Thursday, February 17, 2011

Experienced runner or not?

Without being too obvious about it, I try to figure out if other people I see running on my regular route are new to the sport or long-time runners.  A bit like trying to spot the tourists if you are a resident of Washington D.C. They are the ones with Hawaiian shirts or Tilly hats, clunky walking shoes and fanny packs trying to figure out how to buy a Metro ticket, or asking for directions to the Smithsonian.   

It is not quite that easy to separate veteran from beginner runners. Of course if you see any running apparel with the official Boston Athletic Association logo, that puts the matter beyond all doubt.  Very thin wearing a singlet in very cold weather?  Really dedicated runner.  Old, frayed t-shirts sporting the names and logos of races that have not been run for 15 years is another good clue to the owner being of equal vintage status. 

Running update:  A very cold start to the month of February put a real crimp in my mileage.  After 5 consecutive weeks of running 40+ miles, my last three weeks tallied only 20, 21 and 23.  Probably just as well; less likely to get injured than if I were to have maintained the (relatively) high mileage.  With warmer temperatures having finally arrived last weekend, I'm hoping to get back to the 40's and maybe even an occasional 50 mile week soon!

This Saturday I will be running my first race in many months, a 6-k (3 X 2-k loop) cross-country race, the Buffalo Wallow. No doubt I will chasing some much faster Striders!  It should be fun though.  I will take the camera to capture a few pics of the open race which starts an hour after us old-timer Masters runners.


Junie B said...

That whole boston apparel on a person is a shoe in for a real runner?

not so fast. You can get boston marathon gear on ebay/internet for a steal.

maybe a real runner would be the only person to be so brazen to purchase and wear? I dont know.

i agree there are ways to distinguish but that isnt one of them. :)

Amy said...

I figure anyone who gets out there and moves at quicker than a walking pace is a "real" runner to me. We all just do it in our own way - that's the beauty of running.

Good luck with your race this weekend!

Bert said...

Amy thanks for your comment. I was trying to be humorous and it came out sounding elitist, I now realize. I'm all for encouraging runners of any status. I've edited the piece to remove some of the silly statements...

Amy said...

No worries, Bert, I know you are very supportive of other runners - just look at those beautiful race pictures you take - of everyone! Just wanted to get my two cents in!