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The People You Meet On Runs

Last night, I went on a great run. I know four miles aren’t impressive to just about any of the bloggers I follow, but it’s a good distance for me. I consider it one of my long runs, and while I’m fairly certain I can push myself to do six miles the next time I run (time permitting), the fact that I ran four miles on a weekday evening, in the middle of a hectic week, made me very proud of myself.

I ran through Sligo Creek Park, and in and out of Downtown Silver Spring, Maryland. The weather was great, and there were lots of people out running, playing tennis, walking their dogs, cycling, throwing frisbees — you name it! For me, it’s always nice to be around people who are being active. You can sort of absorb some of that energy, and it helps you stay motivated during your workout.

About halfway through my run yesterday, I could not run up this steep hill any longer, so I started wogging. Then I started walking. My legs felt so tight, and that hill seemed never ending.

Three minutes into my walking, I saw a woman up ahead, taking flowers from the landscaping in front of this small apartment building. She had two tennis rackets in one hand, and was looking around, checking to see if anyone saw her. When she finally realized that I was walking toward her, and I saw her, she got out of the flowers, and started walking towards me. When she got closer to me, she turned to me and said, “keep up the good work!” and gave me the thumbs up. She was this adorable little lady, with a French accent. She was so genuine with her statement that, you know what? I started running again! And I ran the rest of the way, despite the additional hills along the way.

I know that it’s easy to complain about the cat calling and indecent exposure that one might see on a run, and those things should be discussed, don’t get me wrong; however, I think it’s also cool to acknowledge the people you meet/encounter on runs who enhance your running experience. Thank you to that lady for giving me that extra push I needed last night!

Have you ever had anyone encourage you during your neighborhood run? What inspires you to run faster/longer when you’re out on a run? Do you like running when there are other people out on the path or trail?

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