The danger of catching up

As I enjoyed my ‘one form of exercise’ this evening, I noticed another runner ahead of me doing a similar pace. You can guess what’s coming – I couldn’t help myself. If they’d been notably quicker or slower it wouldn’t have mattered to me (I think), but they were in the same bracket I figured, so I had to work to catch them up.

Spoiler alert – this isn’t a coronavirus advisory post.

I got closer, much closer. When I noticed them, there was about 400 metres in it and with some hard work among the hills, I’d reeled in my (unaware and/or uncaring) opponent so there was perhaps only 25 metres between us. I didn’t want to get closer and I was pleased to ease up on the pace and congratulate myself. As I reflected on far I had left to go, the runner ahead stopped his watch and slowed to a walk – apparently done.

They gave me a cheery wave as I passed and, looking unstressed, said ‘hiya, good long run day, eh’. I returned the wave and mumbled something like ‘nice one, well done’ as I trotted on. I was barely a quarter way of the way into my own long run and wouldn’t seem as care-free as they were at the end!

When tempted to keep up or catch up with somebody, remember we’re all on different journeys.

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