Thursday, May 16, 2013

My Running World

There is a purple pickup truck I see nearly every time I run.  I’ve seen it so many times that I know the license plate and know that it says “Plum Crazy” on the back tailgate.  And I know the truck’s “home.” And I spot it around town  -- and even in other towns.  One of the things I love about running is that it gives you a unique connection to the world around you.
I get to know who is having work done on their house or their yard. I know who gets a new mailbox or swing set. And I know when there is a new business in town.  Unlike someone who exercises in the gym, running lets me see and feel the seasons change. I have no choice but to adapt my training to the calendar and the weather.
In August, I have to get out early before the heat and humidity descends.
In December, I know that some roads I normally run on will not be passable after a snowstorm. 
And I know the roads to run down in the fall to see the leaves change in September.
Beyond just the weather, I also get to see and experience the people of our town and get to know them.  There’s the couple with the small dog who shout encouragement as I run by on the bike path.  There’s the guy who is always walking with the silver handled walking stick.   And there’s the guys at the J&K tire store, who also encourage me when I run by and who also saved a copy of the article our local newspaper wrote about me when I was training for the Boston Marathon.
In fact, nearly everyone in our town seems to know me as the “crazy running lady.” They see me around, honk their horn or just shout at me when I run by.
I had the pleasure of meeting some of these folks when I am not running, but I also know many only by the friendly gestures they give me as I run past.  Running is a unique activity.
You’re not moving as fast as a car or even a bicycle so you have a chance to see and connect to the world around you and it gets the chance to see and connect with you.
You end up more rooted in place, even though you are always moving.

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