(my running face at mile 9 of the Princess Half)
I have noticed that there are only a few different types of faces that runners make when they pass you by. I am the type to make brief but polite eye contact and flash a smile. I figure that we, those who have given up precious couch time to be upright and moving (or what I call running), are in this together. I smile to say "I hear ya, this is kinda awful" as if to commiserate with whoever I see.
There are really only a small handful of guys that react politely to me running past them, I find there are four other reactions to my stare-and-smile approach. And in my spare brain time running yesterday, I provided them all with personality traits, a la any magazine read by teenage girls (he wears blue shorts on Tuesday? ditch that boy fast! Green jacket on Thursdays means he is ready for love!)
1. The wave-stop: These guys give you a brief stare followed by a movement of the hand from right to left. It is not quite a wave because it doesn't go back and forth. These runners are confident, smug, and not that interested in your personality. They are the most likely to check you out after you run past (if you know what I mean).
2. The dodge: These runners go out of there way to give you more than a three feet berth. C'mon girl, you don't smell that bad! Why are they risking turning an ankle or stepping in something gross just to not have to look at you. Commitment phobes! (Continue the) Run away.
3. The stare-ahead: These runners don't even crack a smile or acknowledge your presence at all. At least the dodgers acknowledged you were there! They just keep on staring. These guys are self-absorbed. Watch out, they are going to be most concern with their own well-being without giving a care about you.
4. The locked-stare: These guys lock eyes a block ahead and don't let go til you are shoulder to shoulder. They don't smile, perhaps give you a quick eyebrow raise, are quite serious, and instantly make you regret wearing anything other than your baggiest sweat pants. These guys are competitive and are sizing you up. This is a jog on a Sunday, not a Western-style show down.
What do you do when you pass someone head-on while running? Pretend they don't exist? Give them a friendly smile?
Bottom line girls: Get out there on the pavement and give them all your best grin! Trust me, if I can do it, you can!