Run, Interrupted

Went out for my last run before my work charity race on Tuesday. i was just settling into the run at a pretty good clip when I saw a family pass out of the corner of my eye. The lady looked at me a little odd, but I continued on, until I heard them yelling at me.

I turned around and it was a friend of my partner's, we get together with them every few months. The lady was saying that "she normally doesn't stop people when they run", but then proceeded to ask about my weekend, my boyfriend's work, tell me about their plans for that afternoon, etc. etc. I really wanted to get back running, and was nodding up and down, trying to wrap it up - we could call them later. Her husband was making well-meaning but frustrating comments such as "looks like good form there" and "keep running on the spot while you talk to us".

After detaching from them I finished my run, which turned into more of a run-walk. My focus was completely gone, I had no steady pacing and I just couldn't get back into it.

Frustrating! I've never run into anyone I've known before on a run. In hindsight, maybe I could have just waved and carried on, but that seems rude. I guess for the rare occasion it happens, it's not so bad, but it would crush me once I return to longer duration runs.

What do you guys do when you see someone that wants to chat but you are itching to push on?


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13 Replies

  • I don't stop ! :-) On the very few occasions I have seen someone I know , I just shout "Sorry ! Can't stop " and then something like " If I stop I"ll never get going again "

    Most people seem to understand , I hope ! :-) xxx

  • Oh dear. The long-standing monster of being polite surges out of the childhood values wardrobe, rears its head... and eats your run. I don't stop - if you were running for the bus, would you miss it? If you were queuing for the changing room at Sports Direct during the boxing day sales, would you step out of line to go and chat? No way, José.

    It's not because you're doing something for your own pleasure (as opposed to 'necessity') that you should feel obliged to interrupt what you are doing. I yell "hello" as I run past, smile or wave, show them with a thumb to ear and little finger to mouth that they should call me, or tap my Garmin and shrug my shoulders, but I don't stop.

  • I say what Poppy says, "can't stop or I won't start again" because it's true, and if I see the person again I just apologise but reiterate that once I'm going I have to keep going.

    People I've said it to seem to have understood.

    How frustrating for you!

  • For me it would depend. If I had a special goal in mind - a distance or a PB or whatever, then no. But otherwise, yes I probably would (and I would probably stop to talk in the circumstances mfamilias describes too... depending on when the next bus was)

    I once stopped to chat with a birdwatcher - it was somewhere in my loooooong experience of Week 1. I still remember that with a smile when I run in that wood. I told him where I'd seen a hawfinch which wasn't the main spot known in these parts and he told me about the rare bird he was looking for that day. It was a step along the way to feeling comfortable being seen running and reassured me somewhat that running didn't have to mean giving up what I'd enjoyed about walks. It was seeing members of my extended family take running so terribly seriously that put me off ever doing it.

    I should say that I am (if I think about it which I try not to) quite socially isolated so a face to face conversation with a real live person outside my own family is not something to pass up lightly. The main difficulty for me would be the standing as standing is harder than walking or running.

    There's something a bit odd though about the circumstances of you being stopped. I can absolutely see why even if you'd recognised them you'd've waved and kept going but she called you back to have what on the surface of it sounds like an unimportant conversation with someone she sees often enough for the level of connection anyway. (Arguably it was a bit rude of them) I think in similar circumstances I might consider giving her a bell in the next week or so....

  • It was odd, because she specifically mentioned she didn't stop people running. Oh well. Next time I'll be more prepared. Your birdwatcher incident sounds interesting - that sounds like something worth stopping for!

  • I am totally selective: I stop if I like the people I meet, I carry on if I don't that much ;-)

  • I don't stop. A smile, a wave and depending on who they are "got to keep going, see you later!" Nobody comes between me and my runs... ;-)

  • I'm short sighted and don't wear my glasses when I run, so anyone who knows me also knows that I am exceptionally unlikely to recognise them if they just wave to me (but I always wave back to anyone waving, including to complete strangers ...). If someone calls my name, I will run over to determine who they are, but slso then use the 'can't stop or I won't restart' excuse (very true for me!) and tell them that I'll call later.

  • I saw a great running shirt in the US. It said 'Leave me alone!' on it. Wish I'd bought it!

  • I do the same as Poppy pug, but is quite rare thank goodness.

  • Wave and keep running - my friends never expect me to stop for them! :) Occasionally one particular friends dog would leave her and do a lap with us but he goes back after one lap because he is exhausted! :)

  • smile & wave and shout see you later!

  • Thanks guys. You've unanimously let me know it's not rude to wave and push on.

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