100 Mile Challenge: Miles 23.38-27.39 – “Hello” Protocol

Today was a real struggle. I planned to do 4 miles and unlike previous runs, I was not optimistic or “in to it”. I didn’t want to be running, plain and simple. I had a bad attitude towards it and it made it difficult. I wanted to quit almost immediately and almost did when my loop brought me past my car at the 2.5 mile mark. However, I continued on and pushed through, finishing the 4 miles. While I was happy that I was able to keep going, I was more happy that I finished.

Miles Run: 4.01
Time: 47 minutes, 49 seconds
Miles to Go: 72.61
Days to Go: 110
Average Miles Per Day Needed: 0.66
Pounds Lost: 2
Pounds to Go: 33

I’ve mentioned it before, but one of the things I like about running at the Lehigh Parkway is all the people willing to say “Hello”, “Good Morning” or “Good Afternoon”. It seems especially prevalent in the morning. It is almost like there is a camaraderie among those of us that got up early to be there.

For the most part, the greetings rarely seem forced. They seem genuine and are often accompanied with big smile. I was actually surprised by it the first morning I was there. Of course there are some people that keep their heads down, avoid eye contact or just look like they want to be left alone. Plus, there are some awkward situations where you cross paths with the same person multiple times because of how it loops there.

One of the things that got me through the run today was thinking about the etiquette of this situation. I pondered whether or not I should be consistent in saying “Hello” to people. If someone is obviously doing everything they can to avoid eye contact, do I greet them? If someone is wearing a mask, should I help them feel safer and maximize the distance between us and keep my mouth shut?

Honestly, sometimes the smiles and “Good Mornings” help me through these runs. It cheers me up and for a few moments I forget how much running sucks. So I just try to greet everyone for both the sake of consistency and the possibility that maybe it cheers someone else up. However, the conundrum I have not been able to resolve is what to say to people you have already crossed path with and greeted them. For an introvert like myself, for some reason I find it extremely awkward.

I am curious to what others think, so I thought I would try something. Using the comment section at the bottom of this, let me know what you think. Do you greet other runners/walkers/cyclists when you are out on the road, in a park or on a path? If someone is avoiding eye contact do you greet them? In a time of pandemic, is saying “Good Morning” across a five foot path the same as saying, “Hey, here, have some Covid-19!” What do you say to someone you encounter for the second or third time? Let me know what you think!

Andrea found this challenge online to run 100 miles between now and the end of the year. I have been wanting to run more consistently and have also been wanting to write more often, so I thought it was perfect. I figure I could run and document it here in my blog.

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