Sunday, July 22, 2012

Reunited...and a Random Conversation

I run my short runs on various routes through my neighborhood.  There are ample sidewalks and not too much traffic, but there is traffic nonetheless so my focus is not only on my run, but also on not getting run over.

I run my long runs on a paved trail near my house.  Its a beautiful trail that runs along a creek and is mostly under tree cover.  I see it as a treat to myself for my training during the week.  I love this trail.

Morning light

My trail and I have not seen each other for a few weeks, though.  I was out of town, and ran my long runs on another beautiful trail, but it wasn't the same.  Then "my" trail was closed due to damage from a crazy storm that passed through the area, so I had to run my long run for the week through my neighborhood.  That was NOT FUN.  Running 12 miles alongside traffic was not my idea of a good time.

Running through my neighborhood sometimes
feels like a game of Frogger. (src)

"My" trail and I were reunited this weekend, and let me just say, it felt so good.  As soon as I drove into the parking lot, I knew it was going to be a good run.  

One reason I love this trail is because its a great and nearby respite from the loud noise and bustle of urban living.  Its beautiful, and (mostly) quiet, and its a whole lot cooler under the canopy of leaves.  And although I like to call it "my" trail, I am in no way its singular user; this trail is heavily used by runners/walkers in the area, so I get to exchange Hellos, Good Mornings, and Nice job!s many times throughout my run, which is something I love.

Yesterday the pleasantry-exchange was taken to a whole new level when I actually approached a runner and struck up a conversation.  Have you ever struck up a conversation with another runner while running?  I usually don't, but she seemed nice, plus I also wanted to know what she was training for.  She was wearing a hydration pack, so I figured she was out for a long run.  She was also wearing pink Pro Compression socks, which is my favorite brand of compression socks.  In fact, I was wearing my orange pair.  

She passed me as I was nearing my halfway (and thus turnaround) point, and I caught up to her on my back.   I tried to make my presence known that I was approaching her so I wouldn't scare her, but I did a poor job so when I asked "Are you training for something?" she practically screamed.  Oops.

Once she recovered from her fright, she said she was training for the Baltimore marathon, and was 15 miles into a 20-mile training run.  She was running at a nice clip and I was impressed that she looked so fresh after 15 miles.  We chatted for about a mile and then I left her to finish her run in peace (she was so nice and didn't seem to mind that I totally bombed her long training run).

I really enjoyed that encounter, and may incorporate conversations with random runners on the trail as part of my marathon training.  You've been warned. :)

I finished my run, stretched at my car, then headed home to my family unit.  A great run on my favorite trail, a friendly conversation with a random runner, and a return to my family when I was done made for a really great day.

Have you ever struck up a conversation with another runner while running?  Or has anyone struck up a conversation with you while running?

Do you have a favorite trail or route that you love to run?


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