Fitness · Just my Thoughts

Are You A Rule Follower?

I just ran my fifth race this  year.  While I never imagined I would be a racer, or a runner for that matter, I am and I love it.  What I dislike is all the people who decide which rules to follow while racing.

I am not above questioning rules.  I have never been a blind follower.  I actually question the status quo and rules more than the average person.  I like to live my own way.  That having been said, there comes a time when I truly believe that rules are for a reason.  One of those times is when I am in a race, particularly if said race is on a busy city street that has not been closed down or is on a major state highway that is still in operation as the race is ongoing.

You may  be wondering where this is going.  Here is where!  I cannot believe the number of people who utilize their mp3 players during races when the rules specifically state no headphones.  I saw this a lot at the Mountain Goat in Syracuse.  I was a bit less concerned with it there as the roads were closed down for the race.

Then, I ran the Vestal XX on Saturday.  This race was run half – not a full 10K but close – on New York State Route 26.  Yes, 26 has a shoulder that is wide enough to hold at least two runners.   Still, Route 26 was not closed to traffic.  There were places where the race ran that there were three lanes of traffic and cars in all three lanes.  No one should be running there with headphones in and music on yet, despite no headphones allowed, I saw people with them in their ears.

Now, I admit.  I love to run to music.  Some days I need the music to keep me going or, at the very least, get me moving.  I can, though, run without it.  I have run without it – every race I have ever run and a few training runs also.

Are you a rule follower?  What would you do if you constantly saw people breaking the rules?  Do you break the rules occasionally?

23 thoughts on “Are You A Rule Follower?

  1. By nature, I am a rule follower. But I have learned to start coloring outside the lines a little and I’m loving it. Life is so much more fun. So glad you enjoyed your race.

    1. I like that outside the lines coloring, too, Tracy. I just tend to think – especially after a recent run in with the road since I car would not yield me 30 inches on the side of the road – that rules like this particular one are there for a reason.

      I thought of you as I ran! Thanks for the inspiration!!

  2. I definitely follow all race rules. I didn’t use my ipod during the Mountain Goat, definitely could have used it, and was dismayed at how many people I saw using them!

    1. I know. Amazes me, Molly. Looking back at photos from the race this past weekend, I am amazed at all the people who used them this race also.

  3. I’m a runner, too, and I must say, I need music to run. It’s part of the experience for me. (Just posted on that today, actually.) But … I am a complete rule-follower and a safety fanatic, too, and would choose not to enter a race where music wasn’t allowed. Just in general, it galls me to see people breaking rules, especially ones designed to keep them safe!

    1. I have yet to go to a race, Stacia, where music is allowed. That said, there was music along the course on the Mountain Goat in Syracuse and there will be music along the course of the Boilermaker in Utica.

      I am headed over to read about your music and running post.

  4. I am generally a rule follower, though I sometimes drive a little too fast or sneak a snack of my choice in to the theater if they don’t have what I want. However, I think it is a lack of respect when people enter races and don’t follow the rules, even about music.

    I have always run with an mp3 player, but never raced with it. I thought it was very unsafe for the runners who wore them to the Vestal 20K. I happened to work at a water stop where there was regular traffic pulling out of a parking lot. I had to stop vehicles from pulling out in front of runners several times, and I thought it was thoughtless when I saw runners passing with headphones.

    1. I have to admit that even when I run at home, I only run with one earbud in. I keep the other out so I am sure I hear traffic.

  5. If I were a runner (and I vow that I will be one day), I think I would be a runner who needs music. Without it, I don’t think I could keep my rhythmn or enthusiasm. I think it would motivate me. That said, safety comes first, and I am mostly a rule follower, so I suppose I would struggle with this one.

    1. You will make a great runner, Christine. Wish you lived closer. You could do Couch to 5K with a group of women that JenLo helped organize.

  6. For the most part, I’m a rule follower, and like to be a good example to my kids. About road safety I’m a nut – totally Dudley Do-Right. I would want to run with music but I wouldn’t willingly and gladly knowing it was unsafe to not be able to hear and be attentive to traffic. I wouldn’t regret not breaking rules that others break even if they get away with it. It only takes one mistake like that to have regrets and you know being a runner on a road with traffic makes you very vulnerable.

  7. Great question, Nicki!

    I am a rule follower. Too much so, for too much of my life. And found out too late that some rules should be guidelines, and that’s how others look at them. When one plays by the rules and another cheats, the rule player loses. Sometimes big.

    Do I advocate breaking rules? No. But I do believe that with maturity, we use judgment and a bigger picture to bend certain rules in the best interests of our family. Moral relativism? Yes.

    And generally, I still don’t break rules. It’s not who I am. But my naiveté in believing in “the fair fight” is part of why I am where I am, and that isn’t such a good place.

    1. I understand where you are coming from, BLW. When one person follows the rules and another doesn’t, the advantage is not as it should be. The playing field does not start out level. That is not fair to anyone.

  8. I run sometimes and definitely with music. Have done it without but I prefer having music.

    I was definitely a rule follower growing up but I had an awakening as a grownup. I learned that a lot of people I admired did not follow the rules (I’m not talking breaking the law, that’s entirely different). I needed to be shown that I could make up my own rules and break them if need be to fully appreciate the luxury of choices we have within our grasp.

    1. Belinda – We all need to realize that not everyone follows the rules or follows them strictly. As I said to BLW, the playing field is not level if everyone is not on the same page.

  9. That’s a tough question. For me a lot depends on what is the rule. If the rule is completely ridicules, and is just a rule put in place to try and exert control over somebody else, it might be a good rule to break. i.e. Housing Associations dictating the colors of houses. But I guess I wouldn’t live in an area that had ridicules rules like that.

    As far as the ear buds during the race, I understand this rule to be a rule of safety. I don’t tend to run with music, so I wouldn’t break this rule. (Although when I have run with music, I have had the music low enough that I can still hear traffic.)

    Steve

    1. Steve – I am with you on it depends on what the rule is. Safety rules, though, may have come about for reasons that we do not necessarily know and should be followed. 🙂

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