I learned a new term today while out running with my friend Alpha. You see, I am a slow, slow runner. And Alpha is a faster runner who hasn’t run in a while and is just getting back into it. I phoned him and asked him if he wanted to go for a spin and as it happened, he was already dressed and ready to go. It worked out wonderfully.
So we set out on an 8k loop. And I was struggling to keep up with Alpha, but I was determined. It’s not like with Delia (where I know there’s no way in hell I can keep pace). This was Alpha and he’s a real mortal person. The challenge was whether I could keep it up. At about 3 kilometres we climbed a hill and he almost got away from me, but I pushed through it. And as we hit the half-way mark and headed back (and downhill), I began to feel some relief. Even more so, I am ashamed to say, when he mentioned that an old blister was flaring up. “This should slow him down a bit”, I thought. Yet he pushed on.
Finally, at about 7 kilometres, I got a sharp cramp between some ribs and swallowed my pride and said, “Ok Alpha, I think I need to slow down.” He looked at me with what seemed to be relief and said, “Do you always run this fast?”
“God no!” I responded, “I’m trying to keep up to you!”
“What?” he exclaimed, “I’m just trying to keep up with you! Delia said you were slower, but this isn’t slow!”
“I know it isn’t. I’m dying!”
We both laughed. Then Alpha explained that this phenomenon is called “half-wheeling” in the biking world. You see, two bikers will always try to be just a half-wheel ahead of the other guy. The result is the cyclists slowly getting faster and faster without realizing it.
You’ll be happy to know, we reached the end of our loop before we hit Warp Speed.