What’s running rock bottom? For me, it was being passed by a cow in a half marathon. The cow was ambling beside a fence, and she outpaced me on only about 100 meters. Still, she did it.
Until then, I’d been running for about five years. I was an O.K. runner, better than most. I didn’t expect to be offered a Nike sponsorship anytime soon, but I usually placed in the top three of women in my age group for local races. Prizes included a gift certificate to a taco joint called Macho Taco, a pair of Vibram FiveFingers Shoes and a gaudy trophy with what looks like a man on the top. Nothing fancy, but validation that I was doing something right.