I’ve mentioned before that people mistake me for someone much younger than my 23 years. This isn’t usually a problem except for when I’m trying to buy wine and the cashier is refusing me. However, my youth does lead to some awkward encounters.
Monday – before NOVA was hit with the earthquake and then a hurricane – the weather was actually awesome, so I ventured to one of my favorite routes. I’d attempted a sprinting (for me) hills workout on the treadmill the day before and my legs weren’t really feeling a run, so I was just keeping it at an 11:30 pace for about four miles.
I turned on the WOD trail and headed down about 1/4 mile when about 30 high school track runners ran by me going the other way. Unfortunately, I was turning around too. My interest in running sadly and gaspingly behind the track runners was zero, but it was either turn around or make this into a five mile run.
Laziness won, and I turned around, making sure to stay about 30 feet behind the last track runner. The whole team and the coaches had gathered at the intersection up ahead and were waiting for the last few runners to catch up.
“You can do it!” one of the coaches yelled encouragingly as I passed him.
The last track runner reached the stop sign and stopped.
The whole team turned and looked at me, panting and breathless, slowly running towards them.
This was exactly what I did not want to happen. They were clearly waiting for me to continue the next portion of their run, so I couldn’t assume they were just cheering at the slow girl on the trail.
“Pick it up!” one of the coaches yelled.
Gah. I did pick it up, motivated by embarrassment and shame. I reached the group of them, and one of the coaches gave a faint cheer. I smiled and gave a little nod. Then I put my head down and ran past them as fast as I could, ran through the intersection, and turned down the nearest street to get out of their line of sight.
There, unashamed and unmotivated by yells from my peers, I stopped my sprint from shame and walked.