What do you do with those awkward moments as a runner? As I was running last night (see #1 below), I couldn’t help but smile and laugh to myself. I also have realized over time that the only people who can identify with these awkward moments are other runners. Here are a few I’ve noticed recently.
1. When this usual morning runner passed another runner in the opposite direction and nodded, “Good morning” only to realize it was six p.m. What do you say when you encounter someone after 10 in the morning? “Good afternoon” has too many syllables to huff out.
2. Toward the end of my last race, I tried to steadily move past another runner who had on headphones. I weaved to the left, so did he. I weaved to the right. I couldn’t believe it, but he did too! After the third weave to the left, and yes the other runner moved in front of me again, my attitude became a hybrid of irritable and comical. I finally moved on to the grass and surged ahead.
3. Passing another runner on a loop. The first pass – a smile, a nod, a hello. Second pass – maybe just a smile. What do I do with the third pass? Ignore them? Get distracted by my GPS? Laugh? Does this mean I’m running too many loops?
4. Then there’s the issue of trying to cross the street. No, I’m not the type of runner who runs in place waiting for a car to pass. I stand there and wait. Sometimes the car will slow and wave me on. Then I see a car coming from the other direction who isn’t slowing. So I stand there looking skeptical or rude.
5. And finally, the time I went on an early morning run and jumped over to the left of the path. What I thought was a tarantula on the edge of the path, actually turned out to be a pile of leaves gathered together. Yes, I’m a chicken. It wouldn’t have been so bad if there weren’t two walkers behind me.
What awkward moments have you had as a runner?