This evening, I did a tempo run in Minooka Park. Right there, I was having flashbacks to the “good old days” of high school and college cross-country. Pounding the hills so hard you can feel your pulse in your temples and your lungs feel like they are going to burst, rolling down the hills so fast you don’t know if you can keep your legs going fast enough to prevent a face plant, cruising through the woods so fast the trees on the side of the trail are a blur, flying through the open fields like the wind through the tall grass. Running home on my cooldown, I’m thinking how much I love cross-country and how I’d love to compete in a full season again rather than one race a year.
I then finish my run and there is a kid on a bike by the end of my driveway. As I finish, he asks me if I have ever run cross-country. We talk a bit about running, he’s in his first cross-country season. He says he isn’t very fast but he enjoys running. I told him that sounds like me when I was running. I told him stick to it, keep that enjoyment of running, and you never know how fast he might get in the future. As I’m heading back into the house, I’m thinking how much I miss those days running in the pack and trying to move from 50th to 49th before setting my sights on 48th, then 47th, then…well…however far I can get before the finish line.
I then come in, clean up, have some Asian noodles, and check out the forums. I come straight in to read Double’s cross-country story and he puts me over the top. I’m going to have to seriously consider finding a few cross-country races next fall.