Passing on the left! (An episode chasing Tres Pony)

14 Sep

It was an amazing beautiful morning today. Seemingly, the Eastern seaboard of the United States has hit it’s stride with beautiful fall-like weather for at least the next three days, and although my intention was to do some cardio in the gym before  I went to my pilates class, the crisp inviting breeze of the morning called me to join basically everyone else outside. So I locked my valuables in the trunk outside the gym and figured on doing about 30 minutes of running.

The trail that cuts through the small, colonial like town my gym is nestled in rests on the shore of an inlet and winds through some amazingly expensive town homes. At this particular starting point, the trail narrows near the still used train tacks, where there happened to be a mini-Tour-de’-my town, so all runners were forced into single file.

cutcaster-photo-100892824-Lots-of-people-running-in-a-sports-game  This always gets awkward. For me, I always feel pressure to pick it up if I know the person behind me is obviously faster, or is very close to me. And this morning, this glorious day, there was just such a case. I’m pretty sure this woman was about 50, and very intense about using color as a motivator. She liked her hot orange and green. Running tank, running skirt, and the best worst-thing I’ve seen in a long time–maybe even two decades– the Tres Pony. For those of you not born after 1980, and those who did not grow up or participate in the 1990s , then you missed one whopper of a hair do. Pleas see the pictures below:

One of these (NOT so smooth)pferdeschwanz-2-420x540  +    three of these   Scrunchies  =Tres Pony lady

But wait, let me get to how I knew that …

So I was running, hard. Tres Pony was clearly seasoned and there to do some sort of time trial for the day. After the bikers passed I pulled to the right of the trail clearing the room for her to go. Another quarter of a mile, and still nothing. She was just hanging back some, not totally behind me, just some behind me. It was a bit off putting, but I kept up my pace and decided to cut  out off the trail to where it loops closer to the water so I could run down the blocks nearest the grand estates.

Then I heard it: Her. She was basically the secondary part of my ass, breathing hard within inches of me, just scraping by my right side. I can promise you, if she had touched me at all, this post would probably have been written from a correction center, because I immediately became pissed off–“WHAT THE %#$@!” 

Every single runner, in every single part of the world knows you pass on the LEFT. Always on the LEFT (if possible and it was SO possible). I gave her room to do what she wanted and she waited for the moment I wasn’t watching to just make it like the final break in the Olympic time trials and give me the buzz by. I’m not sure if it was the running endorphins, or the native New Yorker in me, or PMS, but I started to chase her … and she knew it.

pass_on_the_left_travel_on_the_right  Suddenly, I was a cheetah in the wild stalking her prey–a wild pony … Tres Pony. That messy, dry, straw like hair, barely being kept in three weak sections with three out of date hair restraints. She was no longer 12, so she had no place to wear a scrunchie … ever. I had to keep on her, I had to let her know I was there, I had to let her know I wasn’t about to be passed on the right, or–if nothing else was to be accomplished–I had to give her the number to my stylist.

After the buzz by, I think it was 30 seconds of me thinking “WHAT THE %#$@!”   and then, then Tres Pony upped the ante: She looked back. That Pony knew what she was doing! It wasn’t even like it WAS an accident. So I went from cheetah to crazy-lady-puma in 30 seconds and it was on for 6 blocks.


She passed you on the right?

Thankfully, we were all up so early, there was NO need to worry (or stop) for traffic. I matched my same stalking pace for over 20 minutes solid.  It seemed people noticed, as I noticed people looking at me in a strange way–I couldn’t figure out their expressions until later reflecting on it–I must have looked serious … seriously pissed.

10 Blocks later, I started to slow. It was early, I hadn’t planned on doing this much milage or pace, I hadn’t eaten, and let’s face it, it’s hard chasing a Pony. Blocks 2-5 garnered looks from Tres Pony, the crossing of each one, she checked to see if FGR had still been able to keep up, thinking the bouncing potato to her lean stick couldn’t last this long each time, and each time she was wrong. I like that she stopped checking.

I stopped at block 11 and looked at my watch–35 minutes. I would really have to hustle if I would  have any chance of making it back to the gym and attend pilates class. With my hands on my knees, stretching my lower back, I let out a brief yawing fit of frustration. Tres Pony picked it up even more, but she never looked back.

Finally making my way back to the gym parking lot, I realized I exceeded my goal and that the usual and favorite pilates trainer was out, so I did some cool-down cardio, abs, and went home. It has been a while since I let someone get to me, and while Tres Pony wasn’t a physical threat or a personal threat, she became a proximity threat the worst of all for any runner. If you need competition or someone to show-up, ask a friend to run with you, get a trainer, or borrow someone’s small child, but don’t buzz by another runner for no good reason. It’s just not cool or good runner etiquette.

But, this may back up my off-topic theory– No one (not even my mother–sorry mom–) who wears a scrunchie is a sane and right minded individual.  There’s just always something about scrunchie wearers. I have never met an adult female who has worn one to be all together. My apologies if you are and you do, and congratulations for breaking my theory to pieces.

Be respectful and aware of those FGRs and other runners around you, or you might become their prey. And always pass on the left …

mitch-reardon-thompson-gazelle-fawn-being-eaten-by-lions-masai-mara-national-reserve-rift-valley-kenya  <–That guy passed on the right.


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