Manners! and a new route

Mine, not anyone else's. I went plodding off on a new route today, a route that included a hill I hadn't tried before. We keep a couple of big hills lying around the town here, and I've run them both - slowly, I have to admit, but I can get to the top of both of them without having to stop.

This new route involved getting up to the top of town and then running out to a little village, round the village and back down the hill into town. I didn't actually know the distance - could have been 4k, could have been 8k, but that was all right, it was a new route and I wasn't bothered about speed - but I had a choice of hill. I could go up and down the one I know, or I could tackle the new hill, either up or down. I have run down it before, and didn't like it because it is very steep.

Note those words: 'it is very steep'. I knew this, therefore. But it's one of those things that you know intellectually but don't make the connection in your head, if you know what I mean. I told my daughter where I was going (so that she knew where to look for the body if I was gone too long) and she looked at me dubiously.

'Old Derby Hill?' she said. 'You're going to run up Old Derby Hill?'

'Yes,' I said confidently.

'It's very steep,' she said. (And there it was. Confirmed. Out loud by a third party.)

'I know,' I said, 'but I can always walk if it gets too much.'

'Riiiiiight...'

Anyway, I went, and sure enough, it is very steep. I had to stop twice. However, this doesn't matter because it just gives me a couple of markers for next time. Perhaps next time I will only have to stop once. And some day I will run the whole thing and I will come back here and tell you about it :)

But back to the point of this post. Finally, I hear you cry! After I had slogged up this evil outcropping from the dawn of time, and then got lost, and asked a postman who said, 'I don't really know, I'm not from round here' (HUH? How does that work then?), I eventually got back to the main road and was running along at what is euphemistically called 'a steady pace' (i.e. slowly) when I passed a chap standing at a bus stop.

'You make it look easy,' he said.

I muttered something about 'I wish I did' or something equally ungracious and carried on. About 20 yards further on my brain caught up with me and I realised just how miserable I'd been, so I turned and went back, and said, 'I'm sorry, the proper response to what you said is Thank you very much.' He laughed and said, 'Well, you're looking very well on it.' Nice man. It made me think about how we feel isn't always what other people see.

The rest of the run was okay, and I went down the easier hill instead of the evil outcropping etc. and it all ended up at just over 7km. A slow run, but a new route with some interesting features. I'll run it again, including the EOFTDOT to see if I can improve, and somewhere in that village I think I can get into a large park, so that should give me even more scope.

But in future, I shall remember to take my manners with me when I go running as well.

25 Replies

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  • What a wonderful story... and I am going to remember that 'recovery' phrase and remember that sometimes I'm the one who needs to use it.

    And yes, I'll be waiting for the one stop and no stopping stories!

    All sounds character forming. I sat on my butt and tried to come up with a suitable running related dedication for a book - my Dad loved my gift of an Emil Zatopek biography so much he wants me to write something in it. I didn't want something about never stopping etc

  • I know that I have to make an effort sometimes to receive compliments but I am ashamed that I was ungracious :(

    There will be posts about 'only one stop' and 'no stopping!' but you may have to wait a while because it is quite a hill.

    Hmmm... running dedications. There are many slogans out there but unfortunately many of them end up sounding rather trite. I hope you managed to find something appropriate?

  • It's a big hole in the way most of us (me included) are brought up and taught manners, how to receive compliments graciously. It shouldn't be hard, should it, just to say "Thank you" But don't be too hard on yourself - there's all that stuff about people being more loyal to companies who handle mistakes well, even more so than those who never put a foot wrong and I can well imagine that the effort you went to to put things right had an even bigger impact on him, and encouraged him to keep at it than just getting the response right first time.

    (So far I've only got "Runs faster than cheap pantyhose on an itchy porcupine")

  • It's true, isn't it - we are more inclined to put our heads down and mutter or turn the compliment away than just to say, 'Thank you.'

    Hmmm. You could keep looking, you know. Even the ones about 'No matter how you run, you're still lapping everyone on the couch'; 'Victory requires payment in advance'; 'Running: cheaper than therapy' - these are all better than your porcupine one. In my opinion, of course. Your dad may like that :)

    Oh - edited to add that I do like the quote from Robert Frost's poem Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, "The woods are lovely, dark, and deep, But I have promises to keep, And miles to go before I sleep, And miles to go before I sleep." If I squint at it it could be running related :)

  • Ah, now I think you may have hit on something with that last one... he's an orienteer, so...

  • :)

  • Well done - sounds a tough hill! I often wonder what people are thinking when they see me running.....

  • Thank you.

    That was what surprised me - I felt like my normal hot, slow, sweaty, beetroot-coloured mess of a runner, and he, bless him, said something different. Even if he was only being a gentleman, it made me start to think about other runners I see and wonder about how they are feeling.

  • I loved this Annie. Good for you for taking on the hill. And what a lovely compliment from the nice man πŸ™‚

  • He was a lovely man, bless him :)

    And that hill. I'll be back...

  • I know.......

  • Great post, I love your EOFTDOT, puts my inclines into perspective.

  • Ha, no doubt there is someone somewhere to whom my EOFTDOT is but a mere pimple :D

  • Well done, sounds like you did well with your mountain. Bless you for going back to talk to th man, I bet you made his day. I'm sure we will see the post soon that you conquered your "hill" Happy running.

  • Thanks, Rfc :) The nice man certainly made my day, and I hope my apology made up for my bad manners the first time round :(

    I will be back for another go at that hill! It will probably take me a few goes, but that's my new target - to get up it in one go!

  • That made me smile Annie.😊

    Well done and huge respect from me for taking on EOFTDOT or indeed any steep hills. Very nice of you to go back and apologise to the man at the bus stop for your near exhaustion remark!

  • Thanks, Jan :) I have avoided steep hills for so long but am gradually getting more confident - over-confident, in this case :D

    The poor man, I only hope my apology made up for my initial response.

  • Well done on that hill Annie, it had to be challenged and will no doubt shortly be defeated!

    I recently took on our 0.75k long and then v steep local mound! I had resisted until now as it was a monster. But no more, I flattened it with a full run up. #thisgirlrunshills.

    Such lovely manners too πŸ˜ƒπŸƒπŸΌβ€β™€οΈ

  • Well done on your monster of a hill! We can defeat them :)

  • well done on taking on your hill, I'm sure it won't be long before it's conquered. Living in the Thames Valley, we only have long inclines, not hills really, so I'm in awe of anyone running up or down them!!

  • Thank you! It's funny, because even living here I had avoided real hills for years, and even now I think there are many runners who would look at these and wonder what on earth I am going on about :D But long inclines can be killers too, when they just keep going on... and on... and on... :D

  • I missed this post.. and it is wonderful!!!!

    Well done you... Blimey, that hill sounds to be a leg killer!!!! I am in awe!

    And.. people are nice aren't they... just seem to be far and few on the ground sometimes.. except on here :)

  • Thanks for popping in, Floss! That hill is a bit of a killer, it has to be said :D But I'll go back and keep trying until we are friends :D

    The chap was lovely. I do hope he had a nice day.

  • There was hill in Aberystwyth where Little Mum did her B.Sc. they used to call it Cardiac Hill! :)

  • Yes! I've already christened one of the other two the Beast, although after Sunday I am going to need that name for something else. In the local running club, though, it already has a name - Punch. I have no idea why. Perhaps when you've run up it you feel as though you have been punched?

    Anyway, the Evil Outcropping From The Dawn Of Time is a little too long for everyday use, so perhaps I could borrow Cardiac Hill! It's either that or Killer, and I don't want that to be self-fulfilling :O

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