On my way out for a good 15 k this afternoon, I was waiting for my watch to upload the satellite signal, whena man I did not know came by my house. Im about to put my headphones on and listen to the new Coldplay tunes.
He looked at me and exclaimed: "HEy! You running? HOw far?"
Me: 15 k
HIm: Im running, we should run together!
Me: Oh, uh, well I have a route Im going on.
HIm: Oh that is great, lets go might as well since we are both running, I will be running about 125 minutes today.
Me: Wow, well, alright I guess...
So we start running. Chit chatting, he states he has been running for years now. He is wearing old gym shorts and a tshirt. He has a pot belly and a flushed face already, a man in his late 50s.
We start out, and it becomes apparent, we are on totally different pages. He runs EXTREMELY slow for my pace. We are talking over 8 minute kilometers, I would be shooting for sub-5 minute kilometer normally. Hey I am no pace snob, but this feels like we are purposefully gong at a snail pace. We got to the 3 k mark and he tells me this is faster than he is used to.
Now I am talking to myself, saying, you know this is great, you are meetings someone new, forced to take it easy, slow down in life, appreciate the moment.
As the run goes on and I realize my 15 k will now take us over the time I had allotted for ( home into suppertime), I decide to cut it shorter. Besides, this guy is starting to burp, fart and wheeze. However much he is wheezing though, there is no shortage of talking. He doe not just talk, but he more BELLOWS everything to me. I'm attempting to pick the pace up just a tad. I am running a few feet ahead of him, which is fine, because as we run along the road, each time there is a car, he goes running along the ditch, through brush and bramble, which I find weird.
I find out that he is single, never been married, is retired and lives alone. And, that he has no friends (his words). He just moved to town and does not know the lay of the land quite yet. I am silently reminded of the movie I love: Planes Trains and Automobiles. He is my John Candy.
As we talk, I see that we are not on any sort of ability to connect, in totally different worlds. He would ask me a question and as I try to answer, he will cut me off with a bellowing new statement. Im getting annoyed with the constant chatter from his end. Part of me just keeps telling myself, that this is good, its community, we need to do this. THe other wants to run quietly with COldplay.
How did I end up with this guy, I keep asking myself!
Near k 9, he asks where we go from here, and I tell him "home". He says, Im going for another 20 minutes. We part ways, shake hands and say goodbye.
What an interesting run today. I learned that I like my time alone running, but that adventure is part of the journey.