VHTRC Web site logo
  Home | News | BRR | MMT | WHM | Search | Contact

The Joyce/Dodds Machine or Another Male Ego Bites the Dust!

I am sore today – and it’s Joyce’s fault! Boy, did Sophie have it right when she said Joyce was gonna be “kicking some a--”!!! Little did I know it was gonna be mine!

Charlie Miracle at Eagle RunIt started so innocently on Saturday morning – nice day, cool but not bitterly cold and the prospects of 50 degree temps ahead. I was cruising along, feeling good about myself early in the run (note to readers, I don’t race), and here come Dodds and Joyce! I’m thinking, was I going that slow – do I need to start worrying about the cut-offs, what the h__’s goin’ on here. Don’t’ get me wrong here, Joyce and Dodds are two of my favorite people, but really … Then Dodds tells me they’re gonna be nipping at my heels all day AND that they’re keeping a pace just ahead of the cut-offs. Joyce doesn’t appear so confident, but she’s chugging along. They’ve got a laminated pace card and everything – like a damn marathoner or something! Dodds offers to let me see it – course I can’t read it without my reading glasses, so it could have been his grocery list. So I’m thinking, well, of course, it’s Dodds – you can’t believe everything you hear, right?

That kinda set the tenor of my day. Holiday Lake is a flat course – too damn much running. I’m not a runner by trade, I need uphills and downhills – you can keep that flat “runnable” stuff – way too much of that at Holiday Lake though it is really beautiful countryside. And if you’re not worrying about your fragile male ego, you might have a chance to enjoy it. I’d pull away from Joyce (and Dodds) on the downhills but they’d catch me on the flat stuff, and then I’d catch them on the uphills and so it went all day.

THE LIE: We hit the end of the first loop at 3:05. Now I’m a bit slow, and I have trouble seeing, but I can do the math – 3:05 for the first loop is not a 7:29 pace!

Joyce at the Volunteers PartyI was ahead of Joyce at this point, so I’m thinking, she’ll fade and I can cruise on – NOT! Here she comes again. Dodds tells her “we’ll run to that tree up there and then we’ll walk.” They’re running 30% of the uphill – that’s sacrilege! I’m feeling pushed, running faster than I’d like – so I come up with a devious strategy. When they next catch me, I grab Joyce and stand next to her. I have this rule: I need to finish ahead of the women that have broader hips than mine. My son Michael wants to at least beat all the girls – he, of course doesn’t run with the “girls” that I do! But I digress, so I grab Joyce and ask Dodds – whose hips are wider (I figure I’m safe here, no male with a lick of sense will say that a woman’s hips are wider – right? – you can see where this is going). Dodds, the impartial observer, says Joyce’s hips are wider! No rest for the weary! So off I go – ahead again for a bit.

She’s still there – there’s this long “runnable” aka flat stretch and here comes Joyce, and I finally give in. So much for this ego thing – I’m not gonna kill myself just to keep up with Joyce. I hear Anstr, “you can’t even run as fast as JOYCE!” – screw it, I’m beat, and off they go.

I did catch them and pass them on down the trail, and I finished a minute (OK, 43 seconds, but who’s counting) ahead of Joyce, but that was this time. Well, Dodds was right about one thing – Joyce was nipping at my heels all day long! And it wasn’t because I was going that slow – OK, I go slow, but not THAT slow. She was cooking! Guess I’ll just have to get used to that. I suppose I could train harder, cut back on the beer !@#$%^&*(), WHAT AM I THINKING!

And it’s not just Joyce – there’s Kirstin and Caroline waiting in the wings getting stronger and stronger. Makes this old guy feel, well, old.

I’ll just have to get used to it, but I’ll have to come up with some new rule - I’ve got it – I have to finish ahead of all the women that weigh more than I do!

Happy Trails,

Proud member of Team Slug

Virginia Happy Trails Running Club
Home | News | Events | About the VHTRC | Members Only | Features
Bull Run Run 50 | Massanutten Mt. Trails 100 | Training Runs | Links