“. . . so there’s this guy, ya see, and he’s a runner, but he’s a middle-of-the-packer.”
What’s this ’but’ stuff we seem to always get? You know how it goes . . . you tell a non-runner that you just did a race, and the conversation goes something like this:
Non-Runner (mildly interested): “So, how’d it go?”
Runner (smiling): “I came in 32nd”.
Non-Runner (eyes starting to glaze over): “Really? Out of how many ?”
Runner (still smiling): “92 . . . in my age group, so I finished about the top third of my age group.”
Non-Runner (eyes starting to look at their wrist watch): Oh. So what place did you come in overall?”
Runner (smile fading): “269th.”Non-Runner (interest in what you’re saying has left the building): “ Oh . . . . great. Soooooo, how’s your girlfriend?”
OK, life in the middle of the pack doesn’t have a lot of glory, but it’s what we are. We do get to finish in front of a lot of other runners, so that’s kind of nice. So what if we don’t get to break the tape at the finish line? Those that do seem to be the following:
Able to train countless hours with fewer non-running responsibilities (job, family, beer, couch time . . . to name a few).
Void of the physiological need to eat at McDonalds once per week
Blessed with the God given talent to run fast.
Don’t mind looking like undernourished slave camp attendees
Really, I don’t want have a desire to be any of those things (though having a few more ‘fast’ genes would have been nice). Being in the middle of the pack is just fine, thank you very much. Now excuse me . . . my weekly Big Mac is calling.