Out of my 50 or so blog posts, I’ve only written a couple where I reminisce. Even my fiction is generally typical blog stuff where I relate current events – whether developments in the news or stuff I’m doing at IBM. But now that I’m blogging on running, and I don’t have a new race scheduled for 4 months, it’s time to look back for running material. Way back, 30 years ago. This pic is of me in 1980, ironically 30 pounds ago as well. You should also know that I can still grow my hair that long, I simply choose not too.
I attended Round Rock High School – back when there was only one. Now the town that Dell Computer put on the map has six high schools. I don’t know if they still have a distance running tradition, but back in my day, Round Rock was known for its storied harriers – from the Cepeda brothers to the Rodriguez family. And my class of ’80 added depth to the equation – especially if you threw in the classes of ’79 and ’81-’82. Rather than send one or two hotshots to the Texas State Cross Country Meet, we sent the entire team. We had talent.
The race I’m running in this pic is the 2 Mile Relay, technically termed the 4×880 Relay. This was right around the time tracks were converting from yards to meters. I think it was still the 4×880 relay but could have been 4×800 meter relay instead. Same difference. We had at least 8 guys we could swap in and out on any given race day and still win this event. Trust me, that’s impressive. I can’t remember my PR anymore in the half mile, but I’m fairly certain we could all break 2 minutes. Mike O’Neill and Toby Thurman ran under 1:55. Then they’d anchor the Mile Relay for an encore. We were invited to compete in the Texas Relays – which was not a race we won – but it was a kick. There was a team from Houston, I think Houston Jesuit, that was unbelievable.
I’ve been emailing many of my past teammates from Round Rock recently, trying to get them together next summer. I’ve registered for the Austin Marathon in February and plan to run the Capitol 10,000 in March as well. I understand not all of my class mates are in running condition anymore but it would be cool to just meet up for some frozen ritas. Just in case any of them are looking for a reason though, I’m pushing them to run. Fairly confident I have one or two of them ready to commit to a half marathon. It’ll be good for them. Of course, I won’t be overly disappointed if no one steps up to the starting line with me. As I said in one of my recent emails to them, just giving ’em shit is its own reward. At the same time, a couple of them are likely in better condition than me. I know Rob Graham is, and it wouldn’t surprise me if my sister Nancy could out pace me at the 10K. But it will be immensely rewarding if just one of them who is currently more than 30 pounds over his or her high school weight takes the challenge and catches up to me in the thirty-thirty club.