Tuesday, 8 March 2016

THE PERILS OF URBAN RUNNING . . .

I don't get guest posts on here very often . . . but today the fella himself  has kindly volunteered to post about something you know I don't have much experience about myself . . . running! Maybe some of you can identify with some of the perils of urban running? Without further ado, let's find out!


Whilst not wholly unique to running round a built up area, these challenges are all from personal experience in and around Glasgow.  And, on talking to any other runners, I am certainly not alone!  Please note ‘you should run on a treadmill to avoid such issues’ is not a welcome retort.  In your heart of hearts you know that is not real running, get outside, we aren’t housecats!  J

Pavement dance

Run is going great, yep.   Good tunes playing, yep.  Pace bang on, yep.  Damn, a row of shops.  Hug the pavement near the kerb.  Experience teaches you that not one single person ever comes out a shop and looks left or right!  All going to plan …..then….. direct pavement competition, speeding towards a head-on crash!  Move left, they move left.  Move right, they move right.  Stuff it, I’m not changing course (we both think). ‘Should I apply the highway code? Good idea, I’ll stick to the left.  What if they are European?  Or a shore leave sailor? What if I go right then and just hope for the best?’ Damn!!! They’ve mirrored me, do I look like a Portuguese sailor turned driving instructor visiting Glasgow for a run?

Dog dodgems

Dogs are awesome, fact.  Even better for the ever lessening amount of pavement presents they used to leave behind!  Here is a snapshot of recent interactions with dogs:

Plotting their next move . . . :-/

-          Running beside me, ahead of me and around me

-          Running across me, lead attached, creating a unique steeplechase  experience

-          Stopping in front of me wanting some loving attention

I do typically concede and pat any dog that does stop in front of me; I may however curse their owner for any over-extended leads that cover the width of the pavement!

World’s busiest junction

You get to know junctions, especially on your favourite routes.  The order of the lights known and with a quick glance to check the pedestrian button you are free to keep running unaffected by crossing traffic ……. or so you’d think!  No amount of knowledge, planning or adjustments to pace is ever enough.  Where did that pedestrian come from?  That car is going straight, great…no wait…they just aren’t indicating, idiot!  Light going red, brilliant.  Traffic free junction….nope.  Someone runs a red light.  Then best of all, our cycling friends.  Do you want to cycle on the road or the pavement?  Do you want to follow the rules of the road or not?  Ah!  It’s none of the above!!!  Yep.  Worse than cars.  So beware if one of these things starts to take shape, it is likely they’ll all come together at the same time so tread carefully J

Space jam

Sometimes a Santa convention may get in your way!

Much like the pavement dance, space jam!  Pavements carry people just getting on with their lives.  I just want to jog, not get in anyone’s way and get finished in a faster time that I’ve done before.  But.  BUT; double buggys, groups of friends, drunken hens and stags, cyclists (again), running groups , bins, pub boards, phone boxes, bus stops…..what attracts them all to the narrowest part of the pavement when I’m approaching?  :-/

Splash or dash

Traffic, rain, poor roads, puddles = risk of an impromptu outdoor shower.  Speed up or slow down?  Believe in the human condition and no-one will drench you?  DON’T!  You’ve got to dash every time, get the hell away from the overflowing gutter ASAP!

Hello, head nod, wave, smile, steely dead eye stare dead ahead…

Runner to runner most will acknowledge each other.  Don’t run past staring off into the distance.   But equally, don’t look like a stalking maniac waving and smiling excessively either!  A nod or small wave will suffice.  A little runners’ etiquette if you will.  Makes every run that bit easier J

Aaaahh! A closed off to traffic 10k :-)

You’d think I don’t enjoy running after all that, but I do.  It’s just what makes every run unique!  I do escape to trail runs every so often….sometime my Portuguese friend shows up there too.


If you're a runner, do you have any other perils to add?

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