Today I had my 12 mile run with Team in Training. And today, as usual, like all runners on my team, I passed the pedestrians pretty early into my run.
Because I was running, and they were walking.
Trying to be friendly, I said, "Good morning, how are you?" to the TNT walking coach as I trotted past her.
She said, "I'm fine, but how are YOU?" with a weird emphasis on the you.
I said, "I am wonderful, thank you!" (I felt pretty good, as a matter of fact.)
So she shouted back (as I was now significantly ahead of her) "DON'T OVERDO IT!"
This really irritated me.
I shouted back, "I DON'T OVERDO IT!"
Then I heard her cackle, "Yeah right!" and the walker next to her cackled right back.
Perhaps I sometimes I do overdo it.
But who is this random woman, who is not my mother, who does not know me at all, to tell me to slow down?
And maybe I'm not overdoing it. Maybe she's under-doing it.
After all, she's walking. I'm running. She's...not the healthiest looking creature on the planet. As for me, at my last check-up, my internist positively beamed at my chart and told me my blood pressure was "delightful."
You don't get a "delightful" BP from underdoing the exercise.
Sorry. I'm getting mean.
I'm not really sure why the walking coach's matronly advice pushed my buttons so much. I feel very much like the little boy in The Christmas Story who is told by every adult he encounters, including Santa Claus, that he can't have the toy gun of his dreams because "You'll shoot your eye out."
I have shot my eye out, figuratively speaking, with all of my injuries, but doing so got me to discover my inner tough guy. I've gotten a lot of scrapes and blisters and uses for an Ace bandage along the way, but I've also said goodbye to the wimpy, squeamish little girl I used to be before I learned how to sprint over dead possums. "See ya, I don't wanna be ya!" I told that girl. And she left, for good.
Okay, the real reason I am still thinking about this woman hours later is that--and I cringe to type this--I found myself automatically slowing down after she shouted out her advice (once I was out of her line of vision.) It could be because I was at the 8 mile mark, which has always been a toughie for me, but I actually think I have this inner good-girl desire to please that made me second-guess myself and crank it down just because a woman than older than me told me to.
Next time she tells me not to overdo it, I'm going to shout back, "Careful, there's a turtle behind you and he's hot on your trail!"
No, I won't do that. That would be really uncool.
After all, she's a nice lady, out there every Saturday, and at every Florida race. She's dedicated to raising money to fight leukemia, and she's probably just worried about my health because she's that kind of a person.
So I won't say anything.But...is it so wrong if I think to myself, maybe even whisper it, "Catch me if you can!"