The Casual Runner

Random Running Thoughts

One of the best parts about running is the freedom it gives you. Not only being able to escape your house and the stress of your daily life, but the ability to free your mind. Running is a time where you get to think about, well, really anything!

Sometimes when we run, our minds wander and we begin to notice things. Really, anything that comes across our path. In the past, I brought you some fun stories of the animals I’ve encountered while running. But, to be honest, these animals really made it so I had no choice BUT to notice them.

Today, I want to talk about some other random thoughts and observations I’ve had on recent training runs. These are things that, had I not been running (and instead been, say, driving) I may never have noticed, let alone let my mind to wander. They are also things that, because I was running, I had plenty of time to ponder. And, since I am training for some half marathons, I may have let my mind ponder these thoughts just a bit too long. Enjoy!

#5) A Poetic Waste of Money.

As children we all read Shel Silverstein’s Where the Sidewalk Ends. If you remember nothing else about the book (its a poetry book), you at least remember the title. Which brings me to what I encountered on a training run…


Um…er…What? I know exactly where the sidewalk ends…in 2 places to be exact. But why did anyone build this? It certainly cost money to go…nowhere at all. Oh well, at least it is handicap accessible.

#4) I Can’t Even.

While running in a neighborhood I saw a woman running with a child in a jogging stroller – ON THE WRONG SIDE OF THE ROAD. Now, for those who’ve read my articles in the past, you know that this hits 2 of my hot buttons: (1) runners who run on the wrong side of the road; and (2) runners who don’t use proper safety etiquette while running with children.


When a car came up behind her (on the same side of the street as she was because, well, she was on the wrong side of the road), she moved farther over to the side, and in so doing curbed the wheels of her child’s stroller, causing her to stumble.

Everyone was OK, but my heart skipped a beat..or two or three. Please oh please, make sure when you are running, that you always stick to the correct side of the street, and always follow proper safety etiquette while running with your kids in strollers.

#3) Pet Poo Pileup.

While out on a local running/bike trail, I saw this signpost…Now take a good look at it…


At first blush I thought: “It is good that they stress the importance of leash laws.”

Then I thought: “That is really nice of them to provide bags for pet poo.”

Then I realized that people were actually piling up their poo bags at the bottom of the sign! In case you couldn’t tell from this pic, the little dark spot in the upper right is a trash can, not 30 feet away.  The thought of people bagging their puppy poo and flinging it in a pile at the bottom of the sign instead of walking the 30 feet to throw it away certainly kept my mind occupied for at least a quarter mile or more.

#2) Wait, We Can Do What Now?

The newer neighborhoods where I run have retention ponds with nice landscaping to turn them into park-like mini-lakes. One had this sign posted…

OK, fair enough. Makes sense. Don’t swim, boat, fish, or skate (presumably both ice and roller skating) on this lake. So, pretty much anything anyone would ever do on a lake or pond. Fine.

But then the same lake/pond also had this sign posted a little further down the path…


Wait a second…what now? So, is the pond only for use by residents? But what activities are left? Are non-residents allowed to look at the pond, or is that a use? If it does, I am afraid I violated the sign. Wait, I took 2 pictures as well as looking at it, so that is 3 uses, which means I violated the sign 3 times.

Or…are only residents prohibited from doing these activities, while non-residents are free to enjoy the lake/pond? I like this reading of it, because then I did not in fact violate the sign. It also would mean that I could go swimming in that disgusting water…er, never mind.

Dear pond signs, you’ve been #lawyered.

#1) Brilliant or Stupid? You Decide.

While out for a walk the other day I saw a guy on a skateboard…being pulled by his dog. Literally, he had a hold of the leash and allowed the dog to run ahead, pulling him along on his skateboard (at least he was observing the leash laws, right?).

To prove this was no fluke, while running the next day, I saw him again, and snapped this photo of him (so you, the readers, would believe me)…


Here’s the thing, when I saw him coming towards me, I noticed that he was smoking. So, he was combining a smoke break with walking his dog in the laziest way imaginable. But, when he passed me, I noticed that the smell was, well, something not legal in this state. So the guy was wandering around the neighborhood in broad daylight, directly calling attention to himself, while smoking the wacky tobbacky. I am not sure exactly what this makes him, I leave it to you all to decide.

Do you encounter anything strange or fun while out running? Do any random thoughts pop into your mind? If so, we want to hear from you. Please let us know and we may feature your stories in a future article!

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