Running (Pet) Peeves

Sometimes when I am out enjoying a run, or trying to enjoy a run, some things irritate me.  I thought I would compile a list and see if you feel the same way?

1.  Not smiling or waving back

When I run and see another runner or biker I usually wave, smile, or nod my head to them.  Just a sort of ‘Hey I know we are both suffering out here, keep up the good work!’  Baltimore is called Charm City, I’ve heard we were given that nickname as a joke and sometimes I think that is the true.  Other runners and bikers rarely respond.  When I tell people this, they say well maybe they didn’t see you, um, they were looking right at me.  What happened to just being friendly when you are out and about.  Maybe I’m expecting to much?

Try smiling back, you never know what could happen!
Try smiling back, you never know what could happen!

2.  Retractable dog leashes

This is probably my biggest pet peeve, literally!  (see what I did there)  You may have read in my last blog about when I ran into a retractable dog leash I could not see.  That was not the first time I’ve had issues with people and retractable dog leashes.  What I mean by retractable is those leashes that allow the dog to go anywhere from 10-50 ft from the owner and then retracts when the dog walks back.  When running the waterfront people allow their dogs to walk on one side and they walk on the other, they basically create a gate across the entire path.  One day, in my neighborhood, I had a person acknowledge I was coming and then he let his dog run up to me on a retractable leash.  We had quite the exchange of words after I almost tripped over his dog.  If you are going to use a leash like that, why use one at all?  You have no control over the dog; it is a safety hazard for other people and for the dog.

Let's keep the leashes to 6ft and dogs under control.
Let’s keep the leashes to 6ft and the dogs under control.

3.  People oblivious to surroundings

I’m sure we have all run into these types of people, hopefully not literally!  (maybe I should write a blog on puns)  These are the people who somehow passed second grade but don’t know their right from left, or left from right (subtle pun)!  Whenever I’m running up behind someone if the path is tight I will call out ‘passing on your left’.  This causes people to freak out, and go every direction but to the right.  I’ve actually had more problems with these people while riding my bike; unfortunately a few have gotten more acquainted with me and my bike then they would have liked.  Not on purpose they just zigged when they should have zagged and didn’t leave me enough time to react.  I digress, how about those people who are walking towards you or just standing in the middle of the path staring at shiny things!  Just this week, when I was running a person was walking towards me and I motioned which side I would pass on, last minute he changes his mind.  I avoided running into him, but I fell and scuffed up my hands; nothing severe.  Let’s not forget the little kids who’s parents don’t keep an eye on them, parents don’t let your children wander to far away from you in crowded areas, that should be obvious.

Let me just take up this entire sidewalk...
Let me just take up this entire sidewalk…

4.  People who yell things

Women I get it, ‘cat-calling’ is not appropriate!  Men experience this too!  Probably not the same way.  I experience it more in my own neighborhood than anywhere else.  On more then one occasion, okay probably weekly, I will be out running and someone has something snarky to say.  Usually it is some snide remark, sometimes I can’t understand them because they are slurring their words so much.  In those cases I will give them a ‘special’ wave and keep on running.  Only on a few occasions have I actually stopped when something was said to me, come to think of it the only time I have is when running by the bus stop.  Bus People, ugh!!!!  I’m not categorizing all people who ride the bus, I do from time to time.  Heck the people who say things may not even be riding the bus, they might just be hanging out at the bus stop.  People, ugh!!!  Anyway, I’m not one to just let things go without a response if I feel one is warranted, sometimes you have to stop and let people know what they said is not appropriate.  I’m usually not so kind in my phrasing or tone.

Cat calling!
Cat calling!

5.  Smokers

You wouldn’t really think this is a problem when running, but if you run in an area with restaurants or businesses you probably know what I mean.  People who congregate in one area and puff away on their cigs, that’s what all the cool kids call them; I think.  It creates this plume of smoke that billows from the area like the exhaust stacks from a factory.  I usually pull my shirt up over my nose or cover my nose with my hands.

Puff Puff!
Puff Puff!

Don’t forget to enter my giveaway before July 30th, you could win a Nike+Sportband!

What are your running (pet) peeves?  How do you deal with them?

-Veggie Fueled Runner

Look!  Something sparkly!
Look! Something sparkly!

Odd Mileage Races

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I’m just Thinking Out Loud here…What’s up with races that have odd and unusual mileage?  I’m not talking about a 5k, 13.1, 26.2, 50k, or even 100k though they are ‘odd’ mileages.  I’m talking about the races that aren’t that common as in a 6k, 10 miler, 12 miler, and the most recent I have seen a 6 miler.  Let’s start out with a race I do like and have ran three times but got me thinking about this entire issue…

Source:  baltimoretenmiler.com
Source: baltimoretenmiler.com

I like to be able to run a distance I am familiar with and have the opportunity to PR if I have a bad day.  A few months back I ran the Baltimore 10-miler and had an ‘off’ day.  Before the race I was probably over confident that I was going to get a PR, because my training was going really well.  It wasn’t in the cards though, I missed my PR time I had set the year before by close to 2 minutes.  It was very disappointing.  As soon as I got back to the car I started looking for another 10 mile race.  If I remember correctly I think I found one and it was a few hours away from me.  Waiting a full year to try and PR at that distance again really irked me, but I’ve resigned myself to that and will just have to wait.

Source:  Dundalk Heritage 6k Facebook Page
Source: Dundalk Heritage 6k Facebook Page

There is a local 6k race, the Dundalk Heritage 6k, held on the 4th of July.  It is a pretty awesome course that goes along the route of the 4th of July Parade.  4th of July is Dundalk’s second season, the other is Christmas.  But I digress, I didn’t run the 6k this year because I had committed to other things that morning but I’m not sure I would have ran in it anyway.  My training schedule called for a 6 mile run that day, 6k is well short of that so I would have had to add on miles.  A race like this doesn’t really fit into a training plan and it isn’t a race distance you see to often.

Source:  active.com registration page
Source: active.com registration page

Coming up in September is the Charles Street 12, a mostly downhill 12 mile course in Baltimore City.  In past years I have steered clear of this race because it was held in August, traditionally the hottest month in Baltimore.  This year I am going to run it to gauge where I am at in training.  My plan calls for a half marathon that weekend, but this is close and I’ll run a little before or after to make up the mileage.  Again here is a race distance that only happens once a year, so I better hope to have a great day and not have any unexpected ‘stops’ or issues on the course.

Source:  bostonstreetrunning.com
Source: bostonstreetrunning.com

Finally the Baltimore 6-miler, which is a new race this year, is the distance I am least adversed to.  While it is an odd race distance, I think it is much easier to work it into a training plan and adjust the rest of the week if you need to.  Though it did strike me as odd when I saw the advertisement, why not make it a 10k race?  It is another .2 miles and a much more common race distance.

Is this just a pet peeve of mine?  What do you think of odd distance races?  Does knowing you will have to wait along time to try and PR again deter you from running certain distances?  When you are training for one race will you run others?

Don’t forget about my free giveaway, coming up on July 30th!

-Veggie Fueled Runner

4th of July

The other day I saw Picky Runner did a ‘day in the life of’ blog, so I thought I would follow suit on today.  As a veteran this holiday is especially important to me, it is a time to remember those who fought for our freedom and are still fighting for it.

0530:  Alarm goes off, snooze twice

0549:  Finally wake up and get in the shower and get ready for the day.

0616:  Make breakfast.

Quick, easy, healthy, and filling breakfast!
Quick, easy, healthy, and filling breakfast!
0633:  Filled up the fountain as I left the house.

Daily Routine
Daily Routine
0641:  Walked by my friend’s house, who is setting up for his annual 4th of July Parade.

Phil's house at the top of my street, he gets ready early!
Phil’s house at the top of my street, he gets ready early!

IMG_5047
People place chairs out to make sure they get a spot for the 4th of July parade.

IMG_5046
Grand Stand and Dundalk Main Street
0654:  Arrived at Parade start line; since I am President of the Dundalk Renaissance Corporation, I get to walk and represent the organization.  We also have one of our volunteers who likes to dress as ‘Uncle Sam’ ride in a convertible.

Just a few people starting to get ready.
Just a few people starting to get ready.

Gov. Hogan's campaign bus is here.  I find that odd, considering he won the election months ago.  Perhaps stop campaigning and start governing.
Gov. Hogan’s campaign bus is here. I find that odd, considering he won the election months ago. Perhaps stop campaigning and start governing.
0708:  Lead runners pass parade start line.

Lead Runner in the Dundalk Heritage 6k
Lead Runner in the Dundalk Heritage 6k
0710:  First Ladies pass in group of 3.

Tight race for the women!
Tight race for the women!
0714:  Marching Ravens arrive.

Marching Ravens, a piece of living Baltimore history.
Marching Ravens, a piece of living Baltimore history.
0715:  My best friend and his wife, pass by on race course.

John and Marisa Olszewski on the course, Marisa running for 2!  She pointed out she was running and I was not! ;)
John and Marisa Olszewski on the course, Marisa running for 2! She pointed out she was running and I was not! 😉
0841:  After over an hour of waiting and wondering where the car for the Parade was at, it finally arrived and the parade started.

Our car and 'Uncle Sam'
Our car and ‘Uncle Sam’
0842:  Parade starter dropped her pen, so I picked it up for her.  When I handed it to her she said, “Oh, you probably shouldn’t have touched that I am really sick.”  Great hope I don’t get sick!

0847:  Someone in the crowd boos ‘Uncle Sam’ because Uncle Sam is the one who raises taxes…only in Dundalk.

0915:  I always see people I know along the route, one person I always look forward to seeing is my second grade teacher, Mrs. Shatz (pronouned Shots) and her husband.  I also saw my high school librarian, Mrs. Kimos and her husband in the same spot.  Oddly, they don’t know each other, other than from seeing each other at the parade each year.

0950:  The rain starts but we are close to the end, just a light rain, but I’m not looking forward to running in the rain again.  After walking the 3 mile parade route and started and stopping, I’m pretty tired.

1010:  The parade is over we pack up the decoration from the vehicle and I walk back to the DRC and then home.  During the parade I always make sure to shake every Veteran’s hand, at least those that are easily identifiable.

1025:  I arrive back home, it started raining pretty hard so I had put on my Lululemon Pack-it jacket, during the walk.

Glad to be home and out of the rain!
Glad to be home and out of the rain!
1040:  Make a sandwich and relax.

It doesn't sound good but it is delicious!
It doesn’t sound good but it is delicious!
1050:  Called my parents since forgot to call them back from earlier in the week.

1056:  Catch up on DVR’d shows.

1245:  Woke up from a nap, still don’t feel like running. My legs and feet are so tired after the last few days.

1319:  Started my run, today was 6 miles at ‘race pace’  I wanted to run a little faster but I ran an 8 min pace.  Around mile 3 I saw a truck that had a Confederate flag on it.  It really bothers me that people fly that flag, on a day like today.  Probably not for the reasons you think.  I’ll write more about that in another blog.

The Sweat Life
The Sweat Life
1417:  Shower

1432:  Walked to my friend’s party.  (see earlier pic)

1526: Left party to eat at the Heritage Fair before my shift at Stouten’s snowball stand starts.  I help them out every year.

1529:  Arrive at the Heritage Fair, Phil lives pretty close and it is a quick walk.

People getting ready for the concerts.
People getting ready for the concerts.
1538:  Ate two slices of really greasy pizza, thank goodness I ran.  There isn’t much for vegetarians to eat at the fair.  I did see a sign that said Veggies and got excited, but when I got closer I saw they were deep fried veggies, sort of defeats the purpose.  Then again greasy pizza can’t be that healthy either.

IMG_5076

Probably not the best thing to eat, but my options were limited!
Probably not the best thing to eat, but my options were limited!
1600:  Start my 6 hour shift working at the snowball stand.  

Best snowballs around!
Best snowballs around!
2000:  You could hear what was suppose to be the big band called ‘Merica’. Only in America are we to lazy to pronounce America. 

2200:  Shift is over and my legs and feet are throbbing from being on them all day.

2213:  Arrive home!

2220:  Shower

2245:  Sleep!

How did you spend your 4th of July?  Happy Independence Day!!!

-Veggie Fueled Runner