Tuesday, April 05, 2005

For a good time...

Distance: 4.5 miles
Speed: 11 minutes/mile
Weight: ?
Music: M_______'s voice


After the ill-fated-night-of-the-potential-abduction-that-you-never-heard-about because-Blogger-deleted-it, I promised Todd that I wouldn't run on Kelly Drive by myself after dark. Since the days haven't gotten quite long enough yet to ensure ample daylight after work, I decided to check out a local running club. There are several in the area, but Philly Runners appealed to me the most, because a) they are an all-skills group and b) they like to drink. Perfect!

For those of you who don't know, I hate to drive. And I don't mean the way lots of people hate to drive, i.e. hating traffic or hating potholes. I hate, hate, HATE everything about driving. I hate it to the point that it actually gives me a headache and/or sends me into a state of panic at which point I usually pull over and call Todd to come park the damn car. So I just don't do it. I have my license and all, but I probably drive less than 10 times a year.

Anyhoo, to get to Kelly Drive, I had the option of taking 2 buses or driving. After much consideration, I decided that for my first time with Philly Runners, I should probably drive, since I'm not familiar with either of the bus lines, and SEPTA is generally unreliable. I won't bore you with stories about my white-knuckled, sun-glared drive, but I will tell you that I absolutely gave myself ample time and still managed to get to the Lloyd Hall parking lot with less than five minutes to spare. On top of that, I saw Geoff and Betsy in the parking lot and stopped to chat for a minute, so I pretty much had to sprint to where the group was meeting on the East side of the Museum. Way to make a great first impression, Theresa.

I've never been athletic, so I was a little afraid that I would immediately be identified as an imposter. The 30+ PRs couldn't tell, though, or if they could, at least they weren't letting on. I sheepishly asked a tall chick with really nice legs if I was in the right place, and she very sweetly informed me that I was. Then Seth, one of the organizers, came over and had me sign a waiver (turns out if I die running, I can't blame Philly Runners... what a rip!). When he asked me my average mile time, I got all lame and stammery and said, "Ummmmm... really, REALLY slow," to which he responded, "I have the perfect person for you." Enter M_______.

M_______ is cute, athletic-looking, and at least two inches shorter than me. She informed me that she was sort of tired, since she had just coached softball practice. "Awesome," I thought, hoping her weariness might enable me to keep up with for at least a few miles. What happened next was completely outside of my realm of imagination.

M_______ is S-L-O-W. Incredibly slow. If I'm really, REALLY slow, she's whatever is slower than that. In fact, in the 4.5 miles we ran, I hardly broke a sweat. In a lot of ways, it was great. This was the first time I had run with someone and actually chatted during the entire run, which was fun. M_______ is funny and sweet and had entertaining stories. She'd probably be a perfect running partner, if I weren't training.

I am training, though, and I think I may need to be pushing myself a little harder, if I want to reach my 10 mile goal by May 1st. So next week, I'll either try to pick up the pace with M_______ or find a new, slightly faster partner. Or I'll find out that M_______ was actually being held back by me but was too nice to say anything. She's probably writing on her blog right now about T_______, this overly enthusiastic, painfully slow broad that Philly Runners stuck her with. And everyone in Philly Runners probably reads her blog, so when I show up next week, they'll all smile politely at me, but I'll know what they're thinking, and my face will get really hot and red, and I'll feel so embarrassed that I'll decide to just give up running altogether, and I'll lose the non-refundable BSR registration fee, and...

Maybe I need to stick to running solo.


patrice said...

excellent!! a runner's club. if you'd have told me that you'd be living in philadelphia, married, a homeowner, and belonged to a runner's club 5 years ago, I would not have believed you. I might have even laughed.

Jen O. said...

I know it all to be true, Patrice, and I have a good giggle about it fairly often.

It's cool for me to say that. Theresa doesn't read the comments section.