Friday, May 18

A disturbance in the Force

I had the race related type dreams that I always have before a big race last night. My tent that I didn't know I even owned was difficult to set up and had extra parts. Friends from high school showed up wearing their cross country kits (the running kind).

from l-r: Dan Dunlap, Paul Schaefer, me, Doug Bryan, and his dad/our coach Gerald

That photo was taken right after we won our conference for the first time in our school's history, the last year that Pymatuning Valley had to face off against the monster truck force that was Jefferson High before they moved up a division. Good times.

What's funny (or not) about my old high school cross country days is that I struggled until my senior year to make the varsity squad. Although I would train with the same mileage that state-Champion-material-his-freshman-year Dan would, it took me four years to be good enough to be the fifth man on the squad. A bit of an improvement from being the second worst runner in Ashtubula County my freshman year, though.

Now I find myself losing sleep the night before a race because I actually think I have a chance at winning. Not a place I ever thought I'd be in back when I was some times the last runner to cross the line at a big regional event. My only hope was that I would beat this guy named Thad. Thank my lucky stars for the Thad's of the world helping me look good.

What's sad is that Dan is dead. He died in a freak accident back home. Even though he was the best runner in the state, smart as shit, allergic to wheat before it was trendy, handsome (for someone living in Ohio), and loved by all, he was super humble. I can only imagine the hole that was left in the world when he was taken from it so unexpectedly.

This line of thinking is making me sad. Stupid dreams. Why couldn't I have the dream where I have booster boots?

Anyways, the proceeds from the Pisgah Eleventy-One are going to the family of Jeff Papenfus, a local (to the mountains) who passed away well before his time. Maybe that's the connection to my dream last night.


I do know it's gonna be a long 111 kilometers if I can't get some happy thoughts in my head ASAP.


Anonymous said...

Good luck with the race! Gonna be hell. :)


Anonymous said...

Go get'em!

Big E said...

I think Dicky needs a puppy and an ice cream cone. You can never be sad when you have thoughs...

Good luck! Tear some heads and shit down necks and such!

Anonymous said...

I was more consistent than you as a runner. I was 2nd to last as a freshman and still 2nd to last as a senior. We lost our top runner also...

Have a great race!