Monday, October 6, 2014

The Blame Game

It happened again.

I went out with all intentions to run a nice easy run on Thursday and somewhere along the way all those good intentions got thrown into the river.

I'm pretty sure that it wasn't my fault. Nothing really ever is. That's the beauty of having a family - there's always someone else to blame. Even when it's clearly my own fault, I can distort things so the finger of blame is pointing away from me. Only just yesterday I had Iven believing that he and he alone was guilty of leaving the dog's lead in the car. Even though he hadn't been at home when it had happened.

I'm going to start by blaming the man posted at the temporary fencing to stop pedestrians from getting onto the Bicentennial Bikeway. He's a brave man that tries to stop menopausal women from running their favourite route at 5:00 in the morning. Let's say that I probably wasn't his happiest customer of the day. Which is nicer than saying I was a cranky bitch and it's lucky that I'm not allowed to carry a taser because I'd have really enjoyed trying to make him dance.

The little 'episode' with him and the adrenalin rush of having to cross Coronation Drive twice, illegally, had me running a little faster than I'd meant to. And we all know that once you get into a rhythm, it's hard to break it. Especially if that rhythm is dictated by the song that's playing endlessly in your head and you can't change it because your MP3 has died. Yeah, should have charged the battery.

I was just starting to get over the annoyance of the dictatorial path man, having to cross the road twice unnecessarily and having my music die when I saw HIM just up ahead of me. He looked fit and a good ten years younger than me. And I thought to myself - I can take him. Because there's nothing that I like better than beating someone in a race that only I'm aware of. Unless that someone is younger, fit-looking and male - I definitely like that better.

So ever so slightly, I picked up the pace. And slowly I started to reel him in until I was at the point of passing him.

Passing anyone always requires a special effort. You can't just pass another runner and ease off knowing that your job is done. You have to pass and make sure that the passee stays passed. And that's all well and good most of the time when the passee knows that there is no point as they are being passed by a superior runner. But every so often you get one that has an ego and doesn't take kindly to being passed by a middle-aged woman. As did this runner.

I passed him and I thought I'd done a good job of it - until I heard the heavy footsteps just a few metres behind. So I picked up the pace a bit more. And so did he. My imaginary race had turned into a real one and I was not going to back down.

Unfortunately, though, I was starting to get tired and my competitor was an unknown force. I couldn't tell if he could keep running at this pace all day or if he was breathing as heavily as I was. And I still had about 6 or 7k to run once I got over the bridge. So I did what any reasonable, sensible person would do in this circumstance. I pretended that there was no imaginary race and I stopped for a drink. And I stayed drinking long enough so he was well past me and I wouldn't be tempted to reignite our bitter imaginary feud.

You'd have thought that at this point I would have been satisfied with my imaginary win (and it was a win - because the race obviously finished at the water bubbler). But no - the competitor in me just had to chase down the other two young males (not fit-looking in the least) on the way back home. Luckily these two knew their place and once passed stayed passed. That's the way it's supposed to go.

I got home tired but satisfied. And five minutes faster than the previous week.

So if I'm a little tired in the legs this week from running too hard last Thursday, we all know who to blame. And it's not me.


  1. HaHa - love this!! I always feel the need to race people.
    Years ago when I ran at the gym I was way to obsessed with racing all the other treadmill runners - never mind that I was running 8 or 10 miles and they were doing 3 - I had to have the fastest pace!!

  2. I guess you showed them. Clearly they were asking for it.

  3. I'm disapointed in you... why stop? why not run on till the body breaks, it would have been even more satifying to have broken him...

    Next time!

  4. I recognize this so much, unfortunately at this point I'm the unfit one that gets passed :) but I'm sure my ego will return once I'm fit again.

  5. Oh. That's terrible. They should bar all nice speedy young men from your running routes. Don't those guys know you need to run easy on Thursdays?

  6. Ba ha ha - good one! And it took me a few times to get the gist of your gif but when I finally figured it out...LOL!

  7. God, I do that when I walk at the moment. I'm so embarrassed that I walk so slowly and get shin splints and a sore hip that I pause to 'look at my phone' or take a picture etc. Truly. It's the only reason I stop until my almost-overtakers overtake me!

  8. Gawd I admire you running types. I can do short bursts but I don't like getting too out of breath. I do walk fast for an hour a day most days. I saw a young guy out running yesterday and he was literally running up a tree over and over. It was a big rain tree and he kept taking a run up and tearing up the tree. I was a bit scared to walk past him cos I thought he might be a nutter but I think he was just trying to improve his upper body strength or something. I giggled when I read the bit about you competing even when the other person doesn't know it's a competition :)

  9. They had someone posted at 5 in the morning?

    1. They did Andrea. And you just made me realise that that's possibly one of the worst jobs you could get.

  10. This scene is all too familiar with my menopausal ego! Especially if my competitor is a young person of the male persuasion! ;D

  11. Rude. Don't people know how to stay passed? Basic running etiquette.

  12. Familiar situation. I remember a competitor of mine and Giorgio stopping for a (fake) piss beyond a bush.

  13. Ha! I'm exactly the same way! My husband used to call me the black widow because I simply could not help myself if there was a man running in front of me - I HAD to beat him. Therapy, maybe? :)


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