Runner Encouragement

13

Yesterday I ran alone. Saturdays are my long runs and I’m thankful for a group of friends that keep me accountable and entertained, but no one was running, so I went solo.  I started late and wasn’t particularly happy about being alone until I ran into a large running group from Fleet Feet.

The route of the large marathon training group was opposite to mine so I went by what seem to be hundreds of runners for the first 4 miles of my run. The runners up front were focused on their fast pace with perfect form and determination on their faces. Knowing runners’ etiquette, I smiled and waved as I passed by. Once I turned the corner, I realized that this was a very large group, and that I would be smiling and waving a whole lot. But then it hit me: “I’ll smile and encourage these guys on. I have nothing better to do anyway.” I’m glad I did.

Runners Encouragement

Those on the back of the line, the slow runners, novices who might be having their first race experience, were as determine as the speedsters leading the group, but their labored faces and struggling form made the run a lot more arduous on them than most of the front runners. I smiled and waved even more for them. I kept grinning and saying “good morning!” Most of them would lift their heads up, smile back and put a little zip back into their tired stride. I loved seeing that happen.

It didn’t cost me anything to smile, wave and be pleasant–perhaps some energy and effort. But it made a difference to some of the tired runners who found encouragement in a stranger’s face. I have that option every day in all my exchanges. Whether I’m running in my neighborhood, walking through an airport or perusing through a grocery store isle.

I know that some of my friends in the northeast find eye contact unnerving, but I would challenge you to take time to smile and encourage someone today. It will not cost you anything and it might just be the kindness that they need.

When was the last time someone encouraged you in a meaningful way?

  • Gaillage

    Thanks for the encouragement. As our last long run before the CMM 1/2, we could use the encouragement.

    • http://www.maurilioamorim.com Maurilio Amorim

      You should be ready for next week. Congrats and do well. n

  • Anonymous

    I have been training for my first 5-k alone, but there are usually people on the trail that I jog on. I have noticed the same thing about encouragement. Thanks for sharing, I will have to keep this in mind as I finish my training this weekend and next Sunday when I run my 5-k.

    • http://www.maurilioamorim.com Maurilio Amorim

      Enjoy the race and smile as you pass someone. :-)

  • Caroleland

    I am one of those slow walkers/runners….and it is so very encouraging when one of you “fast people” gives a smile and a “good morning” when I’m out there. I recently completed my 5th half marathon, and the last three miles were such a struggle – and the thumbs-ups, words of encouragement and high-fives at the finish made all the difference. Also, I tell everyone who ever asks me how great it is to train with a group – I can’t tell you all the times I would not have shown up for training if I had not known everyone else was going to be out there. This is so true in spiritual life too – it does not take a lot many times to lift one another up, and “training” spiritually in a group makes all the difference!!!

    • http://www.maurilioamorim.com Maurilio Amorim

      I’m all about running with a group. I can’t imagine running alone anymore. It keeps me encouraged and accountable.

  • Brandi

    this is one of my favorite things about running. I feel part of an elite group, or club when i say hi, good morning, smile, wink, or wave to another runner enjoying a morning run. however, being in the northeast, i have to tell you that we DO make eye contact and say hello…we are not all ice princesses/princes! lol! thanks for the great post!

    • http://www.maurilioamorim.com Maurilio Amorim

      Thanks Brandi for setting the record straight on the northeast runners. Last time I ran up there someone did make eye contact and wave at me. He even turned around and invited me for drinks later on, which I kindly declined. :)

  • Brandi

    this is one of my favorite things about running. I feel part of an elite group, or club when i say hi, good morning, smile, wink, or wave to another runner enjoying a morning run. however, being in the northeast, i have to tell you that we DO make eye contact and say hello…we are not all ice princesses/princes! lol! thanks for the great post!

  • Lorene

    Thanks for the encouragement- I think I remember your smiling face from Saturday morning! Were you wearing a blue shirt? I hope we helped to encourage you, too!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=834300501 Dabney Ketterer-Hedegard

    You inspired me to jog tonight. Well, it was more of a
    run/walk for only a mile, but nonetheless, my feet padded the pavement. It’s a
    start. Sadly, there was no one to smile at along my path, but I’ll keep that
    kind gesture in mind. Thanks. 

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