Dear Drivers (a letter from a crazy winter runner)
|January 16, 2011||Posted by Lauren under Marathon Training, Running|
I know you’re all very busy driving speedily to wherever you need to go, but seriously — I have a bone to pick with you. It’s about winter time, and your driving, and learning to share the road.
You see, I’m annoyed by all this snow too. Yeah, it was fun to have a snow day this week, but now it’s all frozen and dirty and there’s nowhere to run. The sidewalks have disappeared under over a foot of this frozen crap, and the shoulders are non-existent. Which means I either run laps around my neighborhood and slog my way through slippery slush, or I brave the traffic and run along the edge of the busier roads.
I suppose you probably expect that I just resign myself to running in place in a temperature controlled gym for hours on end. But as much as I can appreciate the treadmill, have you ever tried running on it for 2+ hours?? Honestly — it’s torture.
So you see dear driver, I’m kind of stuck here. I’m training for a marathon, which means I’ve committed to spending hours during my weekends to just run. I realize this may sound crazy, but I assure you I’m doing it for fun. What’s not fun however, is having to spend those hours battling you. I know you think I’m in your way, but I’m trying the best I can. I run as close to the invisible shoulder as humanly possible. I pay attention to you, because I realize that in our constant games of chicken, I always come out as the loser — jumping into a snowbank and watching you whiz by while up to my ankles in snow. Not only that, but I make sure to run in broad daylight so you can see me. Plus I’m running on Sunday (and could you please please explain to me where in the world you’re going in such a hurry on a Sunday?)
I know it must be annoying to have a moving barrier in your way. You’re in a hurry and you can’t really afford the extra split second it takes to get around me. I also realize that you’re having a hard time understanding what the heck I’m doing out there in the freezing cold chugging along with a big pack strapped to my back. But I have to tell you that glaring at me like I’m a public nuisance, or staring like I’m crazy isn’t helping the situation any. Because your wheel ultimately goes where your eyes go. Which means that while you’re giving me the stink eye, your car is moving closer and closer to my body.
I suppose I should probably thank you. Those extra boosts of adrenaline I’d get every time I’d feel the wind from your car breeze by definitely powered me through some speedy miles. But I can only handle this for so long. And ultimately, with my feet sopping wet from jumping into puddles, I end up resigning myself to the treadmill. Because I hate the feeling of being on high alert during an entire run, and would actually like to make it through in one piece.
Today, you won. But the winter is long, and I’m sure there will be more snow on the way. So I just have one simple request: could you please (with a cherry on top) move over just a tad?? I know you rule the road, but would it kill you to make a teeny bit of room for people who prefer to use their feet (or bike wheels) to get around? I know it’s a city and there’s a whole lot of you driving around, but I’d like to think there’s enough space for all of us.
Thanks in advance,
A Crazy Winter Runner
PS. Since we’re already talking about it…I know you might think that when you’re making a right-hand turn, you only need to glance to your left to make sure no other cars are coming along, but I’m here to tell you that you still have to look both ways. I can’t even count how many times I’ve almost gotten hit by you when you don’t actually look the direction that you’re going before turning directly into me.