Is that title dramatic or what?!
In my race recap for The Great Johnstown to Granville Half, I mentioned my archenemy. I'm a very social runner. I say "HI" to everyone on my training runs. During races, I'll wave to kind spectators, talk to and encourage people when the going gets tough. Heck, I'll even request high fives if I feel like I need it! In my experience, on training runs, people don't always respond...but I can understand if you are running alone and some weird peppy girl is saying "HI" to you. During races, my fellow runners have ALWAYS responded in a positive manner.
NOT THIS CRANKY GIRL!
I try to see the good in all people so I was crossing my fingers that this girl was just having a bad day.
Sometime in the first mile, when people seemed to hit their initial stride, this girl...I really need a name for her...let's call her Regina (the meanest girl on Mean Girls and the evil queen on Once Upon a Time)...
Anyway, Regina passed me in the first mile and seemed to be running away with it. Not knowing the girl, I had no idea of her capabilities. So, I assumed she was the better runner and went about my business of staying relaxed and hydrated. Regina was always in my visual field, except around turns. She was wearing a bright orange shirt. I tell you this because, according to http://www.empower-yourself-with-color-psychology.com/color-orange.html , orange is the "color of social communication" amongst other things...this girl was the opposite of orange.
As we approached the halfway point, Regina was getting closer and closer. Somewhere between 7 & 8 miles, I saw a car stop and the driver run onto the course. It must have been this chick's hubby. He said something to her, she looked back at me, and sped up a bit. At this point, she might have been 100 meters ahead. It was at that point that I realized, this girl came here to win. This feeling came over me...I couldn't explain it. I just remember I had to stop myself from going too fast. I was getting out of control and knew I couldn't finish the race at that pace. I calmed myself down and returned to my relaxed race pace.
Seconds later, I realized I was approaching Regina. My first thought was "Don't pass her yet. Just feel it out." I could tell she was tired. I looked at my Garmin and the pace was 8:10. I was feeling better than an 8:10 so I said "What the hell?!" and just passed her. As I passed, I gave her the thumbs up and said to her "Great job! You're doing awesome! We are more than halfway there!" The girl didn't say a word. No acknowledgement at all. For some reason, that really bothered me. It lit enough of a fire that helped me through the next three miles. I'm sure she was pissed that I was passing her but that was her problem, not mine!
Even though I had the motivation to keep my pace, I was bothered mentally by her unspoken dis (do people still say that word? Please tell me they do.). I just remember thinking mean thoughts...so I decided to pray. I prayed for my attitude, my mean thoughts against her, and that she was feeling ok.
It wasn't until the drink station at mile 11 that we met again. I decided I would try again to encourage her. I pretty much said the same things I said at mile 8. No joke, the girl looked me dead in the eye, with the most malicious face I've ever seen, and DIDN'T SAY ONE WORD!
At this point, Regina took off. I was so pissed about her bad attitude and poor sportsmanship that I kept up with her. I decided it was worth the risk of hurting my knee (I'm not saying it was the right decision). Beating her wasn't necessarily the goal, I just wanted this girl to talk to me! At least say "Screw you, skinny blonde." Say something...ANYTHING!
I stayed on her tail until the final water station around 12 miles. At that point, she stopped for water but I kept going because I filled up my bottle at the last station. Honestly, I didn't want the lead because I knew she'd pass me. She was obviously more competitive about having the title of "1st Overall Female" of this tiny race. Me? I wanted that PR on this gorgeously hot day in Ohio.
And the moment I had been waiting for happened. Regina said something to me!! Again, as she passed me, I told her she was doing a great job and gave her a thumbs up. She looked at me and said...
"Do you know how much further we have to go?"
Ugh. She was as annoying as I had imagined. I told her what my Garmin said, although, my distance wasn't correct because I goofed it up. She never said thanks but turbo boosted her way ahead of me. Just a couple of seconds after that, we were rounding the corner to the finish. If I had cared as much as her about winning, I could have beat her...but then I saw the loves of my life waiting for me...cheering me on. Praise Jesus I forgot about this girl for a brief moment and waved and smiled at my hubby and James. It was the most precious moment amongst minutes of frustration at this mean girl. They haven't posted results so I don't know Regina's official time. I would be surprised if she was more than 10 seconds ahead of me. I never saw the girl after we finished. She never came to me to shake my hand, say good race, or anything.
It makes me sick that there are recreational runners out there with such poor sportsmanship. Unless you're making some cheese at these races, why do you have to be a turd? You shouldn't be a turd anyway but especially if it's a rinky dinky race that your momma could have won.
What did I learn from this?
1) I'm gonna keep being the social runner that I am. I won't let one bad apple ruin it for me.
2) Praying helps calm the nerves when you think you're out of control.
3) I'm going to start bringing Amanda to my races because she promised to trip anyone who does that to me again.
Credits: Jackie helped me with the naming of my archenemy. Thanks, girl. ;)