Sunday, September 19, 2010

How Slow Can You Go?

So after about 4 weeks of no running or even fast walking for distance, I did some miles today since my cold was finally feeling better. I walked 4 miles this morning in great, cool weather at a 14 minute pace. And this afternoon, after the frustration of having the Philadelphia Songbirds almost blow a big lead against the Detroit Housecats, I decided it was too nice a day to not go out again. So I did four laps of a trail I like for a total of 2.8 miles, mixing running and walking. But I was slow. How slow was I? Consider…

The first to pass me was a young guy about half my age. “Well,” I thought, “I could be his dad.” So that was OK. Then a young woman, about the man’s age, zipped right by. She ran like a girl, so that was OK. By run like a girl, I mean running smart, running strong, and running proud. Most women I know can beat me in a race hands down. So that was OK, too.

Then a lady pushing a baby carriage with two kids in it sped by. Not so OK. A guy about my age roared past. Ouch! My testosterone level plummeted like a stone. His dad passed me a few seconds later. I felt the burn of shame across my face.

I heard a clickedy-clack behind me and turned just as a really old lady, maybe about 90, came up on me. She was using a walker, and was dressed in a sort of nightgown, of all things. As she went by, she turned and looked behind her, shaking her head grimly. “Damned Viagra!” she muttered half to herself. I heard more clicking and clacking behind me and looked back.

An old man, a little older than the lady, was wearing pajamas and was also using a walker. He was totally bald with a big paunch, and he sported a big grin. He was gaining quickly on me but gaining almost imperceptibly on the old lady. But he was gaining on her – that much was clear - and he put his head down and redoubled his efforts.

“Dude!” I exclaimed. “Give it a rest, why don’t you?” “No way, young fella,” he replied with a big grin. “There may be snow on the roof but there’s still fire in the furnace." I was tempted to tell him there was no snow or anything else on the roof, and that the furnace looked more like a pot-bellied stove, but then I decided that would not be nice. He passed me by, looking quite determined, the old lady just a few yards ahead of him now. Deciding I wanted no more of how this might turn out, I reversed course.

Within minutes, I was passed by a three-legged goat pursued by an old farmer on crutches. Then a box turtle lumbered by. I have always loved turtles and been fascinated by them, but I did get a vision of turtle soup. Finally, a snail crept by me. At that point, my 2.8 miles ended and I felt thoroughly defeated. But then I thought, “Hey, a lot of guys your age never even left the couch today. I was out there for 6.8 miles, slow or not!” So it was all cool.

Now, of course, I made some of this up. I was never passed by that snail. No way. Once he got close, I made a snap command decision. I won’t tell you what happened, but I will share that I had escargot for an appetizer tonight!

1 comment:

TNTcoach Ken said...

LOL, Housecats???? We call them Pussycats here in the High-five state. You have to learn how to get physical with those that choose to pass you. A well place elbow would have taken out that old lady.......