusual for me on U.S. 1.
As the runner approached, I wanted to hold my tongue, but I had to know. It was a safety issue, after all. When the runner was finally a few yards away, I could see it was a woman, white Apple earbuds dangling from her ears, and I held up my hand in a traffic cop-like manner to signal stop. I didn’t like doing this because it is bad form for a strange man to stop a woman who is out running. I didn’t want to alarm her or make her uncomfortable, but I honestly had her safety in mind. She stopped a few feet from me.
“Why are you running on this side of the road?” I asked
She stared at me. I thought I had spoken clearly. After all, it wasn’t post-marathon babble. I was only at mile six for the day. “Why aren’t you running facing traffic?” I asked, point across the road and trying to rephrase my original question.
A lightbulb seemed to go off and she replied in broken English something about living “over there” and she “didn’t like it”, meaning running facing traffic.
I didn’t push the matter once I saw we had a serious communication barrier. “OK. Be careful then,” I said and kept heading west as she headed east. Like I said earlier, I thought some things were obvious but I guess not to everyone.
So, Tuesday Training Tip #1: If there are no sidewalks, run or walk facing traffic. This allows you to see the traffic coming at you.
Now go run. Or walk. And be careful out there.
Thanks for reading,