Earlier today I decided to do some half-mile intervals around my block (it’s a school day, and I didn’t want to go to the high school track only to find it already taken).
So, I threw on my manly running tights, a couple of shirts, a hat, and regrettably, no gloves. And for speedwork I of course use my trusty Five Fingers (it just occurred to me- why did they not name the shoes Five Toes? Or, more accurately, Ten Toes, with the added bonus of an alliteration?).
I warm up a bit and then head off (as usual, way too fast). And, since I was going back and forth along the same stretch of road, I passed a mailman on his route each time. After my last interval I was walking in circles in my post-speedwork pose (hands on the hips, slightly bent over, taking deep breaths- you know the one), when the mailman I had passed came around the corner and saw me.
The conversation that ensued went something like this:
“That was quite a pace you were running, I don’t think I’ve ever seen that fast,” the mailman remarked.
“Yeah, well, it’s only for speedwork, not long runs,” I replied.
“I’m a runner myself,” said the mailman, “but I only do an eight minute mile for my long runs.”
“Yeah, me too, for long runs…”
You get the idea. The conversation then went to my Five Fingers, which were new to him, then on to racing, and finally to him wondering why the heck I wasn’t wearing gloves (“They were dirty,” I said, as though that were really an excuse).
My point being that all runners have a connection. My conversation with the mailman would not have struck up if he wasn’t a runner himself; even if he commented on my pace without being a runner himself, the conversation would have ended much sooner than it did.
It’s great to know when I’m talking to a runner that he will appreciate what non-runners merely scoff at, will get the lingo, and understand the urge to run.
But running is more than a topic that is discussable with other runners; it’s truly a bond.