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The Unspoken Rules of Being a Badass: A Runner's Guide

Paula Broadwell’s Run with General Petraeus Started It All

The big scandal involving General David Petraeus and his biographer Paula Broadwell has consumed most of the cable airwaves and news headlines over the past week.  At the heart of the story is the affair that Petraeus and Broadwell shared together.

Broadwell wanted to write her book on Petraeus but she needed access. She heard he was an avid runner and asked the General if she could run with him.  So the two of them met at the Pentagon in D.C. and went off for a run together.

The rest, as they say, is history.

Here is how Paula described it during a speech at the University of Denver back in October:

Our first interview in person was on a run. And I had proposed this because I knew it was a rite of passage for many of his former aids, to kind of get in the inner circle you had to be a runner.

Well I had run in high school, I had run in college, I had been a sponsored triathlete when we lived here in Colorado, so I loved physical fitness, but I didn’t think he knew anything about me in that regard.

So, we went for a run. We started at the Pentagon, and I had my recorder. I thought if I asked him questions that he had to give lengthy answers to, he would be more winded than I was. But he was smarter than I was — he’d say yes or no or he’d just asked a question in return or say “that’s classified, next.”

Anyhow, at some point at about mile three or four, he started to pick up the pace. And I knew this was coming. I call it the “boiling frog approach,” because you don’t know that the water is getting hotter and hotter. In any case I realized what was going on and I decided to shut off the recorder and race him.

And I was told never to beat him.  Keep up with him and you earn… it’s the rite of passage. But don’t beat him because he’s a guy, you’re a girl, and he’s a celebrity, and you’re a soccer mom.

In any case, he started elbowing me and it was over.

Long story short, I did beat him. We got down to six-minute mile pace, and I later found out that he was going through radiation treatment for prostate cancer, so it didn’t really count. But it was a rite of passage and a great sort of rapport builder with him.

It sounds like both Petraeus and Broadwell are in excellent shape if they were going head-to-head putting down a 6-minute/mile pace.  And hats off to Broadwell if she was a sponsored tri-athlete in Colorado.

Who knows exactly when or where their affair actually commenced (reports say 2011 after he left the Army), but I’m sure there was no turning back once he started elbowing her.

Broadwell’s words should become the confirmation quote from now on when one is caught with his or her running shorts down, “He started elbowing me and it was over.”

Knockin’ elbows is the new ‘Knockin’ Boots!’

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This post was written by:

- who has written 1052 posts on Run It Fast®.

Joshua Holmes has completed 197 marathons/ultramarathons while running 100+ miles 43 including races such as the Badwater 135, Western States 100, The Last Annual Vol State 500K (3x). His favorite races to date are the Vol State 500K, Badwater 135, Barkley Fall Classic, Catalina Eco Marathon, Chimera 100, Across The Years, Savage Gulf Trail Marathon, Strolling Jim 40 Miler, Tunnel Hill 100, RUTS, EC100 and the Flying Monkey Marathon in his home state of Tennessee. Follow @bayou Follow @joshuaholmes on Instagram

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