More of What You Do Not Know Because You Are Not Me! By Michael Ring

More of What You Do Not Know Because You Are Not Me! By Michael Ring

On a Friday morning I woke up early and did the run I often do on a Saturday morning. Starting at Grand Army Plaza, I ran down Union to 4th Ave, and then headed over to 3rd Street to cross the Gowanus Canal. Then I took Smith and Court over to the Brooklyn Bridge. I crossed into Manhattan at Chambers St and made a left at the Hudson, hugged the water till I got back to the Brooklyn Bridge and came home via the Brooklyn Heights Promenade. I do this run (or a variation of it) about 2 or 3 weekends a month. It is the "usual run" of the Prospect Park Track Club.

Since I left the house at 6 am instead of the usual 8 am I did not think automobile traffic would be an issue. I was wrong about that; rush hour was starting when I was running home.

The one major obstacle faced on my run was the people. Just as I was running towards the Battery, the Staten Island Ferry was arriving. The hoard of commuters turned my run into a stop. As I fought my way against the minions, a guy giving out free newspapers said to me, "Hey, you look like a jogger. Can I ask you a question?"

"Sure, but then I have to tell you that I am not a jogger." He wanted to know why he can run for 45 minutes on a treadmill but he can't really run outdoors for 5 minutes. So, I explained that on a treadmill you are just spinning your legs, you are not making the effort to move your body forward, that running on a treadmill is like running down stairs. The treadmill is softer than any outdoor running surface and it is probably in a nice air conditioned gym. I told him that unless you set the treadmill at a serious incline, it is mostly a waste of time.

I saw the light bulb go off in his head. In under a minute I was able to teach this man something, "So why can't I call you a jogger?"

"My grandmother was a jogger; it was about the jogging suit and running in circles. Runners are training for events; events where someone says "GO!" and there is a clock at the end. I am a runner. Joggers jog, runners train."

The commuters had all gotten on the subway so he wished me luck on my next race