I noticed her for a few reasons. One, it was early--still dark--and my neighborhood isn't the safest place for ladies to run alone during off-peak hours. Two, it was cold and I hate running in the cold, so I was impressed by her indefatigable enthusiasm for our shared sport. Three, I've been too sick to run for two weeks and I'm finally feeling better, so I got a little excited when I saw her (not *that* kind of excited), because I thought about running tonight myself, since I am feeling much better.
So, I'm standing there while my dog pees, thinking about where I'll run tonight, when she whizzes past us and sneers in a bitchy Mean Girls voice, "How many marathons could *YOU* run?".
She couldn't have been addressing me. Surely she was addressing my dog--he's a little thick and he gets tired after about two miles. Yes, that's it! No, that's not it! She wasn't talking to my dog, that's just silly. She was talking to me. Ouch. And what the fuck? And why? Why would a complete stranger feel compelled to say something that would send me on a vicious warpath toward my own body? This is the last thing I need at 6:00 on a Wednesday morning...or EVER.
I began to justify my existence as a runner (and a worthwhile human being). I thought about how girls with a little meat on them fare better at endurance sports than the skin-and-bones girls do (it's true--especially ultramarathons).
I started looking at my reflection in the windows of every doorway I passed. Did I look super fat today? Maybe this puffy jacket I just bought was doing bad things for my silhouette. Or maybe this nasty wisp of a girl can go fuck herself. Yeah. That's it. She can go fuck herself. Whatever, man...
As I walked back to my apartment, I tried to shrug the experience off and I realized I was more upset at myself for letting her get to me than I was at her for trying. Then I did this fun little thing I do when someone is a jerk to me--I whipped out Hanlon's Razor:
Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.
So I decided that the girl just didn't know. Whether I'm right or wrong, I'll never find out and my world is much happier when I think she was just stupid. So, nice girl that I am, I silently answered her question: Two. I've completed two marathons so far and I'm going to keep running them until I lose count.