Thursday, December 29, 2011

The Runner to Runner Wave or Nod

This afternoon I went on a run. It was 44 degrees.

I saw a dozen or so runners along the path. About half of them gave a wave or nodded. I returned the greeting.

Are runners more friendly during the holidays? Or does the seasonably-mild weather bring it out? Hardly anyone waves along the lakefront path in the summer. Maybe that's because we're too busy trying to contend with all the runner and bike traffic, or we're too focused on training or something else.

I started paying attention to the wave last year as I committed to winter training.

If I have it right, I think the logic goes something like this:

As the weather progressively gets colder, fewer runners venture outside. Now that there's less people, we're more likely to greet the ones we see.

Therefore, at a certain degree Fahrenheit you're left with two types of runners - the hard cores and the crazies.

How do you tell the difference between the hard core and a crazy? Two ways - Gear and speed.

The hard core people wave on the premise that we're all out there to get our training in, regardless of the weather. They are thinking motivational thoughts like 'Live Strong' or 'Dig Deep.'

The crazy people wave to acknowledge the basis of their craziness. They occasionally ask themselves, 'Why the hell am I doing this?' and consider visiting their gym's treadmill for their next run.

The wave or nod can be used interchangeably. However, if you are nodded at, you should nod back (and vice versa). If you throw a wave after you've been handed a nod, it's like missing on a high five.

Waving and nodding seems to be more common in the City.

Along the North Shore, the wave is sometimes followed with a 'Good Morning' which can be quite pleasant. Though I usually don't get a reply in. Then I feel bad I didn't verbally greet the friendly runner. Also on the North Shore, drivers will back up if they are in the right of way of the sidewalk to let a runner through. Amazing! But that's another blog post.

On the rare occasion that I come in contact with another runner in the southwest burbs, I think they must be in shock or don't know of the wave. Maybe we should start the trend?

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