If you have read any of my past running posts you might by now know that I get a liiiiittle bit (… searching for the right word here…. ….) ok – aggressive when in the middle of a run. Specifically with (but not exclusive to):
– Slow pedestrians in the way (usually tourists)
– Slow pedestrians in large groups, taking over the pavement and forcing you onto the road – I am the one working hardest here!
– People who try to stop you while you are running to ask for directions. Like, seriously!?! Are you f****** kidding me? (Tourists again)
– Cyclists on the pavement
– People on the pavement with golf umbrellas (AAAARGH!!!)
– People who come blind onto the road from their front yards and nearly crash into you, the same way people who come around corners like they own the pavement (I always try to run on the outside to avoid these situations)
– Dog walkers who either let their dogs roam off leash and run after you or walk their dogs on the pavement in such a way that you are forced to make the life/death decision of either jumping over the lead or running onto the road. Take it from me – always choose the latter
– Unruly kids who haplessly ride their bikes/scooters or just zig zag in a way that makes it impossible for you to decide how to get past them safely. I blame the parents
– Drivers of motorised vehicles (or bikes) of any kind who ignore basic traffic rules and regulations making it annoying or dangerous for me. Mainly lack of indicating (I could have crossed this road aaaaages ago if you had let me know you were turning you scumbag!) or not giving a shit that you were already crossing that zebra crossing, instead making you think you have a target pinned to your back the way they aim at you
– Rude fellow-runners. Maybe this is just in my head, but I feel that especially in places like the Regents Park Outer Ring where a lot of people run in both directions there are certain unspoken rules. Especially about giving way. Say there is someone running towards you and you are both on the outside of the pavement – who gives way? In my head the right of way goes to those who: are running uphill, running faster, running with backpack, generally working harder, have given way to you before, don’t annoy you. Some people just won’t make way forcing a game of “chicken” which I rarely lose as I am more willing to crash and burn than let them get away with being dicks
– A-holes who like to shout encouragement like “run, fat girl, run” from the safety of their cars. I like to countenance this with a flash of the middle finger and a friendly greeting of “come run with me and see how long you can keep up, dickhead”. Well, I would love to actually be able to say that. Usually I just run on as I am never quite sure exactly what it was that they said and am too out of breath to shout anything back. The finger is uncontrollable though, it’s almost like a Pavlovian reflex to anything annoying during a run
– People in general who don’t seem to appreciate the fact that running takes everything out of you and that any extra movement could end up killing you (or you them)
Yeah, so as you can see I am not a very “zen” runner. People speak of the euphoria they feel when they run and how they feel “one” with the world. I just tend to feel like I am at war with the world. In a way all that keeps me going, mainly as I often just have to run on in order to shake off anyone who might be coming after me trying to punch me after I had told them what I thought of their lack of consideration.
And so I was doing a 10km run yesterday (was supposed to be 15km but my leg was aching like an SOB) and was forced to stop in the middle of a hill due to cars turning onto the road I was crossing. The last of these drivers not only failed to indicate but was also on the phone (handsfree isn’t handsfree when you are holding the phone in your hand!). So my instinctive and natural response of “Oi, how about indicating you asshole” rang out before I even knew what I was doing.
And then I realised I knew the driver.
She was a friend.
The rest of the run was spent thinking of how I was going to dig myself out of this hole, half expecting a comment on Facebook or a text. I haven’t heard anything back as yet which has lead me to think that a) it wasn’t her b) she didn’t see me (she WAS on the phone which really makes the point of why that is dangerous) c) she is not speaking to me.