Monday, November 16, 2009

JUST BARELY

You may be able to tell from last week’s post that I’m leaning towards trying new things in 2010. But I was thinking, why wait until next year? With the USATF MN x-c championship less than a mile from my house, I decided to jump in. I did run x-c in high school and college, so this wasn’t a totally new experience for me. However, I think I’ve run one x-c race in the last 14 years and that was a 5K - I’ve never covered 10K in a x-c race.

As I warmed up for the race I only saw about 10 other runners. Goal #1 became not to come in last. With 71-year-old stud Thom Weddle in the field I was pretty sure that wouldn’t happen. I’ll “let” a 67-year-old beat me, but not someone who’s older than my dad – at least if their names not Ed Whitlock.

Then I heard we were running 4 x 2.5K laps. Goal #2 became not to get lapped. With former Gopher varsity runners in the field, I wasn’t too sure about achieving this goal.

I’m happy to announce that I achieved both goals – but just barely. I ended up beating 4 people (including Thom – but not the Gopher runners) and I avoided being lapped by about 40 seconds (by one of the said Gopher runners). Unfortunately, the women ran a separate 5K, so there weren’t even any 50-year-old women that I could feel good about beating. If you’re really bored, here are the results.

After I got home I spent a half hour in front of the mirror repeating; “You are a good runner… You are a good runner… You are a good runner…” over and over in an attempt to rebuild a little self-esteem. That didn’t work, so I sat down at the computer and looked up other results for the (few) people around me. Seeing that I was in the same general ballpark that I was during other races throughout the year made me feel a little better. Just a little.

On a side note; as I was looking at results from earlier this year I came across one that said; Chad Austin, 40, Apple Valley. Seeing “40” just looked really weird – like it was a mistake.

Anyway, I’d like to think that my performance helped inspire my alma mater during their National Qualifying performance at the Midwest Regional. The team placed fifth at the always tough WIAC (WSUC – aka W-suck for you old schoolers) conference meet. Then on Saturday they managed to beat two of those teams to finish fifth and earn an at-large bid to Nationals. So congrats to the Blugolds – and no, I didn’t forget the “e” in blue – who will be heading back to Nationals for the first time in 10 years.

Quote of the Day;

“He was too small for football and he got tired of sitting on the bench all the time.” – Ray Prefontaine, on how his son Steve got started in running

5 comments:

Adeel said...

Cross country is always a good thing. Nice work on not being lapped.

AZ said...

That is surpisingly close to my house as well; it would have been fun to do. However it is quite likely I would have been lapped and it could have been a foot race for last place.

crossn81 said...

I ran it last year and it was a fun race. You had a much better morning for it. I think there was white stuff on the ground and it was kinda sloshy (?) in places... Good job on meeting your goals!

SteveQ said...

X-country can be humbling; my last time I found myself asking, incredulous, "why am I reduced to walking in such a short race?"

My last race in college, I got lapped by the entire Wisconsin team, who were chatting about how hung-over they were as they went by.

Rick Campins said...

Glad to see you raised the bar in 2009 Chad turning 40 yrs old and all, i.e. comparing yourself to a 71 yr old! :)