I’m Not the Nice Person I Think I Am

I have been meaning to write this story since BlogHer ’12 in NYC. Since BlogHer ’14 kicks off in San Jose later this week, I thought it was time to sit down and tell this story.

There's a cute boy across the aisle from me on this SEPTA train.

My husband and I arrived in New York City via train. We roadtripped to my daughter’s parents’ house, parked our car, and took the train into the city. It was cheaper than flying, I got to see my daughter, and it was way more fun because trains. However, we walked out of the train station to a drizzly rain. Know what that means in NYC? It means you’re never, ever going to catch a cab. This was pre-Uber. We walked a couple blocks, tried again, and failed again.

So we just kept walking toward the hotel, dragging our suitcases and bags along behind us.

A few blocks into our walk, I was sweaty from the walk and the humidity, and wet the drizzly rain. The previous week I had just endured a back procedure hoping to help heal the back injury from 2010, so I was feeling a little tender still as I walked and walked and walked that early afternoon.

As happens in NYC, a gentleman stepped out in front of me on the sidewalk to hand me a flyer for who knows what. I didn’t pay attention at the time, so I surely don’t remember now. I wasn’t a newbie to NYC. I avoided eye contact and just kept walking. Normally this deters the person and they leave you alone, searching for their next person.

Not this guy.

He followed along beside me for awhile. Mind you, my husband was just a step or two behind me off my other shoulder, but this guy either didn’t notice or didn’t care. He walked a step or two ahead of me, facing me, walking nearly sideways on the sidewalk. He stared, willing me to look at him.

Nope. Not gonna happen, buddy.

Finally, he leaned in close and whispered, “You’re not the nice person you think you are.”

Then he fell off and walked back in the direction from whence he came.

I blinked. My husband asked me what he said, and I told him. We laughed, and kept on walking, eventually arriving at the hotel a sweaty, rainy, frizzy-haired mess. Or, I was frizzy-haired; he wasn’t.

I’ve never forgotten that exchange. Neither has my husband.

I said something kind of snarky and off-color yesterday, and he leaned in to whisper. “You’re not the nice person you think you are.” We laughed again, wondering aloud what that even means.

“You know the movie, The Truman Show? And the spoiler people in the movie? I kind of feel like he was a spoiler person,” my husband stated, looking at the road as he drove. I kind of peered at him with a “what are you talking about” face. But maybe he’s right. Not that we’re in some weird, half-scripted, half-not reality-type show and the rest of the world is sitting at their television screen trying to figure out when we’ll run into the wall on our boat.

But maybe that man in NYC told me something about myself that I didn’t know. Or that I did know, I just don’t acknowledge.

Maybe I’m not the nice person I think I am.

Maybe the mean things I think about people but don’t say out loud will come back to bite me in the rear end some time in the future. Maybe my snarkiness is less of a sense of humor and more of a defense mechanism to keep people at an arm’s length. Maybe that guy saw through my facade, sensing that I am not as brave as I show the rest of the world.

Or maybe the guy was really just a jagoff.

It’s probably that.

Whatever the case, I do try to be as nice as possible to people in my life, to people I don’t know. I don’t really attack unless provoked, and even then, I’ve learned over the years how to let certain things go, to let them roll off of my shoulders. I may on occasion think not-so-nice things, but I rarely say them out loud. And if that means I’m not the nice person I think I am, then so be it.

Because I’d rather be a semi-nice person who doesn’t say stupid things* to people than a jagoff on the sidewalk who needs to learn how to keep his mouth shut.

On the Train in 2012

 

*=I’ll always say stupid things, but rarely with malice.

 

Training for the Columbus Half Marathon: Creepers and Beepers

I will be running the Columbus Half Marathon in 90 Days. Or two months and 28 days from today. I have 13 weeks left of training having just finished my third week.

Training for the Columbus Half Marathon

The third week of training felt better than the second, that’s for certain. First of all, the cooler temperatures and lower humidity really didn’t hurt. I really enjoyed running and not overheating. It’s my favorite. Secondly, my body is adjusting to the four days of running, the two days of working out, and the one day of resting. I also upped my water intake this week thanks to support from a great group of women online, and I know that helped me feel better too.

I shifted my runs around a little bit this week since I knew I would have to shift runs around this week due to travel. I actually think it worked better with my life schedule, though my life schedule changes a lot. I just have to remember to be flexible with days in the coming weeks.

This Week in Running

What didn’t help? Creepers and beepers.

I ran my long run (six miles) on Saturday this week. I initially went to the trail. I like to run longer runs on the trail since it’s flat. As Columbus offers a pretty flat course, I feel like running the hills of Southeastern Ohio during my three mid-week runs and running a flat course for my long run will be okay come race day. I showed up at the trail by myself as my husband was working. As I pulled into the parking lot, I saw a number of men doing pushups, pull ups, and waiting around for what I assume was their group.

My stomach immediately hurt. I didn’t want to be out in the middle of the trail—an old railroad bed—with a group of men I didn’t know with no one else near me. It was a very #yesallwomen moment. Women who run keep safety in mind while training in ways that our male counterparts don’t. I have no trouble running next to a busier road; I am aware and will step aside as need be. But the thought of being alone in the middle of nowhere with a group of men? Nope. Everything Tracy said in her post about staying hidden while running rings true for me too.

I texted my husband and asked his opinion. His answer? Go somewhere else.

So I did.

I ended up running in a nearby town and out along a busier road. I felt much safer among other people, even if some of those people were texting and driving—including one creeper who wasn’t texting and driving but taking my picture while driving. Gross. And dangerous. Less dangerous but more annoying? Beepers. Don’t beep at runners. Even if it’s your best friend. It scares the bejeebus out of us and then makes us angry, which then makes us run too fast or too slow and generally messes with our pace and, dang it, we’d rather be lost in thought than thinking, “Was that Ricky? Who WAS that? WHY did they beep? Are my shorts riding up in the back? Is there a dog chasing me? WHY DID THEY BEEP?” Usually the answer is “just to be a jagoff.” So don’t do it.

After My Long Run

Despite creepers and beepers, my runs this week went rather well.

Monday: Shred, Level 2
Tuesday, Run 9: 3.09 miles, 31:29, 10:11/pace
Wednesday: Shred, Level 2
Thursday, Run 10: 4.01 miles, 39:11, 9:46/pace
Friday, Run 11: 3.00 miles, 28:47, 9:35/pace
Saturday, Run 12: 6.04 miles, 59:20, 9:49/pace
Sunday: Rest day! (But I walked all over camp.)

I ran negative splits on every day but the long run. I feel that if I ran on the trail, I could have hit my goal of negative splits for six miles as well. I had it all worked out in my mind. Then I ended up running on uneven sidewalks, across traffic, at stop lights, and on a route I’d never run before; I just felt happy that I ended up with a pace under 10 minutes.

NEGATIVE SPLITS

This week I’ve already started. I won’t be shredding on my non-running days as I’ll be traveling for BlogHer in San Jose. I will be walking a lot though. I’ll pick up the Shred the following week. I’ll be foam rolling tonight and tomorrow as well in preparation for the long flight(s). I’m not looking forward to treadmill runs while traveling, but I’m planning on a workout party with my favorite people, so maybe it won’t be awful.

YAY

My mileage doesn’t increase this week, so it’s just maintaining my runs while working a conference, staying up way too late, eating too much, and not drinking enough water. No biggie.

Week four, let’s do this!