Sunday, September 9, 2012

Dad's Runnin' On Empty

Day 32-33 -- Sept. 8&9

Today, I'm 193.4 pounds of rolling thunder.

Probably more like rolling Jell-O. But rolling is the operative word.

Yesterday was a sandwich fun, meaning I had to sandwich 45 minutes on the road between two halves of my work day. 

The sandwich part was the difficult part. The hard part was getting going on about five hours of sleep. Nothing like having zero in the tank when you head out on the road.

So just how did I end up on the wrong end of the gas gauge before my run? Simple math. You add a work day that ended after midnight with an early morning drop-off for our ambitious cross country runners and the result is dad running on empty.

 But that's OK. It was a fantastic day for cross country racing. The day broke cool after a cold front pushed through the area and dropped some needed rain on Friday afternoon.

The skies were clear on race day and by starting time the temperatures were mild with a light breeze. The undulating hills of the Topeka West course would provide a nice challenge.

We came to the event with two thoughts in mind. One, how fast could our older son go? And second, could we coax a sub-30-minute 5K out our younger son who seemed to have a running resurgence after nearly quitting the team earlier in the week.

In the end, it was a good day all around. The older lad made his run in less than 20 minutes for the first time this season, and he earned a cross country medal for the first time in his career. It was a great effort. You can tell he's stronger than a year ago when such a feat would have left him nearly passing out at the finish line.

Perhaps our biggest concern on the day was how our younger son would fare after pulling out of his last race and nearly quitting the team. 

But our concerns, at least on this day, were unfounded. He ran a personal best and came within six seconds of going under 30 seconds. In case anyone is wondering, that's a 9:41 mile pace, which may not be blistering, but as the world's slowest human I can greatly appreciate the effort and applaud him for getting back on his competitive horse and running the race.

Next week's race is on an even faster track where many people set their personal bests. With another week of good training and more fine weather for race day, who knows? Knowing it's a fast track and he's on the brink of a personal running milestone should give him some added motivation to do well.

As for me, I'm still the world's slowest human, just a little more fatigued than normal. So if you see me plodding along at an even slower than normal pace, give me a wave.

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