Thursday, August 30, 2012

Running: An Anthropological Speculation

I realize my blog has been pretty food-heavy lately. Clearly this whole30 thing is going straight to my head, so today I'd like to focus on a little something different, but still health-related..

Running! I'm not going to get all science-y on you, if you're worried about that. This is actually going to be more of an observatory human behavior piece.. (with a little bit of crude and offensive humor mixed in. It's all in good fun.)

First of all, let's address my need to take disgusting sweaty self-portraits after my runs. I truly don't understand this compulsion. On the one hand, it may be "Hey everyone! Look how healthy I am, I just went running!" kind of like my need to "check in" to the gym and Whoops! Would you look at that? It just told all my Facebook friends I'm at the gym! Weird! (Don't lie. Everyone does this. At least I can admit it.) Or maybe it's my way of telling my InstaGram followers: "Yo, I know I take a lot of shameless self-portraits that may leave you thinking I'm the narcissistic-ist of them all, but look! I also take photos of myself looking disgusting with no makeup... so that makes it okay, right?" Either way it leaves me with lots of laughable photos in my phone's photo album on any given day. Exhibit A:
(the one on the bottom right is the view through my ghetto "waterproofing" of my phone via sandwich bag before running outside with a very sketchy-looking grey sky)

Next I would like to discuss drivers of the world and their reactions to girls (I can't really speak for the male running population, but I would love to learn, so if any dudes even read my blog and happen to go running, please do fill me in) running on the side of the road by themselves. As far as I'm concerned there are a few different categories of people and the way they react to runners. 

1. The Honkers: The Honkers can be categorized further. 
a) Rednecks that drive huge trucks that generally have some sort of decal across the windshield saying something to the effect of "AMERICA! EFF YEA!" "Mud Lyfe" "Boats & Hoes" a rebel flag sticker or a pair of shiny, silver testicles hanging from the trailer hitch. There may or may not be several other equally rednecky good ol' boys in the bed of the truck hollering as well. Might be blasting Kid Rock or Nickelback.*
b) Ghetto-fied wannabe pimp daddies that usually drive some sort of crappy car that has been souped up with spinning rims and a horrible, horrible sounding bass pumping out jams that have intelligent and lovely lyrics like, "Ass and Titties" "Eff Bitches Get Money" or "Knuck if you Buck" (What does that even mean?) It's especially fun when the drivers of these vehicles are very scrawny white boys. Just saying.*
c) Rich, very cocky frat boys that drive Escalades and/or Range Rovers their daddies gave them when they turned 15 with their letters proudly displayed on the rear window and perhaps a Natty Light in a Guy Harvey koozie in the cup holder. Probably wearing a Polo shirt, Sperries and potentially backwards hat that says something along the lines of "Rage" "Go Hard" or their Greek letters. Probably listening to Dubstep or Kenny Chesney.*
d) Very creepy old men that  could easily be your father's age. These are the worst and scariest of offenders. These men may or may not have granddaughters your age and most likely click on those spam e-mails in regards to lengthening and hardening certain body parts -- that is if they even know what the internet is. Might be rockin' out to some classic rock.
e) Young girls who are giggling uncontrollably, blasting "Call Me, Maybe" and discussing in detail how fat your ass is. Most likely on their way to Mochi for some froyo (this may have been me and my friends in high school).
f) Family/friends because you live in a tiny, tiny town where everyone knows each other. You usually feel slightly guilty about your initial eye roll directly following the honk, but then get excited and risk adding a few seconds to your mile time to stop and talk to them. You also consider asking for a ride home because it's hot as eff outside.

*The creepiness of these gentlemen is directly proportionate to how good looking they are. If they are in fact pretty, you might be flattered and/or wishing that you weren't bright-red in the face and covered in sweat.

(What I think I look like while I'm running)

2. The Whiplashers: These are usually dudes (see a, b, c and especially d) that seem as though they might get whiplash from how fast their neck whipped around to watch you as they drove by.

3. The Overly Cautious: These folks are usually elderly and probably didn't think twice about running a stop sign farther down the road because they should have traded in their driver's license for their AARP card. They usually slow down to 2 mph as soon as they see you running and nearly hit the curb in the oncoming lane in order to give you a 20-foot-wide radius to run in.

4. The IDGAF Crew: These people don't give an eff about runners and feel as though we should not be allowed near the road that is made specifically for cars only. They do not swerve in the slightest when they see you coming, in fact they may even speed up just to freak you out a little. They have better things to do than slow down for runners, like buy expensive golf clubs and cheat on their husbands/wives. These drivers may have hit a bicyclist in the past and yelled at the cyclist for being an idiot afterwards. They also tend to get exasperated and throw their hands up when you get a walk signal at traffic lights and proceed to run across the road as the law requires.

5. The Runners: The ones who are driving home so they can put on their running shoes and join you. They swerve the perfect amount and tend to give you a little wave/head nod in camaraderie. You can spot them by their "13.1" or "26.2" stickers on the back of their cars.

6. The Majority: People who don't honk, look, smile or say anything to you. They just go on living their lives. *Might* be avoiding eye contact because they're on their way to McDonald's, however, the apathy of these individuals is generally appreciated by runners the world over.

(What I actually look like while I'm running)

Is this a national phenomenon or is this just what happens when you live in the south? Please share your running stories in the comments!

Linking up here for Inspire Me Healthy!

9 comments:

  1. Holy cow, SPOT ON.
    Though, we have a lot of "whistlers" here, too.
    Like I'm going to stop and say "Screw this run; I'll just hop in your busted-ass truck and drive into the sunset with you, just because you struck my fancy with a whistle."
    Barf.

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  2. Haha, I was actually just pondering this the other day. I question the compulsion to honk and yell "oww" as if it's original or flattering. I assure you, sir, I do not look attractive. I feel if you have to do it at least try a little harder to yell something more interesting.

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  3. My husband were running on a Friday night, it was pretty late (when all the creeps come out) and this truck of guys starts yelling at us and asking us why we were running. Thankfully we were running the opposite way that they were driving and we were able to out run them because they turned around and went to look for us!! It was kind of scary! This makes me want to get back running again! (:

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  4. Love this!

    I was running home one time and was expecting hubby to drive past me on his way home from wherever. When I heard a 'honk-honk' behind me, I automatically turned and waved (with a little too much enthusiasm), thinking it was him. It was not. In fact, pretty sure it was a "B" honker (probably laughing hysterically at my pageant-style wave) based on the plastic, spinning 'rims' and the iridescent green paint job.

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  5. How awesome! Yes you nailed this! I haven't hit the pavement, but at least I'm doing the hamster runs at the gym.
    When I was running the streets, I would get all of the above. That plus I'm on a busy street that tends to have buses (smog) and fast food restaurants (the smell of KFC and BK are horrible temptations!).
    Every so often, I'll find the city lawn people or construction. Sometimes even a shopping cart. Talk about obstacles!!!

    Andie's Traveling Pants

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  6. It would be so interesting to get the male perspective on this. On what planet would that behavior get some one a date?..

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  7. haha this was such a joy to read, you have a way with words for sure mackensie

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  8. You're funny. I run around a lake that has TONS of runners., with a trail specifically for runners and a trail specifically for bikers, and the road is separate. When I run, I SO TOTALLY in my "zone" that I barely notice anyone else. Just on autopilot enough NOT to run into anyone and avoid and variations/bumps in the trail, but beyond that, I concentrate on my breathing, and keeping up a a decent pace. I don't notice anyone!
    XOXO
    -Daisy Nguyen from PS BANANAS fashion blog:
    http://psbananas.com

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