Thursday, April 28, 2011


I was raised in a very conservative family. My upbringing was strict with many rules and responsibilities. The most important was manners and class. Although I grew up in the country I was not raised as a hick.

There are certain unwritten rules in society and in certain sports. Running has a full slate of unwritten rules and ways of being that contribute to what makes the sport so wonderful for those of us who have spent our formative years pounding out the miles with teammates on the track, trails and pavement of our communities. Above all else we are taught to give our best every time we toe the line.

Certain etiquette in running is purely based on safety. Always stay to the right and let others pass on the left when on trails. The inside lane of the track goes to the fastest pace times, slower runners in the outside lanes, walkers in lane 8. When you are finished an interval step off the track immediately. Bathe before workouts. Do not wear earphones during workouts or races. Align yourself at the beginning of a race in the appropriate pace section.

Other running etiquette is more related to manners and tradition. Generally speaking distance runners are quite low key when away from the field of play. I have met and trained with some of the fastest guys in Canada and one would never guess that they run 28 minutes for 10km. After running a hard race or workout one would never guess the effort they out their body through. They are subtle and reserved and have a steely self confidence in the work they have done and years they have spent training. It is very rare for me to encounter a rude or mean runner. It is just how running works.

It is the etiquette and camaraderie of the people who run that contribute to why I love this sport. It gives me comfort and reminds me of home. What scares me are the individuals who do not get this. With regards to safety I do not want to get injured again. Running into the ditch to get the interval done is not cool. Running into lane 5 is also not cool. I also do not want to lose the quietness of an workout or the silent confidence of the solitary distance runner. These images are what our sport is built on. There is a mystique and lore connected with the image of a distance runner. I hope it is maintained.

My running is going well. I have been feeling quite sore and achy lately which is part of training, I think. My foot is totally healed and I do not even limp any more. The intervals are not getting easier but that is the whole point. They never get easy, intervals just get faster. I am quite tired all the time and I feel like I am fighting some sort of illness. I am feeling a bit less engaged in society but that is also one of the side effects of getting fit again. There are even little things that are coming back. When I am lean there is a spot under my jaw bone that is difficult to shave because the razor will not fit into that crevice. It is back! I must also report that I am getting pretty lean again which is nice. I must continue to drink my protein shakes!

My gay old life is rolling along with reckless abandon. I am making up for lost time and in the process I have met some really cool people and have had some really fun experiences. I guess to sum up my feelings; I am really happy!

I hope to hit the track on Saturday morning. I hope my body will be ready!

Happy Training!


  1. I am sure that many people do not know all of the etiquette that experienced runners practice. However my experience is that just being aware of other runners and being courteous/safe goes along way to maintaining an enjoyable experience.

  2. I've been thinking of writing a post like this for awhile now and you've done it well, Jay. I agree with the rules and etiquette for running entirely, but I must say they translate nicely into rules and etiquette for living. The same dick that runs you out of lane one because has to tie a shoe is the same dick who drives in the fast lane on the highway. Some people are just dicks. Others...they're truly aware and empathetic toward everyone and everything around them. They get it no matter what they do.

    Thanks for a great post. Bang on!