A blog by runners. For runners.

Getting Ogled While Running

I was inspired to write this entry after an off-duty firetruck slowed down to watch me run. I could feel and see all four sets of eyes looking at me. Did I have something on my back? Was I running completely awkward? These are usually the first thoughts that come to mind when something of this sort happens. So I stopped to check to see if I had a big “kick me” sign on my back or something out of the ordinary. Nope.
Getting ogled during my runs has at times caused me to change my running route or even the way I run. While in college, I'd run down the lakeside path where guys would often fish. After a few times of getting cat-called by the same guys, I would just simply walk my route when I'd pass them in order to not give them something to stare at. Why not change my route, you ask? Well, running on the lakeside path was the safest and most simple way to complete my runs.
The more I run the more I notice others running and their form. Now aware that people do watch runners as they pass by, I've become increasingly more self-conscious about my form. Do I look like I'm a runner when I run? Is my posture and technique correct, or do I just look completely silly? Can runners tell my level of experience by these factors?
These are two of the reasons why I choose to do most of my running down Chicago's lake shore path. These, and because it's an uninterrupted run.
I've also noticed that my thoughts on this subject depend on my mood. Sometimes I run just to run and I'm in my own little bubble. Other times I feel fully aware of the other people around me that may or may not be judging the way I run. I'm working on this issue because it's definitely affecting my runs!
I'd like to know: Does getting ogled while running make you feel special, or would you rather people mind their business? Are you a self-conscious runner?