Tuesday, September 23, 2008

I run with an old man...

Almost every time I run, I see the same older man running. Hardly ever on the same road as the last time, and at various times in the day. And, as most runners do, I wave to him and smile every time. Old Man Runner is grumpy because he hardly ever smiles or waves back.

Old Man Runner is in great shape. He doesn't have a great stride. In fact, when I see him from a distance it often looks like he's in pain. But, I know he runs far and frequently.

Old Man Runner is also proud...as in prideful, I think. I remember the first time I ever saw him was on the last mile of a long run in my training. I was so pooped. Out of the corner of my eye, I could see him passing me. I was surprised to be passed by him considering his stride and age. (Hm, maybe I'm the proud one.) Then, another day, I was starting on the first mile of my run and I saw him from a distance running in the same direction about 50 yards in front of me. A few minutes later I was gaining on him. Just as I got about 3 feet in front of him, Old Man Runner kicked it into high gear and re-gained the lead. I never caught him after that.

Matt and I have joked about the conversation that Old Man Runner had with his wife that day. Something like this...

"Wife, a young girl tried to pass me today on my run! But I wasn't going to let THAT happen! I passed her so fast she didn't know what hit her! I've been running longer than she's been alive! Pass me....pfft."

And then Old Man Runner's wife would walk away and roll her eyes.

He intrigues me so much. Usually running in sunglasses so I don't often see his eyes, but I know he sees me and he's bound to recognize me considering the amount of times we've passed each other.

Today on my run, Old Man Runner appeared just over the hill near my neighborhood. As he got closer, I on the sidewalk and he in the road, I smiled.

And, today, he finally smiled back. I don't know if we'll ever be running friends that train together, but I got my smile.

See you tomorrow, Old Man Runner.

1 comment:

Dulcimer Hope Brubaker said...

Awesome, Katie.

I love imagining the secret lives of all the people I see in my neighborhood on a regular basis -- the old lady who alternately rides the bus and bikes to work wearing a backpack, a fanny pack, sometimes even a shoulder bag, and flip-up sunglass lenses on her glasses always in the flipped-up position. What makes her tick? And how can such a grumpy-looking lady make such healthy lifestyle choices as biking six challenging miles to work?

Love it. Oh, and you know what else I love? The package we got yesterday! THANK YOU SO MUCH! We love them (and are really impressed with your sewing ability).