So, they go something like this…
- Cars: I mean cars are fine when they are doing a car-like thing and driving along a road next to you, or preferably quite far away from you and I am actually aware that most of my car hating occurs when I impose my pedestrian presence on the Car Zone but even so. Firstly, when I come to cross a small road, no traffic lights, and the car is clearly already turning and Driver sees me running casually towards him and slams on his brakes for an emergency stop so I can continue coming at my moderate pace – dude, no need. You can go and then I will reach the road and I can go and then we’ve all gone and nobody had to brake, I know you’re just being friendly but come on, efficiency. Then in Germany (and other European countries?) it is normal for the little green man to be up and awake at the same time as the car turning right across your path is also on green – it’s normal here but I can’t get my head around it, it feels wrong. So yesterday a car sees me slowing in my run (I was going to take a breather while he turned down the road) he stops, in the middle of his turn and waves me frantically across the road; oi, I’ll decide when I speed up and when I slow down. The last one is horn beeping. I know, I know, thanks for the compliment I clearly look like a bombshell when I’m sweating and panting and occasionally have a drippy nose- mm attractive. But seriously, there is no need to beep me while I’m running; I’m exercising, I’m having me time, I’m in the zone and I’m trying to push myself, and you’re leering at me? I’m not walking down the road in my lingerie wiggling my hips and licking my lips, I am running – Leave me alone. Unfortunately I had the anti-social habit of casual swearing at the beeping-offenders – not vocally, I employ my finger – and I once did this at an anonymous beeping car. I now don’t do this, the car was my friend’s dad just giving a friendly beep to say that he’d seen me.
- Cyclists: I mean cyclists are great when they’re doing a bikey thing and chilling in the bike lane, or on the bike path. I like that you’re doing exercise, we’re all doing exercise, aren’t we lucky, happy, cool people? So why in the name of all that is wonderful are you cycling on the running track/side of the path rather than cycling like a good cycler on the CYCLE track. Now I have to swing off the running track to make room for you and get in the way of other potential cyclists. Aside: nothing that’s the fault of the cyclist but they terrify me when they come up from behind me, I always tense up like it’s going to crash into me, I am, however, so far cycle-incident free.
- Dogs: I’m definitely not going to say dog walkers should keep their dogs on a lead- noo let your dog run free, free range doggies are the best! However, not that it’s their fault they don’t know what you’re supposed to be doing, and not that it’s their owners fault but…I hate when dogs literally get under your feet, especially small dogs because it’s harder to predict where they’re going to go; you are suddenly balanced precariously, definitely not wanting to step on the dog and not wanting to fall on your face and you didn’t really want to stop either. And yet here you are and sometimes the dog has friends and now you’re surrounded by dogs, weaving in and out of your legs for giggles and your pace is destroyed. Yea, nobody’s fault but stressful still.
- People: yea, I am anti-social.
No I promise I’m not! But I really dislike people interfering with my run- I know you’re just playing but don’t lean across into my face and tell me to “run faster” “go for it sexy” or whatever else your brain comes up with, I am running, I wouldn’t walk past you with your friend sat on a bench and get in your face and say “yea go for it mate, great conversation you’re having”. I mean, why would I do that? So don’t do it to me. Also groups of people that span the entire pavement when you’re coming towards them (walking, running, cycling, cartwheeling, you still find them) that prefer you to go into the road that to split their group for a few seconds. Plus, you all know how much energy it takes to propel yourself all the way back up onto the curb when you’re exhausted, valuable ounces of will power are lost.
Now all that’s said and done it may seem like I am a vicious, world-hating runner with no love for anything, but all of the categories above can be amazing and helpful (dogs) and wonderful while you’re running, just felt like I’d have a little rant! We know these things annoy us – they do!