Trail Etiquette: WWEPD (What would Emily Post Do?)

October 1, 2013

I have 2 hours and 45 mins, 2 times days per week with just one kid while my other two are at school. What is a girl to do for 2 hours and 45 minutes while my kids are in school and my infant naps? The smart moms go home, put their pjs back on, enjoy an uninterrupted cup of coffee and watch last night’s episode of Parenthood ( that they missed because they chase kids all day and are asleep by 8:45. Not me though. Because I’m crazy I hit the trail and subject myself to running 6 miles pushing a 22lb double jogger with a 17lb butterball baby in one seat and a diaper bag that also weighs as much as a small child in the other seat…. it’s called half-marathon-training-mom-style.

In order to distract myself from the pain I am experiencing, I use this time to people watch. There are several types of people I come across on my trail run. 90% of those people ‘get it’ and adhere to appropriate trail etiquette. They are there to run or walk; they keep to the right and pass on the left. The other 10% are something else. These people make me wonder, “What would Emily Post do?” because when it comes to trail etiquette, if there is such a thing, I have a feeling she would have something to say. And because I receive so many compliments on my artwork I decided to draw you some pictures to illustrate this debacle. Here they are in order of ascending nuisance-ness:

The Lovebirds:


Awh, aren’t they cute? So cute. But it’s like being behind someone driving 25mph when the speed limit is 55. Trail accident waiting to happen.

The Lulus:lulu

Ok, so I may or may not fall into this category, but the lulu’s up the ante when it comes to trail running fashion. God forbid I roll out of bed and go for a run in the sweat pants I slept in. Murphy’s Law says I will pass an old friend from high school who I haven’t seen in years all lulu-ed out (with make up on)… and that’s whats annoying… now I have to plan my outfits just to go for a run.

The Drama Queens:


Okay, I am all for catching up with your girlfriends, but its the grandiose hand/arm motions in an omg-moment on a narrow trail that just don’t work. If you’re not careful you might get a diamond implanted in your cheek when passing. (and then you’ll be paying a visit to her husband, the plastic surgeon…)

The Therapists:


Do I really need to explain this one? Save it for the wine bar, sistas. I already have TMI in the 10 seconds it took me to pass you.

The Perfect Stranger:


From a distance you make eye contact. They smile big. You smile back. They smile bigger and wave frantically. Oh, maybe you know this person? You check either side of yourself to make sure they aren’t waving at someone behind you. Nope. They are waving at you. They shout a big friendly ‘hello’ and you respond with equal enthusiasm so as not to appear rude. Is this person just friendly or did they mistake you for someone else. Most likely the latter – I don’t live in the south.

The Overachievers:



This is the moms, and dogs, and babies bunch. It is hard enough to just walk with babies let alone adding dogs into the mix. Trust me, I have been this person before (which is why my dog currently lives with my mom, but that’s a story for another day…). This crew takes up the entire trail and then some. The only thing worse than trying to maneuver around a crew of overachievers is trying to maneuver around TWO groups of overachievers crossing paths. It’s a tangly mess…. and if my hand didn’t hurt so bad from drawing tiny stick people with a touch pad I would illustrate this for you, but for now just use your imagination.

Now I know I am not perfect. I have been all of these people at some point in my life. And now, I take up my fair portion of the trail with this:wideload

…and I blast Katy Perry from my phone without using headphones which might be annoying to some people?? But, still, I can’t help but wonder what good ole EP would think.

**Disclaimer: If I know you and see you on “the trail”, just know that none of these are about you 😉


  • Natalie
    October 1, 2013 at 9:31 pm

    geez, what would I do if I was running next to you w/ my double! I do the same thing 🙂 we wouldn’t fit! good luck w/ the training/running!

    • Sisters to Sons
      October 2, 2013 at 2:34 pm

      Yeah two double joggers is also a nightmare haha! Better off sharing a babysitter!

  • Barb @ A Life in Balance
    October 2, 2013 at 8:24 am

    I LOVE the illustrations! However, I’m one of those people who does say hi while out running. 🙂 Especially if it’s early morning ’cause I don’t want to scare anyone. Not that I would at 5’2″. Clearly, I think I’m bigger than I really am.

    • Sisters to Sons
      October 2, 2013 at 2:33 pm

      Thanks, Barb! And I should clarify, a friendly hello is much appreciated! It’s when the person acts like they know me that totally throws me off!

  • Kristen B
    October 2, 2013 at 8:52 am

    Ha! I have been a few of these. I am currently training for a half-marathon, mom style as well. I try to do most of my runs alone or with my dog but I also have to do a couple 4-6 mile runs with both my kids in a double jogger. Talk about a work out!

    • Kristen B
      October 2, 2013 at 8:53 am

      I haven’t attempted the double jogger AND my dog yet though. I may have to though…

      • Sisters to Sons
        October 2, 2013 at 2:30 pm

        Trust me, don’t do it!!

    • Sisters to Sons
      October 2, 2013 at 2:32 pm

      Whenever I run with my double jogger I automatically add 2 miles to the total I actually ran… definitely exert more energy which translates into more mileage! (according to me, at least!)

  • casey leigh
    October 2, 2013 at 11:01 am

    ummm… i think i recognize that lulu booty?

    • Sisters to Sons
      October 2, 2013 at 2:30 pm

      who? you??!

  • Caitlin
    October 2, 2013 at 1:14 pm

    too funny! I love the Lulus! I get stroller rage when I’m trying to get somewhere and other people are ignoring the fact I’m trying to get around them.

    • Sisters to Sons
      October 2, 2013 at 2:30 pm

      I’m totally with you on that one!

  • Lindsey
    October 2, 2013 at 2:15 pm

    Kudos to you for running 6 miles! I’m working on being able to run for a solid 2 minutes! lol Where is the category for crying on the side of the trail? That would be me.

    • Sisters to Sons
      October 2, 2013 at 2:30 pm

      Haha! Crack me up! I need to do a sequel post with all these great ideas…

  • Jessica @FoundtheMarbles
    October 2, 2013 at 2:32 pm

    Hilarious. Love the overachievers!

  • Bill P
    October 11, 2013 at 2:11 pm

    Haha I can totally relate to allllllll of these annoyances! HOWEVER, I feel weird not saying hello to everyone that passes from the opposite direction! Its to the point where if they don’t say hello, I am calling them names under my breath, and demote them as humans to rude, grumpy, nasty people! P.S. There need to be one more diagram of mom’s that run with double (or even single) strollers, period! 😉

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