Sunday, September 27, 2015

You. Go. Girl. (The Running Story)

Almost every day at almost the same time I go running and it makes me happy. 
I love my apple watch, I love my music, I love the hills, I love the way there is free water on the golf course.
I would like to be running right now, but no, I’m making myself sit here and write this out of penance because I’m a horrible person. 
Actually, that’s too strong.
 I’m not horrible but I definitely wanted to cause harm. 
 OK, maybe harm is too strong, but I felt something less than love and here I am to confess it.
Let me preface with this. My 4 mile running loop is a rational one that doesn’t involve tramping around traffic or through woods.  OK? So one day when I’m running and I see a woman taking an irrational course that involves tramping through the woods and cutting right in front of me on the course, I was understandably shaken. 
 I was running my own race, staying in my step, going breath to breath, all that awesome Zen yoga running stuff, when all the sudden -- through no fault of my own -- I’m BEHIND SOMEONE.
And the person I’m behind isn’t even RUNNING which means I must (must) race and pass her, even though the entire next ¼ mile is uphill. I use my watch to scroll through songs until I find one a little faster and off I go.
Just as I’m about to pass her she stops (SHE STOPS?) and looks at all the deer that are gathered for their nightly feast on golf course gardens etc.  I wave as I pass her and go up the hill, the steepest part of the run. Up, up and to the top. 
I walk through a crossing then run up the steepest part of the hill, the part so steep that sometimes golf carts have to turn around, get more momentum, and go back up. I feel badass as can be.
As I run my usual path I see the woman I passed taking a shortcut down the street and through the woods. She’s cheating. I run as hard as I can and just as I’m about to pass her (again) she stops to talk to a cat.
I keep going, and I let it go, because this is a HUGE universe full of more interesting things to think about.
The next day I go running, and it makes me happy.
Until I see her out on the street.
I smile and wave and go up the hill on my normal course.
A minute later she runs by.
I’m shocked because she isn’t wearing clothes a person would run in, and she’s waving her phone like she might throw it any minute, but OK, there she goes in front of me. You. Go. Girl.
Until she hits the first hill and her run turns to a jagged stagger then a walk.
I remind myself to run my own race, to stay in my breath, to go step by step, but despite all of that I speed up my pace as I tackle the hill and as I pass her, I think horrible inappropriate thoughts the Pope would not condone (ex: VICTORY IS MINE!)  but I think them anyway and savor them like candy.
Seriously. I love running.