We are all human and we all make mistakes. It is now time to ask forgiveness for one of my mistakes. I spoke poorly of a fellow runner before I knew more about her.
As crew/pacer for a friend, I ran across Tammy during a race earlier this year. The biggest thing I noticed about her was her choice in clothing. Her costume. Her outfit. Lots of pinks and purples and a lei as a crown of sorts. And she talked. A lot. So she was dubbed Chatty Cathy in our crude humor and we did our best to avoid her. I think we just couldn't deal with the talking.
Over the past few months I've seen her here and there and I always made it a point to do my best to avoid her. I just couldn't deal with the conversation and the constant talking. My luck ran out when I ran the recent Seashore Nature Trail 50k. As I lined up for the start I saw her and cringed a little on the inside. While she had never really bothered me too much (a few minutes on the trail isn't really all that long when you think about it), I did my best to avoid her.
A few miles down the trail, I ended up running with her. And talking with her. And it turns out, she wasn't as bad as I thought. Yes, she still talked a lot. To everyone. But you know, I learned a lot too. Turns out she's quite the accomplished ultra runner. And willing enough to share some of her knowledge with me.
So over the next 20 miles or so, we would cross paths for a bit here and there. When possible, we'd run together and chit chat. Otherwise we'd just acknowledge each other and keep moving. She was always friendly and always took the time to introduce everyone in the gaggle of runners around her.
But in the end, it was always the talking. She'd always be talking to somebody. And for awhile, that was great. I liked having that distraction while running and I loved learning more about ultras. But after awhile, I just needed the silence of me, myself, and I in the woods gutting it out on the course. So although I didn't plan it that way, that's what ended up happening.
So, Tammy, if you happen to read this, I'm sorry if I said unkind things about you in the past. You still talk a lot but I think I can handle that now. At least until I need a break. Good luck in your next adventure.