SL: gives you something to strive for. Or just be happy
with how much you have accomplished.
Me: Or pull the curtains shut and eat cookie dough straight from the tube
while listening to Yesterday Once More by the Carpenters……
Four kilometres into my hill training I see them. As I have each Tuesday. I keep to myself. Focused on the next hill climb. A nod of acknowledgment and I go on my way. At least, that’s how it has been.
But today is different.
Today I am asked to join their group. Intrigued, I accept and am quickly introduced to their fold. In the interest of protecting the innocent, I won’t name names. But I will list accomplishments.
Like the group leader who runs Ultras. Not 50k ultras like me. 100 mile ultras. Something about a 50 mile race the day after a 30 mile race also sounds somewhat familiar. But it all blurs over in my addled mind.
There’s the woman who laments her last half marathon race time. It’s 2 minutes faster than my personal best.
Another runner talks of a date she had that was supposed to be a bike ride through wine country; it turned out to be a triathlon.
They talk of another member of their fold. Absent as she no longer runs marathons — though the group of them have happy memories of competing Boston en masse. It seems the absentee first downgraded to half marathons, then to 10 k’s and 5 k’s. The thing is, she wins every event.
Oh, and 8 out of 10 of them are Boston Qualifiers.
We sprint up hills. They with gazelle-like facile. Me valiantly fighting off an impending heart attack.
We run flat out for a mile. It was supposed to be 1 km. Oh well, what’s another 600 metres at full gallop?
Needless to say I am the runt of the litter.
But I have been invited to join them again next week. Maybe I’m the runners’ equivalent of their DUFF — designated ugly fat friend.
In truth, they are a very supportive, welcoming, and highly accomplished group.
I just may take them up on their offer.