I’m not losing to THAT guy

Anger is a healthy part of running distance races, especially for those of us who aren’t at the front of the pack. If it was something I was good at, I might actually like running.

If I was at the front of the pack, I imagine that Morgan Freeman would be narrating my race. In the middle, struggling along, it sounds a lot more like Samuel L. Jackson

Pain and anger are fairly universal parts of running. Pain is obvious. Some people strain muscles, others twist their ankles, and a few unlucky bastards deal with bleeding nipples.

Anger is less obvious because it’s internal. Usually, anyway. Some people evidently yell profanities while running.

Anger is that inner dialogue. It’s that f-bomb that drops when you see that stupid hill you always suppress in your memories of the route. It’s that creative French cuss word you learned in high school when you see those runners who are going much faster and appear to breathing just fine.

And sometimes anger shows up during a race. I think most people have the universal “that jerk” story from a race. Some of us have even been that jerk.

Some stories are fairly typical. The person who runs really fast and then walks is a common story (I know a thing or two about that). There are the people who run 3 wide. There are the ones who don’t move to the side. Sometimes they’re a bit stranger. It could be the way they’re dressed or just the way they act. But they’re insufferable, either way.

And what happens for a lot of people is that jerk is either right in front of them or they just got passed the jerk, and they can’t stand the thought of losing to that jerk, and they pick up the pace just to be beat THAT guy.

For me, it was a guy running in Vibrams at my 3rd 5K (which was really 2.2 with the wrong route business). He was trudging in front of me, and I couldn’t stand the thought of him beating me basically barefoot. I kept my pace up as much as I could. Unfortunately, I lost. Who knows, maybe when he passed me he thought the same thing about me. I was one of those jerks who walks in the middle of the race (but not in the middle of the road, thank you very much).

So what’s your story? When did you see someone and think, “I am NOT losing to THAT guy!”

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3 thoughts on “I’m not losing to THAT guy”

  1. I’ve learned I get very emotional on my long runs. One time it was this guy – that was probably genuinely interval training. The first time he passed me going so fast! When I passed him later down the trail, and nearing the end of my long run, I had to suppress the urge to yell “Tortoise and the hare motherfucker!!” The other time I got really angry was again, at the end of a long run, I was super sweaty, tired and hungry and passed a group of what looked to be team runners, snapping head shots in their nice clean matching jerseys, and eating breakfast tacos. Again, had to suppress the urge to slap a taco out of a girls hand, because if I can’t have a taco – no one can have tacos.

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    1. I’ll be honest, I thought I got a similar response on the tortoise and the hare thing at the 5K. I thought I was being heckled. Turns out someone was asking me for the time because they didn’t have a watch. Man, a breakfast taco would be heaven after a race.

      Liked by 1 person

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