Last Updated on December 10, 2019 by Heather Hart, ACSM EP
Here’s what I have to say about that:
Ultras: maybe one day , when I can run a marathon without a million walk breaks (like my previous two marathon experiences), I will consider it.
Relays: I’m sure in this instance, the people at runner’s lounge are referring more towards the marathon relays. But when I hear relay, I always think of the 400 m relay….and it makes me laugh at how far I’ve come as a runner.
Bet you didn’t know back in high school I ran track. I really hated , I mean despised running. But, everyone got to be on the team, it was co-ed, and there were no try outs. I started in the spring of my Sophomore year, as a way to try and stay in shape for soccer (which I played for the other three seasons of the year). While I was a relatively good soccer player, I did not excel on the track and field team. Like I said, I hated running. But my parents had this rule, once you started something, you had to follow through on your commitment. So I was stuck on the track team.
My Coach kind of stuck me wherever there were openings; in events I could occupy myself with while he and the other coaches focused on the superstars. Hurdles, high jump, the occasional relay team. Don’t get me wrong, Coach Perry was/is a great guy, and one of my favorite coaches in all of my years of academic sports. But, well, I guess I didn’t give him much to work with. Here is my graceful, aero-dynamic form as I made my way through the 100 m hurdles. (Yes, they actually posted this as a 5×5 in the year book my junior year. Thanks a bunch, yearbook staff, i wasn’t traumatized over this all summer long or anything!)
Sophomore year I ran with the 100m relay as the third leg, before I handed the baton off to super speedy Sandy who almost always beat EVERYONE giving us a first place. Other than that , I was a high jumper and long jumper. Not a very good one, but I made due. Usually, I came out of a track meet with a third place or two. OK, OK, usually there were only 3 or 4 girls in the high jump and or long jump event, but who cares about the details right? Apparently, in 1998, Division 1 high school track and field was having a serious lull in female jumpers. Whatever.
So here’s where the story gets really good: Sophomore year, track and field end of season awards banquet. Every year, out of everyone on the team (boys and girls combined) , the person with the most points was given the “trackmeister” award. One for track events, and one for field events. You earned a certain number of points for placing at meets. Well, guess who’s long list of “third place by default” points earned her the field award? ME! HA! I will never forget the look on the team and various coaches face’s when the Coach Perry very hesitantly announced the award, saying that “this years winner was a surprise, and I had to recount three times to make sure it was accurate…” haaaaahahahahaha. Out of all those bulky shot-puters, muscular javelin throwers, crazy pole vaulters, and other high & long jumpers (the guys were actually really good), little ol’ me took home the trophy.
I ended up joining the track team for my Junior and Senior year as well. I never won the trackmeister award again, but I did manage to make it to the Division 1 state championships for 100 m hurdles Senior year. I came in last place in the first heat, but I still made it to States, and I thought that was a pretty cool accomplishment for the girl who hated to run.
So while writing this blog, I decided to dig out the award. Buried in the back of the upstairs closet, behind the Christmas decorations, is the box of “important things” my mom saved for me from high school. My diploma, the champagne flutes from the Prom (still full of confetti!), various awards and plaques, such as “3 years perfect attendance” (told you! nerd!), and my trackmeister award.
Yesterday, I was pretty down on myself and my current lack of training due to this crazy cold. So many of you gave me great advice (i really appreciate it) and made me realize that I a) need to not be so hard on myself, and b) shouldn’t be so gung-ho about a Boston qualifying time for what will only my third marathon. So I’m going to go forward with my training plan, but not have it be the end-all of my marathon training. While Boston will still be in the back of my mind, my new goal is simply a P.R. And if that P.R is a 3:40 or better, well that will be fantastic. Meanwhile, I think I will keep the “trackmeister” out, to remind myself that sometimes you don’t have to be the best or the fastest, but just having a lot of determination and sticking with it can still get you where you want to be.
And I bet today, If I told Coach Perry I was training for my third marathon, he would probably make me go and run hills as a punishment, because he would think I was lying. Ha!