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Author: kate

happy 50th earth day

happy 50th earth day

happy 50th birthday, earth day! for your big day, we got you a pandemic.

i just read something that reminded me about how radical earth day was when it was first celebrated. there were no air quality and pollution controls, corporations were dumping waste directly into rivers and other bodies of water, and people in general had no idea how awful the water and air quality were. after regulations* were put in place, we became accustomed to the guidelines for clean air and water, and now earth day is an afterthought to most people. something we don’t think about much, because why bother?

(*let’s talk about federal air and water regulations for a moment. you may scream states’ rights and capitalism and free market. i argue that the federal government ABSOLUTELY has authority to place regulations, and strict ones at that, on air and water quality. in fact, i would argue that an organization such as the UN should be the one making worldwide regulations. why? because air and water do not know state or federal lines. we can’t pull over a water molecule for crossing into canada from the US. what we do in MN as far as crop and field work greatly affects crabbing in louisiana. we see air quality plummet when there are wildfires in alberta. water knows no bounds. air knows no bounds. get a global agency in charge of regulating them.)

and here we are 50 years later with a large chunk of the population at home because of a global health disaster, and guess what happened?

the earth shows us just how resilient and wonderful and awesome she is. i think it’s an eye-opening experience that we should be flabbergasted by to know that the earth will win, no matter what we humans end up doing.

china’s air pollution cleared up.

(NO2 is nitrogen dioxide. it’s released when fossil fuels are burned at high temps, mostly for fertilizer production. inhalation can result in heart failure.)

beijing looks pretty clear.

You can see los angeles.

people in india can actually see the himalayan mountain range from more than 100 miles away. for the first time in 30+ years!

wildlife are returning to their natural habitats

in nairobi, they’re seeing mount kenya.

the water in venice is the clearest it’s been in years, and the dolphins have returned to saridinia (not in venice – that was fake news).

stanford has calculated that the reduction in air pollution could help save the lives of 77,000 residents. so while we hunkered down avoid death by covid, we may have also inadvertently avoided death by air pollution.

now, all these environmental silver linings are not without their inconvenience on the human population, but when it comes to the rest of the earth and species we share the planet with, i’d say that this is something we need to pay attention to. we are at a turning point as it is with climate change, and i hope that by getting an extraordinary sneak-peak what our surroundings could look like ALL THE TIME if we put in some effort with reducing air pollution, we may actually make a difference after coming out of our houses and covid-funk. the timeliness of covid with our climate precipice could not have been more perfect.

because if there’s one good that comes out of this pandemic, i hope it’s opening our eyes to what could be, whether in our outdoor surroundings, our work lives, our family. so happy birthday, earth day. like i always say, every day is earth day.

 

a break in covid news

a break in covid news

i bring you a break to the covid news to bring you a running update. right about now, i’d be primed and ready to for the earth day half if covid were not a thing, and let me tell you, it’s good news that my half marathon is postponed because my left foot is INJURED.

normally i easily break in a new pair of asics kayanos, the brand’s stability shoe that i’ve been wearing for the past 7 years or so. i skipped a couple iterations because of the toebox, but i’d never had a problem with a heel. until THIS iteration. what.did.you.do.asics. i wore them to work one day and my left heel was sore already, then i decided to run in them. ugh! then i ran some more because i thought well, maybe it’ll shake out. to be fair, at that point i wasn’t sure that it was the shoe that was causing pain. they sure seemed fine when i tried them on right out of the box.

i should know better by now.

and now i haven’t run for more than a week! i went to PT on tuesday, and after looking at the shoes, she thought maybe the arch and heel had torqued my foot somehow, which strained tendons in my foot and is causing stabbing pain along the back bottom of my heel. i also wonder about the heel drop, which seems to be significantly higher than past versions of the kayano.

excellent!

so now i’m in running pause while the tendons reconfigure themselves. and next week’s weather is shaping up to be the best in a while, and i can barely go for a quarter mile walk.

i did write a nastygram to asics to let them know their $160 shoes caused me an injury. there’s about 13 miles on the shoes, so i doubt i can return them (especially with covid), and who knows if that falls under warranty.

in related news, i am trying a different brand of shoes, topo, which has a low heel drop and should have a decent amount of stability as well. we’ll see how those go when they arrive!

in the meantime, i’m using the stationary recumbent bike and will hope for a better foot next week.

bread in the time of covid-19

bread in the time of covid-19

like everyone else and their neighbor, i decided that #stayathome was a good time to try out my bread skills.

if i had recipes that i created, i would put them here because everyone hates when the recipe is at the BOTTOM of a blog post. i don’t want to know your life story that led you to this moment when you made your go-to frosting for cinnamon rolls, karen. i just want to know what you put in it.

so here are the links to recipes i used for my bread that i’m about to photobomb you with:

sourdough starter

ATK rustic loaf (a google book because ATK is behind a paywall, which i should be able to access because i own the print copy good grief)

oatmeal honey sourdough

basic sourdough bread

oatmeal honey non-sourdough (i added a tablespoon of maple syrup to this one)


ok! so here i was browsing twitter and instagram and seeing all these peeps talking about making sourdough bread. being the challenge-oriented person i am, i thought this was something i should try out.

first, you should know that yeast and i generally don’t get along. i get too impatient with it. since i’m an end-of-the-alphabet person, i like my instant gratification. it doesn’t like to rise fast enough for me. i bake it before it’s ready. i get flat bread. you’d think i’d learn, but since i generally don’t like dealing with yeast, i stick to quickbreads (banana bread, pumpkin bread), cakes, pies. i pull out the yeast once a year to make bohemekuchen and that’s it.

so this would be a foray into patience for me. plus,  my kuchen this year turned out most excellent, so i was feeling a high.

firstly, i started the sourdough starter.

starter is SUPER easy – it just takes some time. 5 days before i was set to bake the bread, i put a 1-to-1 ratio of flour and water in a bowl and waited. each day, i added additional flour and water, and BOOM those little yeasties took right off.

in the meantime, i was itching to make some bread because that’s what everyone else was doing, so i perusing the good old america’s testing kitchen to see what they had for bread. they had a rustic loaf that i felt i could tackle – it used store-bought yeast, but it started with a SPONGE, which i’d never done before. a sponge is a sort of glorified yeast starter – instead of letting it bloom in water and a little sugar, you also add some flour and let it sit for a while – at least 5 hours.

the rest of the recipe was easy and i let my kitchenaid do a lot of the kneading. i ended up with a halfway decent wheat loaf that i was able to bake right on my pizza stone i have in the bottom of my oven all the time.

ooh fancy! and yummy! the crust was extra crusty and delicious.

by the time i’d had enough of this bread, it was time to attempt sourdough. so here’s where i failed  – since i was feeding my starter up til it was go time, i wasn’t sure if i needed to do the “leaven” part of the recipe or just use the starter straight away.

and the first loaf i attempted was a honey oat loaf, which probably wasn’t the best idea. the stretch and pull was awful, and i didn’t get any sort of rise out of the dough. 🙁

i also need proofing baskets if i’m going to attempt sourdough again, as i had to throw this in a bowl lined with a towel dusted with flour, and it still stuck. i might need some different, less sticky dough to dust with. obviously it stuck good.

it was also not very holey at all, meaning no real rise. sure, it was a dense loaf, but you’d think there’d be some rise to it.

BUT it was DELICIOUS. just the right amount of sour, and it wasn’t overpowering like some of the store-bought sourdoughs can be. if i figure out the starter issue and get a real proofing basket, i might try this one again.

but you know me, why stop at one failure and try for another? this time i tried out a plain white sourdough, and it was really promising! the stretch and folder was really working up some gluten and it was looking good! my loaves puffed out after i threw them in my towel-lined bowls, and even after i turned them out into my dutch oven and had to pull away the towel very carefully, i still had hope.

the fun part about baking sourdough is that you bake it in a dutch oven at 450-500º. you keep the cover on for about 20 minutes so it keeps the steam in to create that crusty surface, then you take it off so it darkens up.

mmm, the maillard reaction.

ah, success! this one was holey and sourdoughy, even though it was flat. there was so much gluten and goodness, that it almost ate like a popover – very eggy but without the eggs.

it makes darn good toast with some butter and raspberry jam.

i have two loaves of the plain white, and one’s in the freezer for later! my starter is in the fridge waiting for another round of sourdough after i figure out proofing baskets.

not to be outdone by it’s all-natural counterpart, i decided to give store-bought yeast another go and made an oatmeal-honey-maple loaf (or two). this one started with oats soaked in boiling water and mixed with some honey. i added in a tablespoon of maple syrup for good measure.

the top is melted butter, honey, and maple syrup mixed together. this is a more traditional loaf of bread, though a little bit sweet. this should also make some excellent toast, and i’m putting a loaf of this in the freezer for later.

we’ll see what other breads or baked goods i come up with for this time of covid. now that the governor has extended stay at home for another month, i’ll have lots of time on my hands. and carbs. good thing good running weather is upon us so i can fit into my regular clothes when this is all over!

any ideas or requests on baked goods or cooking you want me to attempt? no, i will not send you macarons, liz.

livin’ la vida corona

livin’ la vida corona

i don’t know about you, but i feel like i’m living my best life right now.

working from home is pretty ok – meetings are minimal and i’m getting work done. i can get up and take a walk in my own neighborhood over lunch; zoom meetings aren’t horrible at all; i can take a break and do the dishes (i have NEVER in my life been so caught up on dishes); i can stop working and be dressed for a run and out the door by 4:10 p.m.

and while it isn’t IDEAL running weather for ME, it’s still outdoor running a little bit. the wind is killer, though. it’s cold wind, and it’s strong wind. it makes for a tough decision on what to wear while out running. BUT ideal running weather is JUST around the corner.

work weeks meld into weekends because i’m at home all the time. my computer is in front of my window at home, and in 2-3 weeks, things will start to green up and i’ll go all starry-eyed. i take most zoom meetings on my couch. then i watch bad netflix movies on my couch over the weekends. what day IS it?

i spent about 2 hours raking out my flower garden today and found several little green things already. i think we’re supposed to be getting rain in the next few days, so the green things will only multiply. i trimmed the apple trees and the raspberry bushes, and within the next week i need to start raking my vegetable garden. i’ve also got to get to a greenhouse or menard’s STAT to get some seeds, as i’ve heard they’re going to go the way of toilet paper. “essential trip.” (YES. it’s essential. have you seen my cupboards? i’m not running out of pickles anytime soon.)

i’ve talked to friends/family more in the past two weeks than i normally would – i have virtual coffee with jenee and john on monday mornings, then on friday mornings, jenee i have a week end meeting. my sisters and i have a friday afternoon week end wrapup. i text matt and my boss like crazy.

i’ve made a ton of bread (yeah me and everyone else). i’m trying my hand at sourdough, which is fickle but delicious no matter how it turns out. a longer post to come on that one.

i’ve done three puzzles in the past week. i’m rereading “the stand” and have a stack of fiction books at the ready. i’m going to do a podcast this week about hiking memoirs and tying them into state parks for CMLE podcast series, which is great timing for the time of year and the time of covid.

my cats love making appearances during my zoom meetings, and people love that they make appearances.

i’ve spent more on booze in the past two weeks than in the past two years, and according to the barefoot contessa, “during a crisis, almost any hour is cocktail hour.”

keeping the local economy alive! colorado bulldogs are delicious. i get budweiser lime-a-ritas for nate. a week or two ago, i was stress eating like crazy, but also anxiety running like crazy. they sort of even out? since then, work has slowed down a little bit and my anxiety has backed off a little bit. the sun helps.

the only thing i’m worried about right now is that nate still goes to work every night. it’s inevitable that he will get CV, and that means i will get CV.

until then, cheers. livin’ la vida corona!

anxiety in the time of covid-19

anxiety in the time of covid-19

i’m not an overly anxious person, but i do have low-level anxiety, and now is not a great time for people with low-level anxiety because it’s turned into what i imagine really anxious peeps’ daily lives are like.

yikes!

the tightening of my solar plexus, on a normal day, usually starts later in the day, if it happens. i wake up great and anxiety sort of builds up through the day. some days i get no anxiety. other days i get a lot. i get anxiety when i think about anxiety (oh cruel world). it’s never-ending circle once the anxiety roller coaster starts. (this is going to be a fun post to write, huh.)

what’s especially annoying is that anxiety’s symptoms pretty closely mirror symptoms of covid (minus the fever). so thanks, evolution, for making humans an anxious bunch!

so what do i do to keep my anxiety at bay? well, there are a few things!

working from home

(my life in a piece of clipart)

i have to say, working from home is pretty relaxing. being in the most familiar environment you have and being able to just get up and leave and do housework or sit in the living room or head outside is helpful when weird situations arise. extroverts among us, of course, are like WHAT IS THIS I’M DYING HERE, but as an introvert, this is a pretty slick deal.

running (or exercise)

running while anxious is GREAT. not only do you release a bunch of endorphins after you’re done and move that anxiety needle down, but the anxiety creates some sort of super-runner vortex while you’re out there. you can run through all the stupid scenarios and get stuck in your head, of course, or you can turn up the music and try to push the bad stuff out of your head. some of my best runs have been while anxious or annoyed. and like i said, after you’re done, the hormone release sort of relaxes everything.

yoga

you’ve all heard me wax eloquent about yoga! i’ve been doing yoga regularly for about 7 years now, and it’s probably the most useful mindfulness tool i have in my life toolbox. while i’m running, like i said, i can get lost in my head and thoughts run wild because running is a repetitive, mindless activity.

yoga, on the other hand, requires 100% brain focus. you need to focus on keeping your back straight but tailbone tucked; you need to think about how you’re going to move into a pose; you need to keep your middle toe in line with your knee when it’s bent; you need to focus your eyes on something to balance; and all along you need to keep your breathing in time with the movements. there is no more room for your other thoughts to crowd in. then when you’re in savasana and your brain can release its focus on the asanas (which means pose! i just looked that up because i wondered why every pose ended in asana – makes sense now!), and you can release your breath into normal breathing, your brain and body are so relaxed that any anxiety can just suck it.

puzzles

who knew?? puzzles, like yoga, take a lot of focus, and as such, you think about nothing else while you’re doing a puzzle. i don’t know about you, but if i decide to throw a puzzle on the table and sit down to work on it, i can think that 20 minutes have passed, and it’s actually been 3 hours. puzzles are ENGROSSING.

if you want a way to banish all else from your brain and don’t want to do any physical exertion, try a puzzle. anxiety knocks on your brain’s door, and brain’s like, go away. trying to find a piece with a little bit of black on the tip of the round edge and the rest is orangey-red with weird stripes and it’s got an odd hooked foot thing on one side on the -OOH I THINK I FOUND IT. nope. no worries – the search continues!!! it’s GOT to be here.

your brain on puzzles is probably similar to your brain on drugs. actually, i just looked it up, and puzzles are one of the ways they break addictions at rehab. brain power > heroin.

reading (oldie but goodie)

ah yes, the old standby to dive into a world not your own completely and immersively. as much as i could say that audiobooks are as good for this, i am going to say that you really need to READ a book to get this. in personal experience, audiobooks are not as attention holding as words on a page. i get distracted while listening to audiobooks, so i know if i need to get away, it’s time to read.

and now is not the time to try to be fancy or hoity toity – read genres that GRAB you. sure, we all like to learn about stuff and like to say “yeah i read that! it was great.” when you really did not think it was that great. because a great book will call to you while you’re doing other things. it will sing to you across miles while you’re working or taking your cat to the vet or getting eggs, carrots, and cream cheese from the grocery store (to make carrot cake, of course): “get in, loser. we’re going reading.”

(now if non-fiction calls to you like this, then you do you! i know that in general, non-fiction does not yell at me across miles to pick up its pages to absorb its words into my brain. and not all fiction does this for me.)

find your favorite genre when you want your anxiety to dissipate and just dive right in. for me, that means i read a lot of YA/adult thriller or post-apocalyptical novels (how apropos) or fiction (chick-lit, stephen king, john scalzi, pat rothfuss) or even really stellar memoirs (michael perry, bill bryson, running memoirs). for you that could be mystery, romance, crime, who knows! but your favorite genre that excites you is what you need.


there’s what i’ve found useful for me. finding hobbies or activities that can distract you from what’s going on is what’s most important, and i think it’s what we all need right now. making sure you’re not just moping around the house and watching netflix (unless it’s tiger king – what a weird show) is paramount. now is a great time to find out what you really enjoy with no distractions and learn more about yourself, especially for all you extroverts and social butterflies. for introverts with anxiety, we know what helps during times like these. take a page out of our book. (heh.) (also, introverts with anxiety, sometimes it’s hard to get off the couch. i generally don’t have this problem, but like i said, my anxiety is pretty low key. i hope the longer days are helping you out.)

work in the time of covid-19

work in the time of covid-19

nate last night “these essential services and stay at home mandates are just a way to keep rich people safe.”

:/

i can’t deny that 🙁 i’m working from home right now, yet nate still heads to holiday every night for his overnight shift. he says there are still some people who come in, but it’s not anywhere near what it was.

it feels like the essential worker industries are all subjective, too. there’s a concrete place in albany that manufactures concrete countertops that has deemed itself. how is that essential? i’d choose my massages to release my intense neck knots as essential over a new countertop at this point.

all this to say, i am an essential worker. i get it! we ended up pausing right in the middle of the semester, and to disrupt a college degree by pushing everything back by 6 months is kind of weird. so education goes on. it’s understandable. a lot of our classes are moving online, which sucks for a lot of students who don’t really like online classes. i know i couldn’t do an online class.

but while education is essential, all employees are encouraged to work from home. so i’ve got my setup.

when i first set this up, the two monitors on the left were my work computer and the two on the right my personal. after 3 days of trying to throw windows on the 3rd monitor from the left, i bought a connector and now three screens are for work and one for personal.

my coworkers are nice. they sleep most of the time, and occasionally they want attention and come sit on my lap and snuggle. and now that covid communication has died down a little bit, it’s possible that i might just get some actual work done. which will be really nice when there are no distractions of the workplace.

except now i’ve got the distraction of a dirty house!

running in the time of covid19

running in the time of covid19

the earth day half marathon in st cloud has been postponed until september – ugh! i know this is good for all, but i still think being outdoors and keeping distance would be ok for runners. no runner willingly runs a half marathon race while sick.

now i have to decide if i want to stick to my current training schedule or kick it to the curb and start up again in july. right now i’m about 3 weeks away from the goal of 13.1 miles (i was supposed to run 11 miles this weekend). so the question is, do i stick to the schedule and run 13 miles on earth day anyway, or take a pause? or do i continue on in training and maybe try to get to a full marathon?

for me, running has always been more of a solitary activity anyway. i will run with a buddy during race day, and i’m surrounded by others on race day, but the training is always about personal resolve more than anything else.

you set your goals. you get dressed. you head out the door when it works for your schedule. and then you immerse yourself in the singular goal for yourself, because running is not a team sport. and that’s why i like it. my mistakes are just mine and my victories are mine. i can’t let anyone down if i’m having a crappy running day except for myself. at the same time, if i want to share personal bests, i can. no special equipment save some runderwear and fancy shoes, and no special physical settings. just me, myself, and the great outdoors (or indoors in the winter).

so when shelter in place gets implemented, i’ve got a small worry about getting outside. everything i’ve read has said that outdoor activities will be allowed, and i highly doubt that the avon PD is going to be policing my front door. but what if they DO limit outdoor activity? especially during the upcoming three months, arguably the BEST time of the year?

being outdoors can only be good for people during this pandemic, both mentally and physically. and because i don’t plan to run with anyone else in the near future, i think this is the perfect time to run. i guess i’ve convinced myself to continue with my training and to see where it takes me. the forecast looks good.

guv in the time of covid-19

guv in the time of covid-19

i don’t think we need another soapbox about the government reaction to the coronavirus. that’s just clutter in the onlineverse.

instead, here are a few personal CV takeaways:

  1. you already heard the proximity alert i’m currently under in regards to nate. bad news bears.
  2. tomorrow i bring home my big imac from work to set up at home for working from home until further notice. all state employees are under orders to work from home if they are non-essential. of course, there may be times when i need to head in to campus to do some physical stuff (for instance, we are working on getting some 360º tour videos recorded and i will probably head in for those couple days). but i can do 99.9% of my job right now from home, so that’s what i guess i’m going to do. good news is that the VPN works and i’m able access all my files! (this is the “guv” part of this post from the title.)
  3. this whole quarantine/isolation thing won’t be too difficult, and i can’t imagine what it’s like to live in a heavily populated area right now. i’m glad i live in the country-ish and have space.
  4. i have got to stop looking at twitter and the news. an 23-hour-a-day info dump does nothing for the anxiety. during normal times, i wake up with little to no anxiety, and it slowly ramps up through the day. this is normal for me and something i just live with (i do have a prescription antihistamine/anti-anxiety pill i can take at night if it gets bad). now i wake up with that nighttime level of anxiety, and it just gets more intense as i learn more. some good news is that i think twitter has gotten over the PANIC hump and is moving into the QUARANTINE CONTENT phase.

takeaways are over, and now it’s just ramble time.

i like that because of CV, people aren’t out as much, making as much pollution. i’ve read some good things about air pollution in china being drastically reduced, which probably helps them out with getting through CV, when you think about it. fewer tourists in venice or someplace similar means clearer, cleaner water, and wildlife is coming back. maybe this will be a wake up call.

i like that even though the people of the world are hunkered down in their homes during this time, life goes on. the birds are coming back, flitting around in my trees outside, and i’m hearing bird calls that i haven’t heard in 6 months. rodents chitter and chatter at me when i get in my car in the morning to go to work. now that i won’t be driving to work, maybe the chatter will follow me as i go on a quick morning walk before sitting down at my desk at home. more birds will come, the grass will green, the froggies will fill my pond and fill the night with their songs. spring is coming.

i like that the minnesota dnr is leaving open the state parks. even though we need to stay 6′ away from each other, that doesn’t mean that we need to spend our entire lives in our homes. getting outside, breathing fresh air, being with nature and among the trees can do nothing but help, both physically and mentally.

i like that we’re at this moment where a reaction to a threat is social. to see reactions that are highly personal and interactional instead of a violent reaction is a really fascinating thing to take in, whether the reaction is extreme stocking up and isolation or going on spring break because you’re young and clueless. i’m not sure how this will end, with people being furloughed en masse and low-wage workers being paid overtime. i’m not sure if something will come from people finally seeing the value of teachers. i’m not sure that this will be the end of face-to-face education (i really doubt it). the social implications of the pandemic are bizarre. the people who get paid the most are sitting around with nothing to do while grocery store workers are considered emergency personnel.  (the former making an obscene amount of money while the latter make minimum wage.) will the value of work be examined? will healthcare get an overhaul? will “socialism” be less stigmatized? i think what may come out of this is that we learn how difficult it actually is to stay away from others and how much we do need personal interaction. we might say we live in a digital age of distancing, but we are social creatures. yes, even we introverts generally want to be closer than 6′ from others, especially people we like.

i like that my cats get to be my coworkers for the foreseeable future.

i recently read “beautiful country, burn again,” which pointed out that the US goes through a major overhaul about every 75 years (civil war, great depression). then it posits that we are at the cusp of another 75-year overhaul; this may be the trigger. while we may go back to life as we know it, it’s entirely possible that we may not. change is upon us whether we want it or not. so get outside. read that pile of books. do yoga 3x a day during your work breaks. thank your furry friends for absorbing some anxiety. live in this moment for now because we don’t know what’s coming. and stay healthy.

i tried

i tried

so i wrote you a nice, long blog post about CV and it was lost to internet oblivion. i’ll try again tomorrow. 🙁

i think the only thing of REAL note at this point is:

  1. nate’s coworker is being tested for CV. if she comes back positive, his store is shut down completely and he’s on quarantine. which means i’m on quarantine. EXCELLENT TIMES, MY FRIENDS.
road etiquette

road etiquette

i ran outside saturday and sunday this weekend, and hooo boy do drivers need a refresher in how to treat pedestrians on the road.

first of all, you should know that, while i live in a nice little neighborhood, i can only get half a mile before i need to set foot on a 55-mph county road. now, rural stearns county roads are at least a little less sparse on the traffic side than, say, a state highway or a metro county road.

but there are still trucks and golf carts and cars and semis and sometimes even tractors on the road, and even though there is a considerable shoulder, drivers still need to give a little bit of a berth to a pedestrian or biker. and it’s like they forgot how to deal with us over the wintertime.

first, a reminder to pedestrains: USE THE LEFT SIDE. you want to see if you’re going to die by old man driver who’s drifting over the shoulder like what happened to me today. you need to know when you need to jump into the ditch! so use the left side so you can see traffic! ok. now that that’s out of the way.

tips and tricks for drivers!

  1. give us a berth: you don’t need to haul it over to the opposite shoulder, but you do need to allow a few feet for the ped – maybe you can roll right down the center of the road. while running, i generally try to hug the very left edge of the shoulder when i see a car, and if i’m not, it’s because there is something weird on the asphalt or i’m running past a mailbox. but don’t ride the white line, either, if you see me as far over as possible on the shoulder. that’s just rude. even if there are cars coming the opposite way, you can easily hug the center line a bit so you give me some room. i actually had a dude on the white shoulder line today with no one coming the opposite way, so i had to run into the muddy ditch while he drove past. i wanted to shake my fist. i’ve also had a few people not move over at all (but who weren’t riding the white line). seriously?
  2. give the other car a berth: see a ped/car/car situation coming up and you’re on the opposite side of the ped? why not move over onto YOUR shoulder so the car in the other lane can move over for the ped. now if it’s a ped/car/car/ped situation, that’s a whole other problem that doesn’t come up very often for me. just slow down if that’s the case. speaking of speed…
  3. don’t slow down to 15mph. PLEASE. just go the speed you were going. as long as you’re moving over for me, i don’t care if you’re going 70. actually, the faster you get around me, the faster i can relax.
  4. don’t honk: i KNOW you’re there. no need to honk and scare the crap out of me. and i usually have headphones in, so i won’t even hear you that well. just…don’t.
  5. don’t expect me to wave: unless i’m running in my little neighborhood, i won’t wave. this is because women runners are subject to a lot of weird reactions, and i don’t need to make any eye contact with strangers. if you wave, i probably won’t see you.
  6. don’t move over yet!!! this one his HUGE. so many times i see drivers give a huge berth, starting a block away from me, only to start moving back over into the lane before they pass me!! MAKE SURE YOU’VE PASSED THE THE PED BEFORE YOU MOVE BACK OVER. especially if you have a trailer!! this one baffles me.
  7. here’s an in-town tip: if you see a runner approaching an intersection where you have no stop sign, and s/he slows down and bends over to strech or pulls out a phone to look at something, just go. don’t stop and back up traffic to wave her/him across and s/he doesn’t even notice because of the stretching and music in the ears. and chances are, this was a planned break! you will know when a ped is waiting to get across, and stretching time is not it. i was intersection stretching and happened to look up to see a minivan holding up 3 cars in st. charles and was like “what lady, just go” and waved emphatically at her to go. she looked pissed. good grief.

ok, that’s all i’ve got for now. hopefully you’re more aware of the ped sitch from the ped’s point of view and can help us out. any other peds have more tips and tricks for drivers?