The Seeker

A Meta-Cognitive Journal About Writing… Plus Other Stuff

Thirty 5Ks… #10, 11 (Killed it…)

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I did not feel like running when I woke up yesterday morning.  I hadn’t had a good night sleep.  It wasn’t exactly bad, but whatever it was contributed to me not feeling my race-morning mojo.  Plus, I’m starting to get rundown from the school year.  Plus, I’ve been running a lot lately and my back isn’t quite in it.  Plus, too much candy watching the Cubs lose in the World Series.  Blah blah blah…  I know.  Shut up.  I soldiered on, because in the least the $30 registration fee is too much to flush.  Besides, being a runner means you soldier on.  Whatever reluctance I was feeling was only compounded by spotting Jason Rush warming up before the race.  Here’s what you have to understand about Jason Rush beyond that link above (which you should totally check out!):  He came out of the womb wearing a pair of running shoes.  The last time I saw him, he busted out an age-division-winning 10K time in Wauconda (third overall) while I was plodding along in the 5K at a per mile pace 2:30 slower than him.  Anyhow, dude is fast for 43 years old.  Krikey…  he’s fast for any age.  Always has been.  He can still beat most of his high school’s Cross Country team.  Just last week he was the overall winner of a race, and he was wearing the dang shoes to prove it.  I decided in the moment I spotted him that I wasn’t going to give him the satisfaction of totally killing my best time if I was went all-out.  Because Jason Rush totally gets satisfaction out of that.  A lot of mild-mannered, easy-going AP Physics teachers are sick like that.  I don’t even know why I’m still friends with him, honestly, but it is what it is.

So I took my sweet-ass time yesterday running around Lake Bluff.  Lake Michigan sat calm and blue well below the elevation of the course.  The place is called Lake Bluff for a reason.  Lots of gold and rust in the trees all the way around.  A little bit of purple, too.  Somehow, I still managed to finish in 26:07.  That would have been a fast time for me six years ago.  Hell, I would have been happy with that last summer.  Now, not so much.  There’s good reason for that, too.  It’s called the Centre Club Pink Ribbon Run, which I ran at St. Mary’s of the Lake Seminary in Mundelein last weekend.

The Pink Ribbon Run has been my favorite for some time now, to the point that I’ve almost mythologized its many pleasures in my mind.  What it comes down to is this:  It’s the closest I can come to again running an actual high school Cross Country meet.  It’s during CC season, the weather is pleasantly cool and damp, there are unbelievable colors emerging from the trees, and it takes place on an institution campus.  For one Saturday each fall, it’s like I have a time machine.  Last weekend, I killed it.  I dashed my way to a 24:40, which is my fastest time in four years and my fastest time ever on that course.  I shot off the start line and ran hard and on the edge of breathlessness the entire way.  If there is such a thing as divine intervention, I guess I experienced it there.  Seems apt, given the nature of the place.

A view across the lake during mile three. I was able to snap with without stopping or even breaking my pace!

The view across the lake during mile two–snapped without stopping or breaking pace!

I commented to the girlfriend that 24:40 was the fastest I’ve run for four years, and that I might never run that fast again.  Seems like a downer, maybe, but it might be true.  If so, I’m glad it happened where it did.

Did I get a medal?  Hell no.  Three women finished ahead of me, which made me the eighth male overall.  Two of those males were in my age division, and I was nowhere close to them (ironically, those results replicate my high school CC experiences more so than the setting!).  Still, I would have won or got at least second place in every other age division, so my complaint stands that my age division is the toughest.  But I did reel in a 57-year old woman in the last quarter mile.  She was killing it all the way through, too, and unknowingly provided me with a rabbit to chase.  So I guess I’m hell at beating the 12-year old and 57-year old age divisions, just not my own.

For those keeping track at home, I finally broke into double-digits in this quest for thirty 5Ks.  It’s still going to go on for a while, but maybe I can reach the halfway point before the new year.  Right now, the next race isn’t even on the horizon.  I’m too stiff and sore to think about it.  My back is tired, and even yoga didn’t help as much as I thought or needed it to this morning.  I’m not going to get any faster, and I’m sure as hell not going to get any younger.

Might as well keep running.


Written by seeker70

October 30, 2016 at 9:25 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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  1. […]  So when the idea of running in Racine comes up, I don’t quite approach it like it’s St. Mary’s of the Lake Seminary.  But I figured last Saturday morning that it would be different this time.  This time I was in a […]

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