I got passed on the Williamsburg Bridge, on my way up the ramp from Bedford Avenue. It’s the shortest but steepest climb on either side, and it was my fourth time running it in the last 12 hours. (Logged five miles of “hills” back and forth over the East River once this morning, and another 10 miles, or three laps this evening, to cross eight times in total today. All on top of the marathon I ran over the weekend.) I was tired. I wanted to yell, hey, sprinty bitch with the calves like rocket ships, I’m tired!. But I didn’t.
She wasn’t actually that fast and as the bridge flattened out for a sec, I regained a little of the ground I had lost to her. As we started to climb again, I realized she also wasn’t that strong on hills and I could pass her and did.
Halfway over the river, the incline turned into a decline and I was coasting and comfortable, until she passed me again. I always let myself relax too much on the downhill. I watched her go and then turn towards me again after she hit Clinton Street, avoiding eye contact as she passed me on her return trip while I was still finishing my descent. I made my turn and faced the incline with her ahead of me. Again though, I was stronger on the uphill. One-third of the way, I caught and passed her, not wanting to see that ponytail swinging around her head again. Ever.
A minute or two later, three-quarters of the way to the peak of the bridge, still climbing, she passed me. I had headphones on and didn’t hear her coming. I was tired. So tired. But I took off—I win the uphills. She wasn’t wearing headphones, heard me and quickened her pace. This made me angry. We were nearing the crest of the bridge and would start the decline soon. I increased my stride—her legs are fucking short, dammit—overtaking her before the top. I kept going (knowing full well I may have to walk the last mile home because of this effort), faster, and faster down the other side.
As I sprinted to the bottom of the ramp, I caught my breath, and then held it. Over my shoulder, I thought I saw her, mistaking and then recognizing my own hair swinging as I made the turn onto Bedford.
P.S. I am not as crazy as I sound. I am training for a race.