Tuesday, September 14, 2010

An unofficial race

I was going to go for a nice, easy, enjoyable run last night. But during that nice, easy, enjoyable run my competitiveness got the better of me.

I was in the latter half of a 3.5 mile loop running down a winding, slightly hilly road. Suddenly, another young woman ran out from a side street just ahead of me and turned onto the sidewalk on the other side of the street.

At first, I was determined not to speed up to keep up with her. This was supposed to be a leisurely run. But as I took the inside of a curve, I would catch up a little. As she took the inside of a curve, she would get a little farther ahead. Soon, the game was too tempting. If I pushed just a little faster, our paces would be evenly matched.

She probably didn’t even notice me on the other side of the street. Let alone become compelled to race me.

But I was compelled. Just a little. As we jostled for the lead, twisting and turning down the road, I knew I had to try to beat her to the traffic light at the end of the street.

One final, long curve gave the woman in orange shorts the biggest lead yet. And as that curve straightened out, the road rose up before us in a long, gradual hill peaking at the fateful intersection.

I pushed myself up the hill. I dodged a man and his unleashed dog. I slowed for a car turning in front of me without looking. And maybe 100 yards before the end of the road, I did it. I passed my unwitting competition. I’m sure if she had tried, she would have smoked me. But in my little world, I won.

I told the hubby about my unofficial race when I got home, and he asked me why I didn’t cross the street and run with the other woman for a while. The thought of being social just didn’t even cross my mind. It was “me” time. I was out for a run on a beautiful, cool evening. Probably, so was the woman across the street.

But next time, maybe I’ll introduce myself. Maybe I’ll find a local running buddy. That would be cool!

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