Today I ran with the cross country coach of my old High School team. He was my junior and senior math teacher whom I really liked but also struggled with. Although I am now an engineer I didn't take to math early on in my education and I had many an altercation with this guy over the course of my last two years in High School. Luckily he is a wonderful guy and was willing to let things stay in the past.
I first saw him on Monday when I was at the local city park watching my wife and son run. I got to talking to him about the cross country team and he gave me the short history. I guess the team sort of disbanded last year after the previous coach left. The previous coach was a kid who ran for my dad a few years after I graduated and was never really committed. Lord knows why he decided to coach but it sounds like he didn't do much. This new coach is recruiting and rebuilding. His hope is to get everyone on the team to finish a 5k without walking this year then work on racing next year. He also wants to get the kids out and active and possibly hooked on running for the rest of their lives. That's a goal I can really get behind!
I asked if I could help and he said that the school bought new tops for the team but couldn't afford shorts. I told him not to worry that my wife and I would happily buy new shorts for the team. I figure it was the least I could do for a team that helped me through High School. My wife immediately said that we are buying the girls running skirts! She wants to make them all running divas! I don't know if that's within the Ohio Athletic Association's rules but we'll give it a try. Go BELPRE!!
So today I met up with him to run some miles together. He said he never runs more than 5 miles at a time because of his back. LIES!!! He is 15 years old than me and he pulled me along for the entire run. Which, I might add, was over 7 miles! Now in my defense, he did take me on some serious hills over in West Virginia. These monsters were steep and long and my thighs did not like them AT ALL. I wasn't feeling exactly loose and relaxed before the run and the hills didn't do much to help that cause.
At some point around mile 5 I did loosen up and it started to feel comfortable. We talked about everything from running to school boards. It was really a great run with wonderful conversation. When we finished I checked Garmin and she said we started off at 8:30 but sped up to 8:03 then 7:40's through the hills! We actually ran faster over the hills than on the flat! Oh yea, so much for the 5 mile limit and the bad back! This guy can still run. I felt great afterwards and am actually happy the team has such a great coach.
Thanks for listening