Thursday, February 18, 2010

The "God Factor"

When I ran 20 this past weekend, I originally was aiming for Friday, 12 Feb (I am off work every other Friday). That way the run is accomplished early in the weekend and not looming as a "must-do" for sometime later.

Well, Friday was all messed up owing to the aftermath of the 14" of snow we got last Tues/Wed. Schools were closed, there was significant drifting, and the wind was still howling.  Saturday morning was no better, with sustained winds of 20 mph with gusts to 30+. Sunday I had Mister Tristan duty in the morning, so the run became planned for 6:00 am on Monday, the Presidents' Day holiday.

This plan was actually much better--there was little to no wind, the roads were plowed wider, and I had the God Factor on my side....God Factor being the dearth of traffic early on Sundays, when people hereabouts head to church a bit later than on a workday, so a daybreak run is very quiet.

Or so I thought.  For some reason, there was much more traffic than there should have been, and finally I realized that it wasn't Sunday, it was Monday. Just felt for all the world like a Sunday morning.  And although schools, banks, and government offices were closed, there still was a bunch of traffic from everyone else going to work. My usual 1 to 2 cars per mile rule for an early Sunday run went out the window--it was more like 10+ (which still isn't bad, considering!).

I was quite sensitive to the approach of traffic, given the shrunken, snow-covered berms.  Whenever possible, I would cross the road (to the right side) to give a full lane's width cushion.  Where that was not possible, say due to traffic from both directions, I'd literally climb up onto the snow bank. 

I am mindful of the fact that whenever we are out there running on roads, we are in a sense "ambassadors of running."   So it behooves us not only to NOT be jerks, but to go beyond and give drivers a warm fuzzy feeling that we are trying to make their driving life easier, not harder.

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