Wednesday, 26 January 2011

26) Manners

Where I grew up it is tradition
to give a nod of recognition
to other runners, slow or fast,
as you go gaily cant’ring past.

Where I’m from it's de rigueur
with other runners to concur
that running on mile after mile
is helped by just a little smile.

This tradition should translate,
as you go from place to place,
but what I've found since moving east
is a far, far colder beast.

So aloof, important, busy:
How dare this woman blonde and dizzy
try to interrupt our morning rush
with that daft grin upon her mush?

I'm lucky if I get a grimace,
it's like I've tried to lick their face.
At worst, they spit and cough and hack,
as if I've begged a piggy back.

It really, really makes me sad.
What am I doing that's so bad?
But I'll continue with my visage
And try to spread my jolly message.

Jogging, fartlek, sprints, whatever;
No matter how diverse our endeavour,
All I ask is your permission
To nod and say "I know your mission".

With thanks to the one runner (of 11 seen) that nodded back this morning.
smiley You made my day.

Day 26 - Run to work
Distance: 3.90 miles
Time: 48:16
Av Pace: 12:22 min/mile
Cake rating: 2/5 (1 for each of the smiley runners out this morning)

Day 26 - Cycle commuting
Distance: 3.93 miles
Time: 26:27
Speed: 8.9 mph

Cumulative Janathising: 111.6 miles running + 110.1 miles cycling + 2.9 miles swimming


  1. WOW ... I cant' believe that only one, out of 11, runners acknowledged your nod! I would have nodded back Kate!!

    Love the poem!

  2. Thanks, Dr Midgie! I firmly believe that every Janathoner would smile and nod :) Some people say that the difference between runners and joggers is the speed you run; I wonder if the real difference is whether you nod back.

  3. Dutch runners are quite friendly and almost always greet me aloud, and at least with the silent nod of acknowledgement of the secret pleasure that brings us out to run in the rain.

    funny how your cycling miles are just under your running. Well done. Nod Nod!

  4. Come and run in Cornwall - we're all nodders and wavers down here! You should send that poem off to RunnersWorld, you might bag yourself a pair of trainers!

  5. Same happens in Leeds - I've seen 5 or 6 tonight and *none* even acknowledged my presence. I wonder if it's because I'm usually in between sections of woodland trail and therefore wearing a headlamp. Maybe they think I'm some kind of muddy Dalek...

  6. Great poem but really only one out of eleven? I may have to count mine tomorrow.....

  7. Nod. Smile. :-) ... though I think the smiley emoticon here looks a little evil.

  8. It's not true what they say about folk in London not being friendly - I'd say 50% of people I smile at smile back.

  9. I've been reading your blog for a few weeks now, love the poem! I totally know what you mean too... I can feel and look totally disgusting while running but I will always look up and smile and say hello to any other runner I pass, I find it really unfriendly when they don't AT LEAST smile and nod or wave back at me. I understand sometimes you're out of breath but if someone's being nice to you it's only polite to return the favour. It ALWAYS makes me feel better, like I'm part of a community.
    -Fat Girl Running xxx

  10. that's a lovely little poem K. do you know i was thinking about blogging about just this very same thing as I am disappointed by how many runners are stoney faced when you smile or nod at them and I live in east London. I think the kindest way to think about it is that they are short sighted and they can't see you smiling.

  11. Totally! We tend to all be a friendly bunch t'Noth but on my Sunday run last week I passed 8 runners and it was only the 8th who reciprocated my inane grin! Ah well... I will continue to smile, raise my eyebrows and offer a friendly, breathless 'hello' to all I see... we can all but try! :-)

  12. Well, perhaps I shouldn;t say this but when I go with my running club about 7 different goups head off, we passed 3 groups of them on Monday and I think if I hadn't shouted helllooooooo and waved inanely they would not have said hello back - and we're in the same group!


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