I'm a street walker.
But before you get your minds in the gutter, I must also tell you something else.
I'm also a street runner.
It's more about logistics than anything else. It's much easier to negotiate a stroller on a semi-smooth road than it is a sidewalk with its bumps and dips and tree limbs and sometimes parked cars. If it's a whole family run, we simply can't fit on the sidewalk. The BOB takes up a good 75 percent of available space and Denali would take the whole sidewalk to himself if he could.
Of course, when I run alone, I could opt for the sidewalk. And, sometimes, I do. However, weather (roads are more likely to be plowed and salted) and plain old habit keep me on the streets 70 percent of the time.
And that's where I found myself on Sunday during my long run. Before I tell you the story behind this post, I need to tell you a little bit about this run. I had 6 miles on tap as a pseudo taper ahead of this weekend's Rock 'n' Roll New Orleans half-marathon relay. During taper weeks, I always have this little devil saying that it would be totally OK to wuss out on the run and do just a few miles. Such was the case on Sunday. My legs were heavy and sore from Saturday's Body Pump class and I only had Mark with me for 3 miles. Three miles as we set off just sounded better than six.
However, for all my mental weakness, I found myself really enjoying the run. By the time I dropped off my three boys and set out on my own, I felt amazing. It was one of those times that you wish running would be all the time but, in reality, you only experience 10 percent of the time. I felt strong. Fast, even. (Note: Feeling fast doesn't always equal running fast.) The sun was shining, making it easy to feel joyous for the ability and determination to run.
My state of euphoria, though, was burst just as I was about to enter the home stretch. I was standing - gasp - in the street, waiting to cross a semi-busy street into my neighborhood. I was waiting for a car to turn when an old lady turned onto the street where I was. As she passed, she waved her finger at me.
Maybe she was doing a little dance to some him jive music but I have a feeling she was shaming me. For standing in the street. If I didn't love my grandma so much or have a general fear of getting shot (you never know who is packing heat these days), I might have done something more than stand there in disbelief. I might have done more than spend the rest of my fabulous outing running with hate.
Don't get me wrong - I don't expect drivers to applaud as they pass me (though that would be nice) but I don't think they should be wagging their finger at me. After all, I'm braving the fake winter cold to do something good for myself and, in turn, good for my family. The shame should be on those who choose to look down and judge me for my decision.
But maybe that's just me. What are your thoughts?