Sunday, August 28, 2011

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

First of all, thank you so much for the incoming donations and comments already for the Running for Laptops charity! If you'd like to donate, you can do it here.

We have reached that time of the year.....some may say the most WONDERFUL time of the year!

Don't get me wrong, I LOVE summer. I LOVE baseball, trips to Altoona Curve games, road trips to distant places for Beth's triathlons, afternoon naps, 15+ hours of daylight each day, running in shorts and a t-shirt, not having to bundle up before & after pool workouts, and everything else associated with summer.

But, at the same time, I do start to feel guilty about only having 2-4 hour workdays for the two months from mid-June to mid-August. It's time to start earning that paycheck again with 10+ hour days of teaching and coaching. Seriously, I always get excited for the fresh start of a school year - new students to begin molding and also seeing how our cross country season unfolds.

Before getting to the fall, one other item to tie up from the summer - the alumni XC meet at Hempfield. It rained pretty hard on Friday.
In fact, it rained so hard and quickly, a stretch of road by the zoo actually had about 6 ft or so of water and 4 people died. It was very sad. This made part of what was already a tough trail run through the woods even tougher in spots.

My cousin K ran and her parents (my aunt & uncle) and my dad came out to watch. I can't believe he still had it, but dad was representing Hempfield XC with a hat from back when I was in high school. Pretty funny.

I did have the XC spikes borrowed from one of the runners where I teach at, but it still didn't help me as I bit it on the first twisty downhill in the woods. I was left with a nice cat-scratch-like souvenir from it, but since it was in the first half mile, I had enough energy to pop right back up and continue on.

I was in 3rd position - an alumni from '05 that was a solid D2 steeplechaser was leading, a high schooler that ran around a 4:30 mile last year was about 5-10 seconds behind him, and I was 5-10 seconds behind the high schooler. And, after a bunch of twists and turns (and several other near falls), this is essentially how the rest of the race stayed. The winning time was in the low 19's, and I ended up hitting my goal of sub-20 with a 19:39. Not speedy, pretty ugly, but got the job done. Here are some of the alumni.

Then, there was the post-race lunch with a bunch of these guys who graduated back in the mid-80's. All you have to do it sit back, eat some pizza, and listen to their stories.

And, boy did they have stories. I had tears in my eyes from laughing so hard on two or three occasions. Pretty much none of the stories are acceptable to be published here. In fact, after many of the stories, the phrase "we would probably be arrested if we did that today" was thrown out there. Funny stuff, but it makes me wonder now, as a coach, what are our kids doing on their long runs?

Two other notes from the day:

First, remember the
tornado that hit the high school back in March?

Well, it caused the home track meets to be cancelled for Hempfield. This is unfortunate because the cross country parents use the concession stand at the track meets as their main fundraiser. So, with that (and all the budget cuts across the state/country in education), they're a little behind in their account. Fortunately, a lot of those goofy guys from back in the 80's are also now leaders at many of their jobs and they are organizing a collection to help out. Those guys are great in so many ways!

Second, Terrelle Pryor stopped by Hempfield for the alumni cross country meet. Well, he got there after we finished and was down on the track (he must have missed the memo about the start time and the location of the new course up by the water tower above the stadium).

Either that,
or he was just there for his pro day workout. The Jeanette grad was selected by the Raiders and good luck to him. I hope it works out. I was obviously rooting against him when he was at Ohio State, but now that he's no longer a rival for the Nittany Lions, you pull for the local guy to do well. Beth and I saw the Raiders/A's stadium out in Oakland. Let's just say it made Three Rivers Stadium and the area surrounding it look nice.

So, time to dig out the dress shoes (not really sure where those are still), set out the pants, shirt, & tie and get ready for a new schoolyear!

1 comment:

JPH said...

Why didn't he have his "Pro Day" in Jeannette? Maybe he couldn't remember where the school was? Hopefully Hempfield was compensated in some way. Punk (him, not you).
Good luck/hope you have a great year!