While walking to work today, I got caught behing a young woman on the stairs who was walking slightly slower than I was. I don't feel that it's in keeping with traffic etiquette to pass someone on the stairs, so I waited until we both got to the top to take an alternate route that would allow me to pass her. As our paths converged again about forty yards later, I found myself slightly ahead of her. Silently congratulating myself on this maneuver, I continued on my way.
Imagine my surprise when I find that she was catching up to me. She slowly came even with me and then passed me, only to move to another path. We were neck and neck, and I wasn't about to back down. I tend to take it a bit too personally when someone passes me, whether it's on the road or on foot, and I wasn't about to let this woman strut past me like she owns the world. I increased my pace. She seemed to match. Once again, our paths met, and once again, I came out slightly ahead.
We entered a straightaway. The two of us tore down the sidewalk, neither offering nor asking for quarter. I had the slight advantage, but I kept casting glances over my shoulder to see how much room I had. She wasn't gaining, but she was keeping pace. I was about ready to open up the throttle on her when I saw her enter another building, presumably to go to class.
I won, of course, but I don't think she knew we were racing.