Just Didn't Have Much To Begin WithWhen I was in my late 20s, I ran an open 800 at an all-comers track meet.
I've told this story before (I've told them all before, I bet), but here's a quick summary: went out in 68, got out halfway through the second lap and I felt like I was carrying a bear who was carrying a refrigerator. Staggered home in 73 for a 2:21 overall.
For a regular person, that's reasonably fast--it translates to about a 5:15 mile, and I ran a 5:17 once--but for a runner, that's not a high level at all. Almost pedestrian, really.
I always thought that I lost quite a bit of my original speed because I ran long distances. I've always wondered how fast I could have been.
So I'm going through a bin of stuff from long, long ago yesterday as I sort through my study for packing. In a laundry bag was a faded purple ribbon, very faded.
I wish I'd taken a picture, but I didn't, and it's already thrown away.
What matters, though, is that it's a ribbon from an 800 I ran at an all-comers track meet in Buccaneer Stadium in Corpus Christi--in 1978, when I was 17.
The time? 2:21.