Wednesday afternoon, I decide to squeeze in a quick twenty minute run before going into a strength class at the Y. I start out with an easy jog, just warming up the legs. As I pick it up to a nice, steady run, I find myself near another runner. The gap in pace closes, and I’m running stride for stride with this guy. We don’t openly acknowledge one another, but it’s not awkward as we settle into the comfortable camaraderie runners often have.
After several minutes pass, Fellow Runner Guy begins to pick up the pace. I match. A few strides later, he speeds up a bit more. I speed up too, keeping pace, hanging tough, as a shift takes place and camaraderie gives way to competition.
“I see what you’re doing here, buddy. We’re going to push it now, eh? Can’t handle a girl keeping up, can you?”
These thoughts propel me forward, and I begin to push the pace. Sweat dripping, feet pounding, we near what feels like an all-out sprint. I wonder how much longer I really can keep up when, without a word, Fellow Runner Guy drops off to walk.
“I WON!” I cheer in my head, mental fist-pumps flying. “I WONNNNN!!!!”
Having sealed the decisive victory, I slow to an easy jog, then walk and catch my breath.
Finally, I step off my treadmill.
Of course, to be fair, my competitor had no idea we were racing. But, what matters is, I KNEW.
And I WON.
See you back at the treadmills, sucker.