Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Such a chickenshit

The race went well for tonight. I ran 20:40, ten seconds faster than I did last week. I finished down two spots at 15th, but there were almost 25 more runners, so proportionally, I did better.

Sure enough, just like it was foretold by my boss, the girl was at the race. I subtly walked by her several times, but didn't elicit any response. As I was warming up, she was talking with some people and I didn't really feel comfortable going over, breaking up that group, and seemingly randomly introducing myself. It should be noted that although I have talked to her several times, I have never really been formally introduced.

Finally, as race time neared, she broke off from her group and meandered to the starting line. Nervously, I took the opportunity to walk over and say hi. I introduced myself and shook her hand. I tried to strike up a conversation with her asking about her recent trip. She talked for a a little bit, and I tried to listen and be attentive, but the trip didn't sound that great and she didn't seem to have too much fun so there wasn't much to say.

We then entered that awkward silence moment where neither of us really knew what to say. She took the opportunity to excuse herself to the back of the pack, because in her words, "I'm not a fast runner, or anything." Not knowing if she was trying to get away from me or just drift back to the back or what, I said something along the lines of, "Ok, I'll catch you later."

The race went well. I guess it must have been to better dietary decisions pre race and a nap in the afternoon, but I felt much stronger throughout the race and had plenty of steam left even as I crossed the finish line. It felt good to finish faster than my time last week. At least it was a little validation for the hard work I have been putting in in my training.

A little over halfway through my race, as I was headed back to the start/finish, the lagging pack of runners ran opposite of me on the other side of the street. I passed the girl, who looked to be struggling, and I flashed her a smile and a wave. She smiled back, at least acknowledging me, and I continued my march to the finish.

I hung around the finish for a while, hoping to talk to the girl once again after she finished her race. As I waited, I introduced myself to a couple of folks, and chatted up some more.

Eventually, the girl finished her race and headed over to the water table. I was going to walk by her and tell her good race after she caught her breath, but I lost track of her, while I talked with some other people.

Eventually, I spotted her down the way, talking with the same group that she had been talking with earlier. I wandered about a moment, getting another popsicle and contemplating my next move. She was between my truck and I so, I would at least have to pass her when I left. Walking slowly by, I was hoping I would draw her attention, but no such luck.

As I rounded the corner and cursed myself for being such a chickenshit, I had an epiphany. I was never going to get a date with this girl, and I would never develop the confidence I need, unless I faced my fears head on and did what needed to be done.

For goodness sakes, all I wanted to do was walk up to her, ask her how her race went, and chat her up a bit. (I still didn't feel comfortable asking out a relative stranger at this point.)

I walked to my truck and grabbed my shirt to throw on. Then headed back to where she was standing. I realized, as I walked up that there was a guy there who coordinates the Saturday runs, and I could ask him about that, then transition to talking to the girl as I was leaving.

I went up to him, introduced myself, and asked about the Saturday runs with the girl standing right there. After I finished talking to the guy, I turned to the girl and asked her how her run went. She told me it went well. As I was leaving and saying goodbye, she invited me to stay for burgers and drinks. I regrettably already had plans for dinner so I had to say no, but promised I would hang around next week.

That's it. The whole story. After that, I left and went about my business for the rest of the evening. When I got to dinner with the folks from work, they wanted a complete rundown of the evenings events. I told them all pretty much what I have told you and they all chided me for not asking her out. I told them that it was still in my plans and that this evening, I just hadn't felt comfortable doing it, but I was still planning on it.

My boss questioned me as to whether or not she needed to set the whole thing up on her own, as if I wasn't able to do it myself. I assured her that I would be fine without her intervention...

At least I hope I will....

Mood: Damn, a missed opportunity
Music: None, roommates are sleeping


Blogger schmims said...

For Pete's sake! Ask her out already! The worst that can happen is that she'll say no. There are so many things worse that could happen, like having my job or eating a bowl of beans.

Oh by the way, the no beer no pizza thing, I made it an entire 9 days! I ate so many veggies and salads in those nine days that I pooped green, decided that wasn't normal, and gave it all up. I did however, get a "Wow! That's impressive" at Will Hoge last Thursday when a guy touched my stomach. Luckily he touched the upper abs, because those lower ones, they still need a little work.

4:56 AM  

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