I woke up as if it were a regular weekday as I had a full day in lab ahead of me. I just needed an easy 4 today, and it started off perfectly. The weather was cooperating and not dumping rain, the park was quiet… until I passed him in my second mile. I didn’t really see him long enough to determine his age or any specific characteristics. Even though I wasn’t pushing my pace at all, I passed him quite handily and did a little mental high-five – it’s always an ego boost to pass someone, especially since I could tell by his labored breathing he was working quite a bit harder than me.
Apparently, he decided he didn’t like the taste of my dust, because that labored breathing stayed right behind me. Every once in a while he’d get a little farther away, but then he’d try to catch up again. I maintained my pace for a while, but then started testing him. I would slow down a bit, then speed up, but no matter what, this guy was drafting me! I silently cursed the fact that I didn’t have my iPod (in fear of rain) because that would at least drown out his breathing. Part of me was thrilled that he wanted to hang with my pace, but I thought it strange he was sticking so close.
I debated saying something, but I couldn’t come up with the words. Anything I thought of would have just come off like I was insecure about him keeping up with me. I suppose if it would have been a longer run I would have stopped to “tie my shoe” or something and get him away from me. As it was, I turned out of the park a little less than a mile later and finished the last mile in relative peace.
4 miles in 33:25 (8:25 min/mile)