Wow, thanks for the feedback on the results of my summer running survey! It was indeed fun to hear such varying viewpoints on how/when we run in extreme hotness! I apologize to those of you who missed out. I had no idea so many of you wanted in on that. Not to worry though because I have a new survey question to ask all of you. Before I do, let me announce that since so many of us expressed interest in participating in these, I'm going to make it a regular feature every Friday on my blog! Every week, I'll have a new survey question for you all to think about, mull over (perhaps on a long run) and comment on throughout the weekend. Then, by the middle of next week, I'll tabulate the results, generate a scientific analysis and post my conclusions based on my findings. I think that would be cool, interesting, informative, and fun...for you and for me!
So here's my survey question for the week. It is actually based on something I experienced today while out on a morning run. Allow me to paint the picture for you.
It's Friday morning, 5AM. I enter the park just as the first rays of dawn hits the earth. There's a cool breeze in the air which is refreshing, a stark contrast to the dry and still heat we have had for the past week. I'm running at my recovery speed, enjoying the scenery and the fresh air. I feel generally happy because it's Friday and I've got cool plans coming up this weekend. In the near distance, I see a guy my size and height running towards me all serious and business-like. I give a slight wave with my right hand. He blows by me without acknowledgment. Okay, maybe he couldn't see me through this reflective sunglasses. I move on. A half mile later, I see an older woman running and approaching from that same side. I waited until she was within earshot of me. "Hi. Good morning!" I said succinctly. It startles her. She falls over a step onto the grass before apologetically mumbling "Oh Hi!" and running away. Oh, that was maybe too strong. The third runners comes through about a quarter of a mile later. It's a teenager this time. A lanky high school runner. Probably on the track team. I decide a nod was probably appropriate here, so I flick my head when he's within my visual field. He runs by, staring straight ahead, oblivious to my existence. By now I'm agitated, irritated, and hating life because I just can't seem to get this right. Never mind the next several runners I passed did say Hi back or wave or in general acknowledged my existence in some way. But by then the damage had already been done. I basically had an anxiety complex trying to decide how best to greet the next approaching runner everytime I saw one. I was traumatized for the rest of my run and through the entire day.
So, I ask you, my fellow runner friends, for my survey question of the week - What is the most socially acceptable way to acknowledge a fellow runner approaching from the opposite side? What is the social etiquette? Is it a quick wave, a nod or a verbal greeting of some sort? Do you do a combo of things hoping to ensure that you'll catch their attention? Do you vary your tactics based on age, race, sex, location, religion, political affiliation, or how you happen to be feeling that day? I really would like to now. [For the purposes of the survey, please declare a preference and then state your reasoning. Thanks.] I'm surely going to think about this on my seventeen mile long run tomorrow.
I thank you in advance for leaving a comment and participating in this survey. Have a fun, safe, and hopefully cool weekend!