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Polymerase chain reaction is a cornerstone of molecular biology research. Using short pieces of single-stranded DNA called primers the previously invisible becomes tangible.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

A (very) Small Victory

  • date: 05/04/05
  • time: evening
  • weather: 49 ºF, cloudy, wind SW at 7 mph
  • mileage: today-10, week-13, year-164.1
  • resting (bpm): 60
  • after workout (bpm): 136
  • weight: +27


To the senior wearing a US Navy cap and t-shirt, well done. I run slowly. I enter the bicycle path near a common turnaround point. Taken together, I am often passed twice by the same runner. The first pass, not necessarily bad, occurs as we cross going in opposite directions. The second is when the runner has turned around and overtakes me from behind. This is, quite simply, pathetic. Today two runners attempted this feat. Only one was successful.

Senior’s form was remarkably efficient. As we passed the first time I nodded out of respect for both his service as well as his competent running style. A good bit taller and certainly heavier than I, Senior managed to cover ground with hushed footfalls and nearly undetectable breaths.

The second runner, Cut, was less stealthy but certainly more my contemporary. Cut was wearing a black jogging bra and black tights with a yellow sweatshirt tied around her waist. Her long curly auburn hair was tied back in a serious ponytail. Her arms and abs made naming her natural if not original. Cut would be my test for the day. Would she be able to pass me twice? Oh yeah, she was also pushing a jogging stroller carrying a toddler. Joy Rider, the toddler, greeted me waving a bottle and singing a happy tune.

“Only wittle water, wittle water. Only wittle water.”

As they passed, Cut was beaming with pride at Joy Rider’s salutation. She did caution Joy Rider. “Put the bottle down, honey. You’re going to bang your head.”

Senior, Cut and Joy Rider fell out of my peripheral sense. I was alone on the path. Should I pick it up to make sure they couldn’t pass me again? Is it too soon after my injury to be playing pace games? No. Yes. I maintained the same easy pace with which I started. Several minutes later I heard footsteps behind me. Don’t look back. Don’t look back. Senior passed me moments later.

I was warmed up by then and I often lack sense, so I decided to try to keep pace with Senior. He was about 50 yards in front of me, enough of a cushion so as not to intrude on his solo. Then I heard Joy Rider, now singing something unintelligible and closing. Was I going that slowly? A senior citizen passed me twice and now a mom pushing her kid in a stroller was about to do the same.

Senior also seemed to notice Cut and Joy Rider gaining and increased his pace. I matched his. Slowly Joy Rider and Cut were out of earshot. Actually, I think they exited the path before they would have, no doubt, overtaken me. I hit my mark, gave one last parting salute to the bottom of Senior’s shoes and turned around headed for home.

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