The Right Pace

“I’m sorry for slowing you down,” he said, for the fourth time today. I knew it was the fourth time, not because I’d been counting, but because each one irked me a little bit more than the last.

I’m “fast.” I always have been. Faster than most, which means that often when I ride or run with someone they aren’t as fast as me. Typically the apologies start before we’ve even hit the trailhead. “Oh man, I’m sorry I know I’ll be so slow, if you need to, just leave me and get your workout in,” or some variation.

What irks me is that I chose to be here. I knew he was slow, but I enjoy his company, so I invited him on a run. I planned it to be a nice relaxed day, not a workout to be done, or a goal pace to hit. Just a nice day out with good people. But Godamnit, he’s ruining it with his insistence that he’s ruining it.

I read an article once about how we shouldn’t ever say “sorry for slowing you down” on a ride. The author suggested instead “Thanks for waiting,” or “Thanks for running with me,” and I couldn’t agree more. I don’t NEED a thanks to be doing what I want to be doing, but it’s a hell of a lot better than an apology.

So next time you ride with me or another fast friend, take a moment and put yourself in our shoes. Look around at the scenery, see the look on our face, and realize that here, with you, at this pace, is exactly where we want to be.