A few years ago, I was out of town and planned a run with a friend on the local trails. That friend had a work emergency and couldn’t make it, so he recommended a weekly group road run to attend in the area.
I decided to take his advice and join this group. To my surprise, there were close to one hundred runners in this gathering that started at a local brewpub. Much different than the 10-20 usually attending my trail group runs. The leader briefly explained the route, then remarked, “Let’s go!” Runners put their headphones in and took off like it was the local 10k road race. I ran much faster than anticipated, mainly to keep up so I wouldn’t get lost. There was absolutely no conversation during the run.
After the run, I ordered a beer and found a seat with a few other runners. The dialogue was pleasant, and I made a few new friends.
Like most trail runners, I started as a road runner. I still do a few runs on the pavement, but this run reminded me that there is a difference between trail runners (dirt churners) and road runners (pavement pounders.) Below is a tongue-in-cheek list I made with the help of a few other trail runners. Feel free to comment on anything we missed. Pavement pounders revenge comments are welcome!
Race Aid Stations
|Grab a cup of water and throw it on the ground. No need to lose precious seconds!||Hangs out for 10 minutes eating handfuls of Ruffles, Skittles, and only to wash it down with a liter of Coke|
|EDM, Eminem, Thrash Metal, anything with a fast beat||Pleasant conversation and nature’s sounds|
Post Race Celebration
|Grab a swag bag with a medal, shirt, stickers, other race promos, and head home||A finishers glass to fill with a favorite beverage and talk with other finishers for hours until crawling back to the tent|
Post Race Conversation
|“What was your time?”||“How many times did you hit the tarmac (dirt)?”|
|Hills ruin my training pace||Let’s get after it!|
|“How many miles did you run last year?”||“How many feet did you ascend last year?”|
|Jump over puddles and avoid mud to keep clean||Run through puddles and wear mud as a badge of honor|
|Keeps an eye out for the next porta-potty||Keeps an eye out for a tree large enough to partially conceal self|
Direction of Gaze
|Looking out over the herd||Scanning 10 ft ahead for obstacles, scenery be damned|
|Shoulder to shoulder||Single file|
|Those are used for skiing, right?||Great for hilly, technical trails|
|You doing the Jeff Galloway program?||How else am I going to get up that hill?|
|Carb load!||Whatever’s left in the cooler|
|Wait for you at the finish||Crew Team|
|Exactly 26.2! Better not be more!||Anything between 25 and 29 miles|
|Follow everyone else||Follow cones, get off course for a bit. Check phone. Find the course again. No big deal|
|One mile before the run||The first mile during the run|
|8-10 minute miles is an easy, aerobic recovery run||9-12 minute miles is a challenging, anaerobic tempo workout|
|My knee hurts, better take two weeks off. Ice, rehab||If the bone ain’t showin’, keep on goin’!|
|The last place- fail, loser, embarrassing||DFL- Hero, getting your money’s worth|
|It looks like a treadmill day||Put some screws in your shoes and get after it|
See a Friend on a Run
|Wave hello||Stop and talk for five minutes and not worry how it affects your Strava time|