The Other Runner

This morning when I reached the turn around point on my four mile run, another runner caught up to me and turned at the same spot. (What can I say. It's a popular turnaround spot.) Not wanting to be left behind, I increased my pace, caught up with the other runner, then sprinted past him, thinking that my dazzling speed would make him realize he had met his running match.

It was not to be.

The other runner increased his speed. I could hear his footsteps on the trail behind me coming closer.

Of course I had no choice but to stay a few steps ahead of him. But every time I increased my speed, he increased his. We were both determined

We ran a seven minute pace for about two miles. Finally with about a quarter mile left in my run and unable to keep the pace any longer, I slowed. The other runner slowed too and we ran side by side for a bit.

"That was fun," the other runner said. He was breathing hard.

"Yeah,"I said barely able to talk. I hadn't run this hard in a long time. I felt like throwing up.

"I saw you about a half mile before the turn around point," the other runner said. "I thought I'd try to catch you before you made it there."

"You did that," I said.

"Yeah but I didn't think you'd catch up and pass me."

"I'm competitive when I run. You can blame that on my wife."

The other runner laughed. I told him about Marathon Girl.

He said he wished his wife was a runner.

We parted ways at the end of my run promising that if we saw each other running in the mornings we'd race again.

As I walked home, I realized how much I miss running in the mornings with Marathon Girl. Even though I struggled to keep up with her blistering speed, I enjoyed every minute of it.

Now with a kid, crazy schedules and the fact that she's seven months pregnant, running together is just about impossible. The only time we exercise together anymore is when I we go for one of her "walks" on Saturday morning. Though I enjoy them, they aren't the same as just the two of us running full speed down the road.

This isn't a complaint. It's really anticipation for baby number two to arrive so I can run with Marathon Girl as fast as we can down the road in a couple months.

Mark my words. I'll be the one trying to keep up with her.