Last weekend was my college cross country team's yearly alumni meet. It's actually a regular (though small) home meet, with a JV 5K that most of the alumni run in. And it's kind of an exercise in humility, since not only does one realize how slow one is relative to actual college runners (even the JV at Div III, which was as far as I ever got as a college runner), but one has the added bonus of running behind groups of younger alumni who are chatting away about their exciting 20-something lives while one drags one's 40-year-old body along with a serious amount of 5K-worthy huffing and puffing. As my classmate and good friend said after the race, having just come off her first marathon (in which of course she BQed like the former All American she is), "You forget how a 5K is just tongue out the entire way." Indeed.
My coach was there to watch, because her nephew is a freshman at my alma mater. Although I pointed out she was not supposed to be working, apparently she couldn't help but critique my running form, and her verdict is that I am slouching too much. I think this is what she means:
I'm the one sort of hunched over in front--where "front" is a relative term, translated as "in the front of a small pack near the back of the race." Come to think of it, I look like this in a lot of race pictures, so I think I need to work on my posture.
You'll note that I'm smiling here. Funny, though, how there's kind of a wide margin of effort for a 5K--from all out to somewhat-hard-but-smiling-for-the-camera--where it all hurts pretty bad for the last half of the race.
And here we older alumni are, post-race, outside the newer, swankier version of essentially the only bar in town.
The old version of the bar burned down a year or so ago. I know some alumni are going to be all nostalgic for the old version. Call me middle-aged, but there's something to be said for a bathroom that you don't need a Hazmat suit to enter.