Running Path Rules

Runners, in general, are good human beings. I really believe that. (PS I also think that most human beings are good human beings, but let’s focus on runners since this is a running page.) I say this cause I listened to Making Oprah on my run this am, and Oprah says having a clear intention for everything you do is important, so I feel compelled to point out that 99.9993% of runners I’ve encountered know all of the following things. I just want the other 0.0007% to get up to speed, etiquette-wise. Maybe no one has told them? Maybe if I write a quick blog, I can make a difference. I can change lives, Oprah-style. So here we are, a few rules of the road, my platform for making the running world a better place.

  1. Take yo’ trash home with you. Nothing, I repeat nothing, hits the ground. Your pockets were good enough to hold on to full packets of energy gel, so I’m pretty sure the empty ones will fit in there, too.

  2. Be safe. I don’t trust cars. Well, I don’t trust drivers of cars. So it’s up to the runner to stop at intersections, make eye contact with said driver, and cross only when the car has stopped.

  3. Your music/podcasts/audio books should be heard by YOU, not me. This is like the person that watches a movie on a plane without headphones. Really? I have zero judgement for your tune choices (I cycle between several podcasts, Hootie & the Blowfish, JayZ, and all things 90s, so I have no room for taste-shaming); I just shouldn’t be hearing it. And check out a bone-conduction headphone option so you can still hear important things around you.

  4. Stay in your lane. This is the biggest offense I’ve seen. In the absence of lines, the path should be divided in 1/2, NO MATTER HOW MANY RUNNERS ARE ON IT. That means if you and your 3 friends are running south and I’m running north, I shouldn’t have to duck into the grass to make room for the bigger group. Nope, that 50% on my side belongs to me. Pretty please. And this goes triple for running groups- just cause there’s 50 of you running on an 8 ft wide path, you gotta stay on your side and be respectful of us singles out there.

  5. Chit chat? I’ll allow it. Lots of words spent about this subject, but I am pro greetings on the road. A quick wave or a “good morning” makes me happy, and I think it makes most people happy, so I’m gonna do it. There’s something about a “GREAT JOB” from a stranger that makes a long 10-miler a little shorter. I’ve also gotten a random “I love your pants” or a “hey! we have the same shoes!” Not a talker? My fave nonverbal greeting to give is the thumbs up. It’s my way of saying “I see you, you’re doing it, we’re moving forward.”

Have a nice run!

Winter Motivation

There are highs and lows of living in Indiana. I have no strong feelings for or against snow- it’s kind of pretty, it’s kind of a pain, it’s better when you have nowhere to go, and I have warm enough coats/gloves/hats/scarves to tolerate a sledding trip. But I have nothing nice to say about how dark it is. It is dark alllll the time. It’s dark in the morning, it’s dark in the evening, it’s nearly dark in the afternoon. And the darkness is what makes running so hard.

I was worried about my running this winter. Worried more than previous winters. I had been running with a friend for the last few years, and that friendship had fizzled, and I knew I was facing running alone for the first time in a long time. How in the world would I keep myself going when the going gets dark?

I knew myself well enough to know I needed a goal. I had been running pretty much year-round for the last 5 or 6 years. Would this be the winter I stopped? I didn’t want it to be, so I needed to take drastic measures.

And there’s nothing more drastic than a marathon.

I knew if I had a spring full, I would HAVE to keep running. Cause you can’t fake a marathon. I mean, at least I can’t.

I also knew myself well enough that my treadmill days were over. I just can’t do it anymore. If you’re a treadmill runner or walker, RESPECT. I just can’t do it.

My solution for the darkness has been a little 1/8 mile indoor track at a local gym. Crazy? Yes. There’s nothing pretty about running 10 miles in 80+ ovals. It’s laughable, really. But it’s also a steady temperature and well-lit starting at 5am on the weekdays. So I bought a punch card and have been trudging along when it was too icy or windy or just too dang dark to run outside. And guess what?

I’m still moving.

RUN JOG WALK is written 4 times on the track, so by my calculations, I’ve stepped on/over it ~1 billion times this winter.

RUN JOG WALK is written 4 times on the track, so by my calculations, I’ve stepped on/over it ~1 billion times this winter.

Fall Break Running!

It’s one thing to run on your home turf. Your stuff is there, there’s no way to be left unprepared. Running on vacation? Now that takes some planning. You have to bring #allthethings including clothing options for different weather. You have to have plenty of podcasts already downloaded, or have wifi available (side note: do people download things on data? Cause maybe I’m just cheap). And besides all the planning, you have to actually drag yourself out of bed early when there’s no work to be done and no alarms going off and actually put one foot in front of the other. That takes some dedication.

I have definitely done the dance of packing the capris, tanks, sports bras, arm warmers, gear belts, water packs, and then….nada. Ignored the clock and told myself I was walking more than I do on a normal day anyway and what’s one week with little red dots on my Training Peaks profile?

Well, this long weekend was different. Our fam was road-tripping (like we do) to Niagara Falls, which is about an 8 hour drive from our place in Indy. And it all just clicked this week: the hotel in Mentor, OH was in a nice little area and the front desk lady assured me it was safe to run so I got a good 5-miler in before breakfast. Then after a long day visiting the Falls, the boys were going to go to the hotel pool, and I decided it made NO SENSE to NOT run: we were smack-dab in the middle of Niagara Falls State Park with plenty of paved trails and it was 50 degrees and why not? Boom, 5 more miles. (side note: my watch went nuts and said I was running a 1:58 min/mile for a few minutes, so bank error in my favor?)

I don’t always succeed in running on vacation, but I always want to. That counts, right? There’s something satisfying in feeling like you’ve seen a city on foot. Like, I know this place a little better because I saw it at 7am when most people were still asleep.

What about you? Are weekend getaways time for a break? Or time for running?

Scenes from Niagara run!

Scenes from Niagara run!

Start a MM blog? OK!

Top 5 reasons to start a Mile Markings blog:

#5 I (Eleni) love a good convo. I’m a talker. I’m not necessarily a writer or techno-savvy, which is why I think this says that Scott has authored all of the posts :), but there’s something great about having a personal connection to a business page. We’re real people. We do all of this in our spare time because we love it and it’s fun, and hopefully the blog will show you how much fun we have!

#4 Sometimes we have more to say than a picture caption (social media problems) but we also don’t want to clog up inboxes with emails (do you read those? I’m afraid you don’t).

#3 It’s a nice, non-scheduled way to keep connected to our site. Will we post daily/weekly/every full moon? I have no idea. Let’s make a deal: we’ll only post when we have something to say, no matter how often (or not often) that is.

#2 Our little corner of the universe has some fun stories to share: about training, about races, about families, about racing and training and traveling with families. We’d love to do that here so you can see what we’ve been up to and why we believe so much in the power of running. Do we have the most unique, never-been-told, holy moley hold on to your sweatbands you’ll never BELIEVE this experience? Probs not. We’re pretty average. But man, we love the community of endurance athletes and we’re so happy to be a part of it.

#1 We hear a lot of great stories from athletes and we needed a place to share them. We’d love to have guest contributors and highlight awesome races and tell extraordinary and inspiring tales that make you want to grab your <insert fave brand shoes> and GO!

Let’s do this!