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An open apology to the Jersey Shore Bro I ran with on Philadelphia’s Wissahickon Creek Bike Path this weekend.

08/16/2010

My regrets for the anguish I recently put you through. I did not drive to Pennsylvania with the express purpose of making your Saturday run on Forbidden Drive absolutely miserable, but you deserved it.

Here’s what I noticed when we passed by each other the first time on the Wissahickon Bike Path:

  1. Your knee-length basketball shorts. In all fairness, I was wearing shorts that openly advertise my high school lacrosse team, so maybe I shouldn’t talk. But knee-length basketball shorts – coupled with your Jersey Shore demeanor – signify to my judgmental side that you were probably only out for a 3 or 4-mile run before hitting the gym to get swoll. Just so you know, I was running nine miles. Justttt so you know.
  2. Your initial pace. When we passed by one another the first time, you were shuffling and appeared to be suffering intensely. When you turned around in the other direction to pass me, you were suddenly sprinting. I may not be a fisherman, but I caught that.  
  3. Your refusal to acknowledge my “Runner’s Hello.” Just so you know, fellow runners not locked into the intense focus required by a speed workout will often give one another a nod or wave as they pass by. It is an acknowledgement of our shared understanding of the task. An implicit, “You, fellow runner, understand my suffering and also my enjoyment of something others might peg as drudgery.” This is also known as simple everyday politeness. I gave you the nod and all I got in response was a curled lip and a glare. My mistake for the misread. You’re not in the fellowship.  

One of these is not like the other.

 

Shall we review the incident?

As I was enjoying my jaunt along the back paths of this fine city, debating lyrics for my next country hit and noting from the cloud cover that it is not, in fact, Always Sunny In Philadelphia, you shuffled by me in the opposite direction, committing the aforementioned faux pas.

Fifteen steps later, you abruptly turned around and headed back in the same direction I was going. You blew past me with mincing, angry muscle-boy steps.

Then, you made the fatal mistake of turning your head to check out how much distance you’d put on me.

Just so you know, this was all the invitation I needed to inflict physical and psychological torture on you for the remaining mile and a half before the bike path reached its end.  

You, sir, invited the hunt, and how silly of you to assume I was not going to answer a challenge from somebody who looked like a sliiiightly less roundhouse-kick-worthy version of The Situation.

Unfortunately for me, you were in relatively good shape – at least, good enough shape to avoid having me completely embarrass you over 1.5 miles.

Unfortunately for you, I was in good enough shape to embarrass you anyway. You turned around every 24 seconds hoping that I’d faded back, but instead, there I was, breathing down your neck and pressing your pace even further. Didn’t expect that, did you? (Just so you know, next time you’re being run-stalked you can just turn down whatever awful music was blasting on your iPod — that way you can hear my footsteps instead of having to turn around and look back repeatedly, which, A. makes you seem nervous and foolish and B. just reinforces my desire to press the pace.)

Well, it turned into a full-on race. To your credit, I don’t remember the last time I ran 1.5 miles that fast.

When you finally flew up to the stoplight that signifies the end of the path and thanked God the light was red, you promptly bent double, hands on your knees and wheezing, giving a subtle check to ensure I was still behind you. Well, just so you know, while you stopped at the light for a rest and then hobbled through the crosswalk, I made a right-turn and headed up a mile long hill for the rest of my run.

All I’m really trying to say is thank you, and sorry I was being rude by blatantly employing your insecurities to conduct a bit of impromptu speedwork.

 

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10 Comments leave one →
  1. 08/16/2010 11:47

    hahaha WAY to embarrass the rude running! I loved reading this post! I too would have been so frustrated! when I’m running I turn into a mean machine!
    I hope your week is off to a great start!
    xoxo!

  2. 08/16/2010 19:10

    love it. way to show him who is the boss 🙂

  3. 08/16/2010 20:50

    “i may not be a fisherman, but i caught that”. LOL. hilarious.

    maybe if you had put your bump-it in, he would’ve said hi. duh!

    • 08/18/2010 10:31

      Rats!! How could I overlook this? The bump-it needs to make more regular appearances in my daily running get-up.

  4. 08/16/2010 22:26

    I hear a side effect of steroids is constant turning of the neck. Hilarious!

  5. 08/18/2010 00:10

    Haha. I love this post. And not only because I frequently judge other runners and engage them in impromptu competitive events. Glad you were able to take him down a notch!!

  6. 08/18/2010 08:44

    GO USA! I LOVE that he kept glancing back at you and nearly collapsed from the effort of trying to whoop you. I’m betting it will be a very different story he’ll be telling his friends at le Club tonight.

    • 08/18/2010 10:33

      “Bro, I sprinted by this grenade on the trails today and she was so impressed….”

  7. Murdoch permalink
    08/19/2010 09:20

    This happens to me sometimes, usually when im on a recovery day and am trotting down the road half asleep still.

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  1. In defense of other runners. « Sweaty Kid.

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