Emotional or Meaningful Run Memoirs... (Read 993 times)

    Well, I won state championships in Nevada... So it was probably more of a "u da teenager" then a true man... Wink




    A state champion, is a state champion! Still impressive!

    Feeling the growl again

      Less than six years ago...seems like forever...I ran the "slow" heat of the 10,000m at the Gina Relays at Hillsdale College.  I don't know if it still is, but at the time this was basically the Stanford Invite of the midwest for distance runners...it typically took a seed time of around 30:30 to get into the fast heat.  It was supposed to be a tune-up for my goal marathon a month later, not the main event of the season itself.


      I found myself leading the first lap and we were off slow, around 77 I think.  It was knotted up tight and there was a lot of spiking, bumping and pushing, I recall telling one guy over my shoulder that if he pushed me again he was going on the infield.  Fortunately it didn't ruin my rhythm.  A couple more guys came up, and we started switching the lead back and forth and accelerating.  Soon I was on 5-flat pace and it was completely effortless.  Never before or after has such a pace felt to easy to me.  We cleared 5K in 15:38 (my 5K PR was 15:37 at the time) with me in the lead.  I started to accelerate more, believing that my lifetime goal of sub-31 was in reach.  Nobody went with me.  I looked over my shoulder at the two guys falling off and said "If you want to break 31 we have to go NOW".  They caught up, and off we went.  Within a lap they both passed me (the leader for the rest of the race was a guy who was about 23 but had run sub-15 5K as a college freshmen, he was capable of more in top shape) and I latched onto them in third.  The pace kept accelerating, and soon we were dropping only 72, 73 second quarters.


      One of the really special parts of this experience was that my former college team was there.  One of my former teammates and a good friend was the assistant coach, and another former teammate was there to cheer me on as well.  They were the ones giving me my splits.  So they had seem me as a mid-34/35 guy in college and knew how special this was.  The assistant coach told me later that as we were dropping 72s he turned to our other friend and said "no way he holds this for more than a mile".


      About 5 miles into the race I lapped the top runner from my alma mater, on his way to clocking the third fastest time in school history.  That really pushed me on, considering I'd never scored a point for the team while in school.


      With 1000m to go the pace was finally taking its toll.  The leader put in a surge, and I instantly had to decide whether to go with them or hold pace.  I decided that if I went with them I would blow up and my time would tank in the final lap, so I dug down and just tried to maintain without the aid of the draft.  Going into the final lap I gave it all I had, trying to think of the 15 years of work that had gone into getting to that point in the race at that pace.  I managed to maintain pace though my form was collapsing down the straightaway, and was even closing quickly on the two leaders as they began to break down in the final lap.  But I ran out of runway and finished about 3-4 seconds behind them.


      As I knelt on the grass afterward trying to think clearly again, I remember looking up at the scoreboard with my name and "30:57" beside it.  Somewhere I have a picture of that that I really want to find.  I recall very clearly thinking "that's it, I'll probably never run a race like that again in my life.  I'll never run a PR to match that".  Since I was smashing PRs virtually every race it was weird to think that at the time, but I was right.


      It was an evening race and I finished near midnight, but me and my buddies found a place that was open afterward to go celebrate.  Having them there for that was one of the best parts.


      Unknown to me at the time due to all the adrenaline, I'd pulled my hamstring during the race and would be unable to train much at all for the next month...my goal marathon was still a PR, but almost a jog effort, and nowhere near the Olympic Trials qualifier I was aiming for.  I've never been able to bring myself to wish I hadn't run that 10K though.

      "If you want to be a bad a$s, then do what a bad a$s does.  There's your pep talk for today.  Go Run." -- Slo_Hand


      I am spaniel - Crusher of Treadmills


        Spaniel that was great.

          I have no idea why this is such a big deal for me, but I tear up every time I tell the story... 


          I ran faster than that in high school... I ran in bigger meets and won state championships... Not sure entirely why, but almost can't tell this story now 20+ years later without crying...





          I think I know exactly how you feel as I went through the same emotions 4 years ago when something from my past bounced back to hit me full square. I'm a little older than you so I think some of my emotion was down to nostalgia for a time long gone - in more ways than one. We're talking the middle years of the last century for heavens sake - most people reading this were probaly not even born -




          I still get emotional when I see the video and remember that some of my friends that ran that day are now gone themselves. 1965 was a long time ago and the world was a very different place indeed. Unlike today there were very few marathons around and ultras were certainly unheard of in my world. Just look at the number of women attempting 50 miles at a time when they were still officially barred from doing marathons (including the Olympics and Boston). Amazing.


          3000 miles

          Sub 19:00 for 5K  05-03-13 Clee Prom 5K - 19:00:66 that was bloody close!

          Sub-40:00 for 10K 17-03-13 Gainsborough 10K - 39:43

          Sub 88:00 for HM


          an amazing likeness

            Chris -- your tale remains among the best life stories I've experienced over the years here on RA.  I've stared back at that thread quite a few times and marveled at the boy in the pictures plugging away at 50 miles.

            I've done my best to live the right way. I get up every morning and go to work each day. (for now)