Some Friendly Road Rules for Resolutionist Runners

A lot of runners took advantage of the great weather today. Too many runners, I thought suspiciously. I mean, sure it was a nice day, but we’ve had nice days all winter long and I’ve never seen so many people out for a jog.

Well, the nice weather inspired me too, so I grabbed my shoes and the dog and we set out. It was only when I passed someone that I realized what was going on. These weren’t ordinary runners. You see, I never pass anyone. (Well, okay, once I passed that guy out walking his dog.) These runners were resolutionists, you know, the people who make New Year’s resolutions to start running. Or maybe they resolve to get in shape or take better care of themselves or just exercise more. Whatever. It’s all wonderful! But if you’re serious about getting out there and running, you need to know a few of the rules of the road.

1) Keep an appropriate distance unless you’re passing. Don’t’ be like the woman who tucked in behind me today, seriously, like three steps back, and just stayed there matching my pace for about three-quarters of a mile before I got so annoyed with her (I mean, even the dog kept looking up at me like, wtf?) that I stopped, let her pass, and then settled in behind her at a more appropriate distance, about a quarter of a block back. We ran like that for one more block before she just stopped. And then I passed her, knowing the only explanation for her was she was a resolutionist. (And no, I don't think she was drafting, because she was on the wrong side.)

2) Don’t go sprinting past the slower runner only to stop as soon as you do. I may be slow. But you’re mean. Stop your sprint just shy of me or stop it a quarter of a mile ahead of me, but don’t make your fartlek about me.

3) Don’t check your watch as soon as you pass me. No, I am not stopped.

4) Watch those snot rockets. Nuf said.

5) Don’t tuck-in in front of me then slow your pace. I think I followed you on the Kennedy once.

6) Smile when you pass another runner! A smile will make you feel better (me too!) than that competitive scowl. If you absolutely can’t bring yourself to smile when running, then just some friendly eye contact. I promise I will not turn around and follow you or try to strike up a conversation about my cats. Unless you're Johnny Depp.

7) Don't quit. Running doesn't feel great when you first start, or start up again. If you don't go often enough, it'll never feel good. But if you stay with it, watch out. You'll be addicted for sure. And I want to see you out there next year with your own list of road rules for the resolutionists.


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  • Excellent suggestions! And if I ever actually follow through on my resolution to run, I shall adopt them all!

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