Eric Rutin escapes a zombie attack
June 3, 2012
This morning I narrowly escaped with my life. As I was running along I saw across the street a girl that I can only assume was a zombie out for her morning constitutional. I think she was trying to blend in as a runner, but there were some telltale signs she was simply masquerading her real intentions – trying to find some human flesh for her breakfast. I noticed that her arms hung rigidly straight at her sides, knuckles almost scraping the ground. And her run, was clearly more zombie shuffle than Kara Goucher. Yup. zombie infected with the T Virus was clearly the only explanation. My zombie encounter turned my morning run into a fartlek workout and I quickly eluded the zombie escaping with my life spared.
However, that made me realize I don’t really pay too much attention to my fellow runners. I do say hi to almost everyone I encounter, but I rarely really paid much more attention than if they responded or not. So I started looking around and realized that runners come in all shapes and forms.
The next girl I passed reminded me of the old 70’s Keep on Truckin guy. She somehow was leaning back with her legs were way ahead of her torso. It seemed as if she would topple over backwards at an moment. This certainly isn’t the form that is taught at Nike’s Oregon Project I am sure. Then a blur passed me, a shirtless guy wearing 3″ shorts and obviously meant business. The funny thing is, his effortless gazelle gait was kinda how I used to envisioned myself looking – slight forward lean, high leg kick, quick turnover, arms pumping in unison. Then I saw pictures of me and realized I looked more like a T-Rex with a Fonzie obsession, but that is another story.
There is a girl I see on most mornings, she is probably in high school. I had previously noticed she was slow, but I never fault someone for their pace. A runner is to be applauded for effort and getting out on there, not speed. Today I noticed probably why she is slow. She ran with a crazy looping gait. Here ankles pretty much made full circles with every step.
As I finished my loop and started making my way back the next guy I encountered was a tall dude. Probably 6’6″, not your typical running body. He looked as if he was on leave from Camp Pendleton: crew cut, Ray Ban sunglasses, even olive green shorts and a tan t-shirt. He ran extremely erect maximizing all his height. It took all my restraint not to say “Hey Iceman”, as I passed him. The last person I saw was the grandma. She is a compact woman, probably in her 60s and runs with extreme purpose and always a smile. Her arms remind me of a train engine pumping her along.
This morning’s run taught me there is no single right way to run. Sure there are more efficient forms than others and if you are wanting to win your age group at your next 5K, form is probably important. But really what I think is more important is that short, tall, slow, fast, young or old, the right way to run is simply heading out the door and running. This is true even if you are a zombie.