In the city near where I grew up, there was this crazy running man that roamed the streets. He was an older man and painfully thin. His normal garb was only red short shorts and running shoes. You'd see him at all corners of the city, running through yards, over bridges, and across busy intersections. Sidewalks were of no concern to him. He seemed completely oblivious of everything going on around him. I don't know anyone that actually knew him, but everyone knew of him and he was basically just known as "that crazy running man." (There was even a rumor that his wife died of some horrific cancer and that on the day she died, he just stopped running and never stopped. I'm pretty sure someone just made that up though.)
Well, I haven't thought much about the crazy running man in a long time. Not until a few months ago, when I was running across a busy intersection on the far end of town and caught a woman idling at the stoplight give me a sideways look from her car window. Her face displayed bafflement, surprise, and just a little bit of disgust.
Her look told me very clearly: I was the crazy running lady.
I quickly scanned over the course of my run in my mind...I had just ran through the parking lots of two car dealerships and McDonalds, literally leapt over a ditch by the car wash, crossed a 4 lane highway, and left the sidewalk behind a looong time ago. Hmm...I might give myself a sideways look, too.
I don't think I'd have to be the crazy running lady if this small town was a little bit more runner friendly. There is about a one mile stretch of sidewalk from downtown to the courthouse where people like to walk and jog when it's sunny, but it's pretty rare to see people veer beyond those confines. I like to do a little more exploration than that though and you can only run the same loops through neighborhoods for a few miles before it's time to go somewhere more interesting.
So, I've decided I'm okay with getting gawks from people picking up Mexican food at 3:30 in the afternoon. I'll even give a little wave if I'm not too wrapped up in whatever's on my iPod. Maybe I'll inspire another crazy runner!
Update! We have the running man's actual picture and story! I knew this had to be covered somewhere, but google did not find it for me. Thanks, Taylor!
I'm absolutely sure I'm not the only one. When did you first realize that you were the crazy running lady/man?