It had been four days since my last run. The frigid temperatures and bitter winds in the Poconos coupled with inadequate running gear meant that I hadn’t run since Thursday, and it was now Tuesday.
Since my training calendar only called for 4 miles, I would just make a couple rounds of the Sunnyside Loop. There was no one out–as it should be. Why would anyone else be out in this cold and dark? I headed up 43rd Avenue towards Woodside, then after about 10 blocks I hooked around back onto Skillman. But wait: was that another runner ahead of me, on my sidewalk and running down Skillman like I was? WTF. Normally, I see other runners going in the opposite direction on the opposite side of the street, or else if they are going my way it’s a humane hour, like 8 AM, when the sun is out. I thought I had long ago established my primacy as the Top Nut of the Neighborhood who runs in the predawn through all weather conditions. Who was this impetuous interloper, and (nearly as important) why the fuck was she wearing yellow shorts over her black tights? I had to pass her, this poseur. I picked up the pace; I was nearly next to her. I thought, surely she would turn soon, there’s no way she has the balls (or something) to run my exact loop. But no, she kept running on Skillman into Long Island City, and worse, she knew I was chasing her down so she went faster in a lame attempt to shake me. As I nipped at her heels, I pondered the yellow shorts . What would be the reasons for wearing shorts over tights? Does her ass get colder than the rest of her body? Maybe she’s modest and doesn’t like to reveal her curves. I find that a hard concept to grasp personally (ha!), but even so, why would modesty come into play when she was running in, for all intents and purposes, the middle of the night? Maybe she’s self-conscious about her large buttocks (it was totally an acceptable size), but if she’s self-conscious then why wear YELLOW shorts, which just draw the eye? These thoughts and more sadly occupied my uncaffeinated brain as I chased down this wanna-be usurper of not only my running route but also my time slot. (What was that? Did you say share the road? Good one!)
But then she turned left! Three blocks before I usually turn! Argh, just as I was about to be able to reach out and grab her by that obnoxious swinging ponytail. Fine then. Good riddance. I carried on, hooking around onto 43rd Avenue where it meets in a point with Skillman. I trucked up the hill, my heart light, happy to have my feet doing their thing beneath me. And then… there she was again! I’d caught her even though she had like a quarter-mile lead on me. Okay now I was really pissed! This nervy upstart thought she could outrun me when clearly I had caught up to her just now, just toodling along? People, I kid you not: it was The Chase the Sequel. It played out exactly the same way–just as I had her within my grasp, she turned the fucking corner! I chalk this up to lack of character (hers, not mine, obv). Not willing to concede defeat and return my route and time slot to me with good sportsmanship, she changed course! What a passive aggressive avoider! Okay, Yellow Shorts. You. Me. Thursday, 5:30 AM. IT’S ON!
4.36 miles in 39:04. Average pace 8:58; fastest mile 8:29; slowest mile 9:26.