Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Back Among the Regulars

Amid the strong smell of mustard at the big turn before the final straightaway, it occurred to me that I haven't run on such crowded terrain since last year's Akron Marathon. And seriously, why did it smell like mustard?

Sand Run park has been one of my regular running haunts since I first started running. The crushed limestone multipurpose path provides a convenient venue for training, with its smooth crushed limestone surface, well-marked half-miles (although recently discovered to be mismeasured ... stupid GPS), and challenging but not killer rolling hills.

However, lately I've been using the park's rough hiking trails for my runs. I can't remember the last time I ran on the more populated path, as I did yesterday.

There were some familiar faces, such as the overdressed guy with the awful posture and the guy who resembles a pre-steroids era Mark McGwire.

Looking back, I realize I exercised some poor running etiquette. I forgot to announce the times I passed people from behind (an old pet peeve) and I passed two fellow runners just before I hit my turnaround point (I could have waited). It seems I've misplaced my manners.

But then again, I was also reminded of how snooty these people are. They looked at me as if I were the Unibomber anytime I waved or nodded or said "hello." On the trails, my greetings are never so thoroughly rebuffed. Don't you people know we're part of a community?

Back on that final stretch, I could feel my quads burning as I chugged up the final slow-rising hill. Looking at my watch phone at the end, I noted a new fastest pace of the year, but also the errant mile markers. My final pace was 9:13 per mile, but my supposed three-miler turned out to be 2.93 miles after looping around the parking lot in the attempt to make up for the missing distance. Oh, for the days when ignorance was bliss ...

Happy Leap Day, teammates.


C said...

On the site I work at, we've used expensive GPS equipment for some studies and it's made me realize one thing--those things are complete shit if you have any kind of tree coverage which we do on a lot of our site. So I imagine it's equally inaccurate for tracking a running distance in a similar landscape. Then again I'm no tech expert so who knows.

B. Jarosz said...

What Xenia said! Those devices aren't accurate to the 100th of a mile. I say it was 3 miles.

As for the rude runners... what gives? Are they snubbing you because you left them for the trails, or are they normally rude?

PS - congrats on the pace!

Linda said...

Runner's Etiquette? You taught me how to snot rocket! I always feel pretty badass when I do that.

I know it's off topic; I'm just sayin'.

Nitmos said...

Maybe they think you are a creeper. Like, oh, no, he's gone mobile type of thing.

Just for consistency, if I ever see you, I won't wave either.

BrianFlash said...

I always thought the runners around here were completely non-friendly. It is rare that I get a return wave.

I realized it was me when I ran with my wife a few months ago. Everyone acknowledged her greetings...