I did my Wednesday run this morning. That's not at all strange being that it's Wednesday - but I don't always do my Wednesday run on Wednesday. And I ran one of my favourite routes. The one that takes me to the University and around the duck pond.
I haven't been running this route lately because I had an incident there at the end of last year. Not a dreadful incident. Just one that put me off running that way by myself.
Curious? Of course you are. And far be it for me to withhold from my reading public.
It was Christmas morning and I was doing my usual Christmas I-need-me-some-endorphins run. I'd spent a lot of the run thinking about a man that I usually see on this run - an older Greek man who'd recently lost his wife to liver cancer - and I was hoping that I'd see him to wish him a Merry Christmas.
I was almost out of the University before I spotted him. I went over to say hello and that's when it happened. I just went to hug him but it ended up with some very uncomfortable kissing (not on the cheek) and protestations of love.
Eeew. Talk about awkward. I couldn't get away fast enough. Or wash my mouth out with enough water.
I put it down to him being lonely and it being Christmas. And then one morning after an especially hot run I caught sight of my red-faced, limp-haired sweaty self and realised that he'd probably been powerless to stop himself so I shouldn't hold it against him and maybe I should be flattered instead of grossed out. Then I wished for a moment that it had been the lost identical twin of Hugh Jackman instead of a short, dumpy septuagenarian but I can never seem to get that lucky. And then I let it all go - except for avoiding that route (which I guess means that I really didn't let it go at all).
But just a couple of weeks ago I found out that I wasn't the only person to have been subject to his unwanted and, quite frankly, sloppy attentions. More eeew. Another member of our squad had also been accosted. And another friend who often walks at the uni.
Seems like my little Greek friend is a serial kisser. And as little as I didn't want his attentions, finding this out made me feel a little less special and a lot more creeped out.
It took a fair amount of courage to run the University loop this morning. For a lot of the run I gave him no thought at all but as soon as I hit the duck pond I couldn't help but wonder when I'd see him and hope I'd see him with enough time to cross the road and avoid him.
Once again I was almost out of the University grounds before I saw him up ahead - getting close to the water fountain that I was planning on stopping at. I did a quick recalculation. It was only another kilometre or so till the next chance for water and even though it was really hot and I'd sweat buckets, I was prepared to wait till then. But I didn't have to.
A very chatty acquaintance ran interference for me. This woman (let's call her Sue because it's nice and generic and happens to be her name) is also a regular on that path so would know my little Greek 'friend' and they'd settled into what would probably (if my experience is anything to go by) be a very long conversation. I was able to run past with a friendly wave and hello, stop at the tap that I'd wanted to stop at and know that I could do it unmolested. Phew!
Just a quick update on the weekly battle for speed supremacy between Bevan and I. Here's this week's video footage.
Unfortunately I'm the one wearing the blue shorts this week. Bevan beat me on every single one of the seven 1k reps.
Bevan, I bow to your superiority - this week.