One of my favorite routes for doing my long runs is doing endless loops around my local park. Sometimes I see familiar faces and sometimes I see someone completely new.
Today, this young runner was running clockwise while I was running counterclockwise. Each loop is about 1.5 miles long and I think we crossed paths about 6–7 times. We didn’t say anything to each other except a simple nod of acknowledgement. That nod became a grin as we pushed each other to keep going. You can visibly tell who ran harder by noticing where we’d cross in the next loop. I slowed down some, he slowed down some. Then he made the move and that motivated me to make a move on my own.
It went on like this for an hour. I had a dinner plan to go to so I stopped first. Soon we crossed paths again. He was running and after recognizing I was walking, he said, “you done?”. I said, yeah man. Great stuff! Keep going!
When we run it’s about pushing each other to do better, to do more than what we think is our ceiling. Almost always, there’s no time to converse but in all my experiences meeting random runners even as brief as a second, there’s always this amazing vibe of kindness, respect, and passion. I love that.
Thanks to the random runner, today’s workout was a great one. 11 miles in 1.5 hours? Not bad. Next time, you’re stopping first buddy! ;-)