Back in my neophyte running days, maybe '77 or '78, I was midway through a 3 or4 mile run one Saturday morning when one of the "neighbors" (here you can substitute any of a number of disparaging names) rolled down the window of his pickup truck, fully equipped with an Easy Rider Rifle Rack, and "chucked" a loaf of Wonder Bread ("Helps Build Strong Bodies 12 Ways") right at my head. He missed and the rest of the way home I kept telling myself it could have been a can of peaches or something similarly hard. I've had a thousand laughs over that incident through the years, but I also focused in on a survival strategy for running among the "non-believers," the neighbors.
Bond with the neighbors. Ever since the Wonder Bread incident I wave at every oncoming car or truck while I'm running. I think it works pretty well too. On the back roads, I think we all tend to see the same vehicles again and again, at least for the most part. I really believe by waving, it establishes a relationship or bond with the driver and he or she then has less of a propensity to try and run me down, or throw a loaf of bread at me. Most, and I emphasize most, folks are really decent and will slow down or pull away from the shoulder to avoid any close calls.
Now that Spring is in the air, many people are out in their yards or sitting on their front porches. I carry the waving philosophy farther here. I make it a point to speak to everyone I see within earshot. Just a simple "great evening" or "this weather is more like it." I know I'm speaking to the same folks to whom I wave, but I still maintain it helps to build that stronger bond. Helps them to not sic Fido on me too.
Spring is such a great time of the year. Longer days, warmer temps, less ice and snow (most of the time). Last week during a road run, I saw a dead Ring Neck Racer. For you non-herpetologists out there, that is a very small (6 or 9 inch snake). They are docile, non-venomous, and very pretty. It saddened me to see this little guy dead. Still, a sure sign of Spring.
Last evening, as I was running 8 on the Chenoweth Creek Road near its namesake creek and my home, I ran through a large spinner fall of Mayflies. I think they were Hendricksons or Quill Gordons, but couldn't tell for sure. Spinners are the final life phase of the Mayfly and get their name from "spinning" above the water just before they fall and lay their eggs in the film, to begin the life cycle all over again. We'll see the results of that next spring. These bugs were spinning above the road. Maybe they were confused, but Chenoweth Creek runs right beside the road where I encountered them. For ten yards or so, they were so thick, I had to be careful not to ingest one or more of them. Another welcome sign of Spring.
"If your heart can believe it and your mind can
conceive it, your legs can achieve it."