I have a few loops from my apartment that I run frequently, especially when I go out before work. (I like to think as little as possible when waking up that early.)
I avoid secluded trails and paths when running in the wee hours, so a whole lot of my routes take me past the McDonald’s near one of the busiest intersections in town.
People must really love their Egg McMuffins.
It alarms me how many cars are lined up in that drive-thru every morning. Sure, the coffee is only 89 cents (for any size!). Sure, breakfast sandwiches are delicious. Sure, you don’t even need to get out of your vehicle.
But breakfast is arguably one of the easiest meals to make at home–I’ve been doing it since middle school–and starting your day with McDonald’s sets a certain tone for the rest of the day. A bad tone. Plus, it’s gotta be faster to chow down a bowl of cereal before you leave the house than it is to wait in that infinite drive-thru line.
I enjoy the occasional breakfast sandwich, for certain, but I save them for weekend mornings when I’ve stayed out too late (and consumed too many beers) the night before. (“I already feel disgusting. Might as well make it worse!”) Unless there’s an exceptionally high concentration of alcoholics in my small town, it’s hard to explain why this McDonald’s is so bustling on weekdays before 8 a.m.
And weekday-morning McDonald’s customers don’t seem to sympathize much with runners like myself. On other parts of my route, drivers yield to pedestrians on the sidewalk or in a crosswalk. Not in front of the McDonald’s.
I frequently run behind cars blocking the sidewalk as they wait to turn out, and the driver, facing the other way, hasn’t even considered the possibility that someone might be running or walking. (“Don’t you have a car?”) Drivers trying to enter will see you, assume you’re going to stop, and gun it to turn in in front of you and make it to the drive-thru 10 seconds earlier than they would have if they’d waited for you to pass.
I especially enjoyed the guy who sped up to turn in front of me into the exit. That was my closest call, as I wasn’t even looking for someone coming in the wrong way.
I guess I shouldn’t underestimate the willingness of fast-food junkies to run me over if it gets a paper bag full of grease, salt, and carbs into their hands sooner.