Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Against the tide

I took my favourite long-run route out to the Beaches this past weekend, found myself sharing a trail with organized tune-up runs going on. So while I was on my own long run, these groups were on their 20K or less catered runs, with marshals and water stations. It was odd timing, but doing by out and back I passed pretty much all of the runners in that tune-up run, and I found myself nodding at runners. It's a runner thing.

I later ran west back toward downtown, and saw hundreds of cyclists, in pelotons. It occured it to me that I spend an inordinate amount of time going against the tide, it seems. I run year round on a trail used five months a year by bike commuters. The other seven months, I tend to get the trail to myself, and for the bleak winter ones, I truely feel alone, save for the other few crazy runners.

Runners don't often wave at cyclists, but runners, we tend to single out each other. I often whimsically stare at the bikes stream by me, and I check out their cadence, the athlete's build. Sometimes, I get a little frustrated that it takes me so much longer to go the distance. They buzz by me, they buzz by me on their way back. Not a nod or wave. (Don't get me wrong, this is no anti anything rant, just observations of an every day runner).

Today, as I reached the halfway mark of my 10 mile run, I remembered years ago when I used to bike to the exact same point and thought back then that the distance was far. I thought about today, when 10 miles is an everyday event, where an hour and a half on the trails was the usual way I'd spend a Tuesday night. I was running at around an 8 minute mile, and the cardio felt great. I was barely breathing hard. That's what feels good to be in the midst of training. Every run you get a little stronger.

On those roads, it's nice to be a runner, I suppose. A little painful at times to go the distance, and even though you're going at a good clip, you're just a slow moving object compared to those roller bladers and bikes. I guarantee that in six months, I'll be on these same roads, headlights on, layers on and my own trails. The tide will turn my way, just you wait.


tms said...

Waving is a bit of an odd dynamic between sports. In both running and cycling one almost always gets a friendly wave or nod when crossing the path of others doing the same (in my experience I'd almost say it's even more common on the bike). Between the sports, however, it's difficult to even get a response let alone an unsolicited wave.

With that said, on a shared use path like the MGT it's a bit more understandable than the rural roads up here. With them passing a few feet away from you at 30+km/h, it's likely better that they keep both hands on the controls ;)

Marlene said...

I've been loving my super early runs because the roads and paths are dead quiet. NOBODY around. Feels like winter, but without the cold. ;)

I'm learning to embrace this mid-week long run. 16K seemed impossible for a Wednesday a few weeks ago. Now I'm ready for 18 next week.