When you’re training for stuff, you spend a lot of time out on the road. And technology can make double-digit mileage not just bearable, but enjoyable! Seriously, I listened to a book on tape during my 20-miler a little over a month ago and I was laughing at one point. Laughing. During a 20-mile run.
As an aside, Kathy Griffin’s book was nothing short of hysterical. Read it. The only thing? Kathy’s a little mean, and I don’t feel like you have to be mean to be funny. But you know, what, the book totally humanizes her. She’s a person, and her mean jokes sometimes are the way she’s coped with a sometimes icky situation.
Moving right along. So every single time I lace my my shoes, and head out, chances are, I interact with cars. Which means I’m forced to interact with drivers. Ugh.
The biggest danger to runners? People. We’ve already gone over the whole dog thing, but truthfully, other people, their inattention, and their stupidity are what’s probably going to kill you should you run into misfortune out on the road.
Issue 1: Hybrid Cars – Hybrids are great. If I could afford one, I’d get one. But when they get under speeds of like 20 mph (which usually happens for a right turn), they’re almost silent. So even when you’re being good and relying on your senses, hearing, to cross the street, you still run the risk of being mowed down my a Prius. That’s not a good way to go out.
Solution – when you’re crossing the street, first listen, then LOOK over your shoulder to see if a car is trying to turn down the street you’re crossing. Simple, but often forgotten!
Issue 2: Inattentive drivers – The worst I’ve seen most often is a driver, looking to turn out of somewhere (a side street, or a road), staring too intently at the traffic to see you approaching. Perfect opportunity for another terrible run in with a vehicle.
Solution – Approach the vehicle, and try to make eye contact. If need be, give a little wave. The motion should break the traffic trance the driver is in. Usually the driver will give an “OOH SORRY” look + wave. When that happens, you know you’re good to go.
Issue 3: Texting – Sigh. It’s every time I go out and run now. Every single time, drivers have their head down, texting.
Solution – Stop. Friggin. Texting. You friggin monsters. Seriously! Put your phone away away away, and let it wait. Please?
And runners and walkers? In order to stay safe, pay attention to your surrounds. That means turn the headphones down, or take them out completely, and you’ve reduced your chances of having a run-in with trouble by like a billion percent.