There's nothing virtuous about being a fast runner. I firmly believe that every person who gets out there to run or bike or swim or keep themselves fit in whatever way works best for them, is already a winner. But, sometimes, especially since it doesn't happen terribly often for me, it's fun to be the fastest.
This morning, before most people were awake, I was at the track. (WHAT?!) Anyway, after my very slow mile warm up around the school, I started running in circles. The plan was 3 x 1600 at 10k pace with 800 jogs in between to rest. Since it was already 75 degrees when I got out there, I adjusted the paces for heat and humidity. (Everyone tells me that I'll feel the improvement this fall when the weather cools.)
As the temperature steadily increased, my pace slowed a bit but I hit all three miles at paces well below the heat-adjusted times I could have allowed myself.
A highlight of the run was when, during my second 800, I passed a man who had been jogging in what I realized were oxfords. He smiled heartily, wished me a good morning, and told me I was doing a great job. I smiled back and returned the encouragement.
There were a lot more people at the track than I was expecting on a holiday - more than on workdays. And this brings me back to what I said at the beginning. Even with seven other people out there circling that track, I was the only one passing anyone else. It was an amazing feeling after all the work I've put in. And, even though I don't think I'm better than anyone else out on that track, today I *was* faster.