In Which Jenn Passes & Is Passed

IT Crowd more normal

Does anyone else find passing people… awkward?

I don’t mean in races – passing is perfectly normal in races. So is being passed. Generally speaking in a race it’s happening so constantly that you become numb to it in either case. But I find it weird when on an outdoor training run.

Actually, being passed doesn’t bother me that much. I long ago accepted that by comparison to many people I am just not that fast. So what? I have serious endurance. I’m plugging away at ten miles here and it’s not even 8AM yet. You wanna pass me? That’s cool. I will mentally wish you Godspeed, watch you disappear into the distance, and revel in the fact that solitude has returned once again.

Passing, though? Passing feels WEIRD. For starters, I don’t do it that often, so there’s that. Moreover, though, I feel PRESSURED.

I bring this up because, naturally, I have a recent example. I was in my last few miles of a morning run when I saw a girl running up ahead. Every time I glanced up I was slightly closer to her, which was a bit concerning but strange things happen on occasion. A quarter mile later, however, events took a startling turn: I was RIGHT BEHIND HER. Right ahead of her was a HILL.

Traditionally I walk this hill. But I was about to pass someone. If I passed her and then started to walk right after, that would be stupid and I don’t know, potentially rude? But if I didn’t pass her I’d spend the next two minutes mincing along at a slower pace than necessary – and if there’s any time I DON’T want to be going slower than necessary, it’s when home is within reach.

My brain bandied about the possibilities for a bit before my subconscious decided to take the wheel and I surged ahead and passed her. RIGHT ON TOP OF THE HILL. I glanced backwards in the vain hope that she had turned onto a different road and was no longer following me, but nope, she was still there. Also, probably she saw me glancing. AWKWARD.

Of course by that point I had no choice but to subsequently run the entire hill. So, uh, thanks for that, random girl!

Anyway, my point is that the entire passing thing, while no doubt not a big deal at all for a normal person with a healthy psyche, stresses me out.

Corollary issue: when I come across a runner headed in the opposite direction and I’m coming up on a walk break, I CANNOT STOP until they’ve passed me. I have been known to extend this policy to oncoming cars as well.

How do you feel when you pass and are passed on the road?

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