During my five miler on the beloved treadmill (I am kidding here!) my mother was sitting outside on the terrace in front of the gym and got the chance to listen in to a group of british tourists talking about me. They were watching me and said “look at that girl running!” and then a little later “she is doing really good, she is still running!” When I heard this, it made me really happy!
Another time I was running around the neighbourhood of my university when a woman made her way up the hill as I was just sprinting down. She gave me a huge smile and the thumbs up.
And finally, on a different occasion on one of the trails I run on I lapped another runner who also gave me the thumbs up. I had a really hard workout that day but the other runner made me feel so much better that I decided not to cut my run short and instead finish it all.
What I am saying is that runners can and should be a great community. When I run on the trails, runners always greet each other with a good morning or a hello. Even those who are doing a rather hard session usually do a little wave or nod. And almost everyone looks you in the eyes for a moment at least.
Of course this is also a matter of safety – if you greet someone on the trail they are more likely to remember you. I have read of runners who will tell people their name when they run alone very early or late in the day.
But above all this it seems like an international thing to be polite when crossing ways with other runners. I noticed it here in Spain but also when I was in France – runners lock their eyes for a moment. What does it mean? Probably a common understanding that we all are doing something great? Or appreciation? Or something like: we are different, we are lapping all those who are sitting in their cars or at home on the couches! (I`m not saying that this is bad and that you can not be a runner and sit down – I use my car daily)
I encourage you to give the next runner you meet a little nod if you do not already and share this bit of understanding with the others that are working hard to reach their goals!
If you had any positive and encouraging experiences with other runners, share them with me, please!