My old high school buddy Toby Thurman posted this photo recently of us racing the 1500 meters in college. Spoiler alert, he sprinted past me at the end. I hope Toby is fat and bald now. This particular race was at his college, Stephen F Austin, in Nacogdoches Texas, circa 1984. I ran for Texas State. I ran the 10K earlier in the morning, where after leading the entire race, yet another high school buddy running for SFA sprinted past me at the end. That was Scott Holman. He became a standup comic, so if he’s not fat and bald now, at least I know he’s starving to death.
Toby lamented on his post the loss of speed that comes with age. The effects of aging are heightened by melancholy thoughts of youthful athleticism. Still, I wouldn’t give up the memories of racing balls out around the track. And even though I’m so much slower nowadays, I still enjoy racing. When I returned to serious running a few years back, I couldn’t maintain a strong race pace for a complete event. If the event was a 10K, I might find myself holding a strong pace alongside another runner for two of the six miles. That was good enough for me. I’ve improved to where I can race the complete distance now. Not at a pace comparable to my youth, but that doesn’t matter. Racing is a feeling as much as anything else, and it can be experienced at any pace as long as you’re running alongside someone of equal abilities.
This wasn’t a strong racing year for me and I miss it. I’m still in pretty good shape, I just haven’t been running many events. That’s about to change. I’m signed up for two events in November. The Shoes&Brews 5K and the Longmont Turkey Trot 10K. Then the Colder Bolder 5K in early December. Always a fun event across the CU campus with nice, free photos. I’m going to finish the year strong.