Sunday, July 7, 2013

Summer or not, game on runners

Today I am 193.6 pounds of rolling thunder.

This is the time of year when the air gets thick, the temperatures rise, and my excuses to run less and walk more become increasingly plentiful. If there's an excuse for not running you need rationalized, I'm your guy.

But I also get really mad at myself when I can't run as far or as fast as I should. You'd think a grown person would be able to go more than a half a mile at a time without a brief walk, but there are days when that doesn't happen for me.

So today I had my sights set on running more and walking less. The past week of running has been filled with fits and starts as the heat built back in and my running seemed to be more labored.

Being the world's slowest human, it generally comes as no surprise when people jet past me out on the streets. Real runners. Ladies with jogger strollers. Old men with dogs. You name it, and they pretty much zoom past me at will.

So today when a woman passed me on the opposite side of the street on my usual 4-mile loop it really came as no surprise. Usually I just watch as those young legs race off into the distance while I am powerless to give chase.

Today's passerby was no different. I was making my slow trek over some rollers when she raced by. But for fun and as a challenge to myself I thought I'd try to keep running as long as she was running. And then, she walked. But I kept running. She talked on her cellphone. I kept running.

She topped the hill and started running again, so I figured the game was over. I've acquired a taste for the dust that gets kicked  in your face when you're as slow as I am.

Then she walked again, which gave me an excuse to walk -- which I did. But before long I was running again and she kept walking.

The next thing I knew, I was passing someone. Granted I was the only one who knew we were competing. But yes, I was moving past another human being who was out running. I had broken my own rule and passed someone, and this time she was under 80.

Now this didn't keep me from walking up a few more hills as I extended my loop from 4 to 5 miles after being inspired by this feat. But it did put a little more spring in my step, or was that just the naproxen talking?

Either way, I felt inspired. And when I looked back over my shoulder, my confidence took a turn for the worse as I noticed my running partner had turned off onto another street. I guess the taste of dust isn't as sweet as I had become accustomed to.

More than likely, her cellphone could get better reception on another street.

Anyway, you see the world's slowest human out there on the heated streets, give me a wave.

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