Keeping Good Company...

As advertised, my high school alumni meet was today. 37 runners - mostly alumni but including some of the current squad took to the Solanco High School Cross Country course. Too tired for a cohesive post, but here's a laundry list of thoughts:

* Hands-down, the greatest thing for me was to see the two most important coaches of my life. Their enthusiasm and passion taught me much, and it thrilled me to be able to catch up with them.

* I was suprised to learn that the cross-country program has had only 5 coaches in 42 years - 4 of whom were there today.

* I was also to be surprised by Brett Shelton showing up. Brett was only a year behind me and drove all the way down from Corning, NY just for the meet. We were the only two representatives from the 80's.

* The program I was in was very successful - I remember being "disappointed" the year we finished 17-4. But when you're in the company of several years of that greatness, it's pretty inspiring. A recent college all-american was on hand as was a fellow named Glenn Wimer. Glenn was a state champion 12 years before my time (the first state champion from Solanco) and until today, he was nothing but a name in a book. Today, though, he was the guy who beat me by 50 seconds.

* I finished 12th out of 37, beaten by a slew of college kids, one current high school runner and Glenn. My time was 21:40, which sounds crappy until I rationalize it with the fact that each of the last two miles had nearly 80 ft. of climbing in them and the entire course was on grass.
I noted Glenn pulled an 18:48 at a local race a few months ago and he beat me by 50 seconds today, so I'm hopeful my performance would've been around 19:40 on a fast road course.

* Personally, I think this also taught me something about my training... I'd forgotten how hard cross country courses could be. A 21:40 cross country race is a good 3.75 minutes slower than my peak from umpteen years ago, which means I really have some ceiling left in my fitness goals. On one hand, it's daunting, but on the other hand, it's cool. Getting fast - in my experience - is more fun than staying fast, and the 21:40 today tells me I've got a lot of work to do before I need to worry about "staying" anywhere.

Moving into this week, I'm taking a rest day tomorrow, even though that means my mileage from this week will be very low. However, I really want to rest up after 2 races in seven days, plus this Monday begins my first week of six days in a row of marathon training, and I'd like to approach it as rested as possible.


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