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.