There are many things I love about running. Some of these include being out by myself on a bush trail with only my own thoughts, other times I enjoy running on the busy trails just observing people. I also enjoy running at a good solid pace, meeting specific goals of a training session and knowing that what I am doing will probably lead to faster racing and maybe some health benefits. A couple of days ago I had to go into to Richmond for work, so I decided to take advantage and run the trails along the Yarra river at the end of the day.

The session was a threshold run consisting of 2x20min at 80-90%HRmax, with a 3 minute jog between and naturally a warm-up and cool-down either side. One of the key factors in achieving a benefit from this run is the prolonged time at which the heart is pumping at a higher rate combined with the sustained, repeated muscle contractions. Therefore, stopping during the intervals is not really an option for me, it defeats the purpose of the run. I don't expect non-runners to understand these details. I don't expect them have a concept of my thinking behind running, after all people aren't mind readers. I also don't expect people to yell abuse at me because I don't stop running to give them directions.

Five different people tried to ask me for directions, for street names I hadn't heard of or a park or reserve that I wasn't sure was near here. I didn't know the area well, just well enough to know there were a lot of trails to run along. So I simply replied to the first three people, trying to sound polite, "Sorry, I don't know the area," and kept running. I thought that would be appropriate. Not so, according person number 3. He took personal offence and yelled a tirade of abuse at me. This did not encourage me to then stop and help him out because he was obviously such a nice a guy after all. Furthermore, I had already seen him walk past about six other walkers that he didn't even attempt to ask for directions. Why pick the runner out of everyone else?

I asked a couple of people yesterday would they pick the walker or the runner to ask directions. They both chose the runner, saying there was a higher chance they knew the area better than the walker. Fair point, but I don't think most runners would stop.

After Mr Angry, I then had another guy, an adult try to get me to stop, climb over a fence into a paddock to retrieve his football. I couldn't see any reason that he couldn't do it himself. I was starting to get a bit sick of it all, so I just completely ignored the last two requests for directions. I felt rude, but I was over it. It was affecting the enjoyment of my run.

"It is so easy to be confrontive without being informative; indignant without being intelligent; impulsive without being insightful." - Neal A. Maxwell


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