Any runner in San Francisco knows to be on guard for the random things you encounter while on the streets -- a coyote roaming around or a rumbling earthquake under your feet or a blanket of fog rolling in fast. But let me tell you what your worst nightmare is as a runner in this city...
THE BLACK BAGGERS!!!! Tourists who zoom around on rented bikes to see all the lovely things SF has to offer and don't particularly care who they take out in the process. These baggers get my top spot on My Top 10 Biggest Running Peeves!
My Top 10 Biggest Running Peeves
1.) Black Baggers!! Listen, I'm all for being adventurous when on vacation. In fact I look at the tourists on the rental bikes and I think wow, I never did that kind of thing when I traveled with my family...good for them!! What I'm *saying* is that there is a lot of wild child behavior on those things -- selfie videos while pedaling, no helmets on busy streets, failing to follow traffic rules -- and I've almost been hit by one more times than I care to admit. When I see a bagger coming at me, I give them a wide berth because I know I am essentially a moving target, held hostage by their quest for the ultimate bridge photo.
2.) Unleashed Dogs!! Please don't misunderstand me. I absolutely love dogs. As in I have so much affection toward them that if there is a dog within visual distance, I am ending whatever conversation I'm in with you and I am off to pet that dog. They are the best little gifts in life -- they love you unconditionally and they never leave your side. But when I'm running and I have headphones on and your dog bolts out of your garage and runs at me baring teeth, I'm going to react to it instinctively and it's not going to be nice. Please don't make me hurt your cute little doggies. Keep them leashed if they are in danger of jumping on unsuspecting noobs! Look at Nikolai's face in this pic. Oh how I miss him. 🐾
3.) Elbow-to-elbow walkers!! I don't understand it. It's the epitome of aloofness when you walk on a shared sidewalk, where there are multiple runners all the time, and you walk in a manner in which the only way to get around you is to run on a sloping embankment. Really? The only people who can walk elbow-to-elbow in front of me and get away with it are the elderly, those with physical ailments, and this dynamic duo - anyone else and it's unforgivable!
4.) Motorcyclists who rev!! My husband defended motorcyclists the other day when he reminded me their motors are loud so people in cars can hear them as they lane split (a horrible thing that's legal in SF and scares the lights out of me as a driver!)! But then there are the drivers who just really need to give it that extra revving real loud right when I'm in a zone on an uphill. You know who you are.
5.) Poop!! Human, animal, all kinds of it. I don't want to have to step over it when I'm running. And to those people who go to the trouble of using a poo bag and then leaving that poo bag on the street or on my front steps (this happened once!), we are not your poo removal company. Throw it away!!
6.) Running through smoke!! Hey I'm not judging... I used to smoke too. I get it. That first morning cigarette - nothing like it. Unless you're 10 miles into a 12 mile run and you have to RUN THROUGH THE SMOKE. And this is San Francisco so you're running through all kinds of smoke!
7.) Untangling the Rat King that are my headphones!! I've decided this is a product problem no one has been able to solve yet.
8.) Sidewalk bumps and buckles!! Isn't it funny how even the tiniest of bumps on the sidewalk can feel like a mountain when you're at the end of a long run? On Sunday I hit one and managed to save myself by doing the "hop save." Yeah you know the hop save. I toooootally meant to trip over that now watch me smoothly jog it off! :)
9.) People who "pull a country" in front of me when I'm downwind!! I have no idea if "pulling a country" is a real phrase but that's what Jon and I call the move where you blow your nose without a tissue. Urban Dictionary calls it "Bushman's Blow" and has a whole description (with steps!).
10.) Creepers!! Guess what? I'm running for my health, not for your enjoyment!!
What are your biggest peeves?