Have I ever written about how competitive my mother is? You can practically goad her into participating against you in anything. Pie eating. Clam digging. Hula hooping. Running. Biking. She is always in. I think that she takes any comment about her potential inability to compete as an underhanded way of saying she is too old to do something. She is very wary of telling anyone how old she is because she feels like they hold that it against her. They treat her differently and she doesn’t like it.
I am only a little like my mom when it comes to competing. So it is kind of funny that I have developed a personal vendetta against a fellow runner. I know this woman slightly because we used to both do volunteer work for the same organization. She is also a runner and I frequently see her at events. She is shorter than I am and does not look particularly athletic (yes, very judgey judgey). I know that she runs faster than I do because I always pass her still going out while she has made the turnaround. Generally speaking, I have never really cared. That is until last week.
That is because after last weekend’s 10K I found out that she is in my age division. I kind of wish a pox on all the women in my age division. When I am running I find myself trying to determine whether or not I am running against them. I look at my fellow runners. Are they younger than me? Older? A man? Who cares. But it is very concerning if you may be in my division. Especially if you are in front of me.
This past 10K, I realized that this woman, this perfectly lovely and nice professional woman had not only beaten me but placed second in our age group. And, let’s be clear, she beat me soundly. It wasn’t even close. She was probably home drinking coffee by the time I crossed the finish line (OK, that may be an exaggeration but you know what I mean). So now, instead of a time goal, a goal of say cutting my time by a certain amount or running consistent times per mile that are faster than today, I just want to beat this woman. I probably have an opportunity to try at the beginning of March at the Hawaii Pacific Health 10K (which for all intents and purposes is still called “the Straub” by many of us old timers). Part of me sees this as petty. To target a specific person to beat. But really, it is just trying to best her time and in order to do so, I would need to shave three minutes off of my overall time. This seems potentially unattainable. But I have a month so I will give it a go. So give me a hand by thinking speedy thoughts. And maybe just a little about pox.