Monday, August 23, 2010

Hanging with the Youngins

Saturday was my high school's alumni meet where it's an exhibition for the high schoolers to get a race in and they invite alums to come back and show how out of shape they are.

As documented previously, my legs have been dragging since the half. But, the goal (after a marathon-worthy taper this past week) was to run hard for this one race and then to shut it down for a week of no running to get the legs rejuvenated for the fall. The other goal I always have coming into this race is to 'make varsity' meaning to finish with only 6 high schoolers in front of me.

The race went out pretty hard and I found myself in the top 10. I wasn't able to determine whether the guys in front of me were varsity or alums, but I was pretty sure at least two of them were alums. The course is mostly through the woods--a dirt path with short, steep ups and downs with sharp curves. It's a very technical course. I just relaxed and slowly worked my way up past some people.

The course is two loops and on the second loop, I could feel the fatigue setting in. But knowing that it was only a little over a mile to go, I just kept plugging away on the hills and worked my way up to 6th place. The 5th runner was within my grasp (maybe 100 yards) with about a half mile to go. However, the legs just didn't want to go up the last hill, so no closing of the gap.
The last 400 or so is around a soccer/football practice field and then a U-turn up to the water tower. I strided it in and crossed the line in 20:01 and good enough for 6th place. I had hope to be under 20, but I'll take it. Just for perspective of the toughness of the course, the winning time was 18:28 for a guy who ran 17:23 at the district XC meet and a 4:33 mile in track last year (and the 3rd place guy ran 16:55 at districts). Of the guys in front of me, there were 4 varsity and 1 alum, so another year of hanging onto a varsity slot.

My cousin K also ran. She's a machine! After her amazing 3:23 Pittsburgh Marathon this past spring, she's been on a tear all summer. She's also been a previous female champion of the alumni meet and she ran a solid race and took home the big trophy again for the year (kind of like the Stanley Cup).

After the race, an alum from the class of '83 arranged a lunch get-together to share stories across the decades and to chat with Coach Colland away from the course. Oh the stories those guys had from the 80's. There were pranksters in my time, but they pale in comparison to some of the stories we were laughing to. In fact, I definitely can't publish most of the tales told.

Beth made it home and brought with her some awesome stories and pics from Colorado. A good weekend indeed.

We're back at school for in-service and clerical days this week. So much for my mid-afternoon naps (I know, people with real full-year jobs roll your eyes at that). The kids start next Monday so one more week of preparations.


Steve said...

You'll be back in H.S. take your mid afternoon naps during class. That's what most of us did. :) j/k

Congrats again!!

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