Friday, 10 September 2010


Let us just, for one moment, ignore all my previous rants about my husband running with me and think about etiquette. Stephen has always walked on the outside edge of pavements when were are out and about together. Historically the gentleman walked on the outside to save the lady from being at best splashed as carriages trundled past and at worst being hit by a carriage (although in days when women had no property rights being widowed was probably a fate worse than death for some of them!)

When we run together, Stephen runs on the outside of me. We always run facing oncoming traffic, so my right side is closest to the hedge/house/wall. As a result I am the one who gets poked in the eye by low hanging branches and who makes close contact with nettles. I am the one with scratches down my arm where I have been attacked by overgrown brambles! Maybe we should swap places?

Then there is another thorny etiquette question... When two people run together how much effort should the slower runner make to keep up with the faster, or should the faster runner moderate their pace? I hate hills and am slower on them than my husband. I am happy for him to run ahead but hate it when he is STANDING at the top waiting for me to catch up! I do keep telling him to 'just run on!' We are running the Paris to Versailles road race 'together' and he has said that he will run with me, even though he is faster than me. I know that, were the roles reversed, I would not do the same! I am happy to start a race with anyone, but want to run in my own time, to the best of my ability to get the best time I can on the day. Maybe that makes him a better person than me....

And etiquette for non runners: if you see a runner pounding the pathway, sunglasses on, earphones stuffed in ears they are sending a pretty clear message that they are busy and do no want to stop to tell you what the time is or where the nearest public library is! And dog owners, for the love of God PICK UP AFTER YOUR DOG! My trainers cost a fair amount of money and are not easy to clean - I do not like stinking of dog shit. And while on the subject of dogs, I'm not too keen on the game some dog owners think we runners want to play... we do not want to play jump rope with your dog's lead! Keep that lead short please - this has the added benefit that your dog will have fewer chances to try to use my calves as a chew toy.

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