I’m comfortable aging. Mostly. I know women think it’s funny to say guys don’t mature much after college but I’m not sure that I have. I feel young. To feel young running though requires a little speed. Racing in Colorado requires age-defying momentum. My races planned for the rest of the year will be shorter distances and I’m going to need to quicken my cadence to be competitive.
I’m not a nostalgic person – rarely do I ever reminisce here in my storytelling. I get nostalgic during runs though. The final two miles in long races, or simply workouts, triggers my memory like an autonomous muscle and I think back to high school cross country. Our races were still two miles long in Texas. I think they moved to the 5K distance a year or two after I graduated in 1980. I relive these high school races during the remaining two miles of a 10K or marathon. I often recall the state cross country course at Southwestern University in Georgetown Texas – it’s held in Round Rock now. It’s an extremely hilly golf course and one year’s event finished at the top of a huge hill. I finished second, by maybe only two seconds. When I relive the event, I find a way to win racing up that final hill.
I’ve gotten fast enough that I oftentimes find myself racing against youth in my weekend events. I get a kick out of it. I’ve learned not to leave anything for the final kick. Not that I don’t have the speed but I’ll strain my hamstring sprinting at the end. I learned this in last year’s Colder Bolder 5K. I should probably avoid 5Ks. I have to warm up with a 3 mile jog if I expect to run 3.1 miles with any speed. Sort of ridiculous but I figure it’s a 6 mile workout.
I’m thinking about this because my buddy Torin caught me from behind with two miles to go on my training run yesterday on the LoBo Trail. I ran 8 and I think he only ran about 5, but I was a little bit ticked. Partly because I had been running fast. Torin caught me when I was starting to cool down. Naturally I had to speed back up so we could could chat for a mile. It also irritated me because he’s my age. Boulder County must have the fastest fifty year olds in the freakin’ country. I don’t mind get passed by the shirtless CU Cross Country Team when I run the East Boulder Trail, but I feel like I sort of own this section of the LoBo Trail. I don’t like being passed on it, especially by fifty year olds. Time to begin some speed work.