Monday, July 29, 2013

Hey Stranger, Good Workout!

Friday’s run was an out-and-back route. I hit halfway in a decent-for-these days time, nothing impressive. Shortly after the turn around, a few paths merge into one and I found myself between two runners: one who I had just passed as the roads came together, and one thirty meters ahead. Well, I couldn’t let the guy I passed pass me back, because I’m too prideful/competitive/stubborn. Once I pass someone, I have to stick to it. It’s embarrassing to get passed right back, admitting you couldn’t handle it. If you make your move, you better commit to it. Except I had kind of fallen into my move; rather than one of us gradually overtaking the other, we had just emerged on the same path at the same time and I had gone in front. Oh well, better commit.

So I picked up the pace a bit and put some comfortable distance between us. The acceleration shook me out of the shuffling trance I’d been in lately.  I felt surprisingly good at this new pace, just pushing it slightly, opening up the legs and getting in the rhythm. I realized the guy ahead wasn’t getting any further away, but I wasn’t catching him either. He was keeping up a decent clip, so I decided to make a game of it, to stick with the pace to maintain the constant gap between us. Mr. Blue Shirt and I ran that way for close to three miles, him setting the pace, me trailing behind by about thirty meters. At one point, I thought he might turn a different way, but was glad when he didn’t. This was fun!

I have no idea if he knew I was there. He very well may have hated me—I know I despise when people do this to me. They force me to go fast, just because of my stupid pride of not getting passed. (See above for example.) In the end, though, it amounts to a better workout. Everyone ends up being pulled or pushed a bit faster, and so everyone wins. (Although if it’s a scheduled easy day, better to just let them go.)

Finally, Mr. Blue Shirt turned around and passed me going the other direction. He didn’t acknowledge me at all, not even in an ‘I hate you for following me’ kind of way. He may very well have not known I was there. Meanwhile, I had to refrain myself from giving him a high five, “Good workout, stranger!”

I tried to keep up our good pace the rest of the way, but it wasn’t as fun without my (oblivious) workout buddy. Thanks to his rabbiting, our second half was three minutes faster than my first. More importantly, it snapped me out of a running funk. Thanks, Mr. Blue Shirt. Same time next week?

Dream Big, 

[Image courtesy of Roland Tanglao]


  1. I think I done this "hunting game" once on you in RC Pkwy. It’s surely a good way to do a workout.

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