Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Good Day To Call It A Career

Day 62ish, Oct. 16, 2012

Today I am 191.8 pounds of squishy rolling thunder.

Yesterday I skipped my blog and barely got in a 60-minute jog. I yielded much of my day to go to the last cross country meet of the year. A rain delay over the weekend pushed the event to Monday afternoon, which meant 80-degree weather and gusty winds. But still a good day to get out and run.

This was the grand culmination of not just a season of racing but the four-year cross country racing career for our oldest son.

It probably won't sink in that this was his last race in high school, and other than the occasional fun run this might be the end of his cross country competing days. But there's still track season ahead in the spring, so we'll get to see him run again and listen to him gripe about having to run in circles on the track.

In yesterday's race he finished in 43rd place out of 96 racers. He was second on the jayvee squad of his team and interestingly just 13 seconds away from securing a spot on the varsity roster for the district meet.

It seems like a long time ago when we went to our first cross country meet where the lad ran and walked his way around the 5K loop with iPod ear buds tucked neatly into his ears -- a violation of team rules. His time that day was well north of 30 minutes.

There were two things we came away with from that day. He needed to get into better shape. And second, his gains the first year would be significant.

Over the course of four seasons he inched under 30 minutes and then below 25. Finally, last season he made it to the 20-minute marker and this year he went well below that.

He progressed from being a back of the pack run/walker to top 20 runner on a team of more than 100 or so runners. He pushed his way from the back of the "C" team to the front of the JV squad. 

This final performance wasn't exactly what he wanted. He'd set his sights on a personal best at the meet but the heat, hills and wind put that goal out of reach.

To his credit, however, he battled to the end and had nothing left in the tank at the finish. I'd say it was a good career when you consider where he started from.

Me? I ran like a rock but did not walk. Today was better when I went out for my 5.5-mile loop. I'm still the world's slowest human, but it was a good day on the road nonetheless. 

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