Friday, November 14, 2008

As It Continues...

Authors note: I wrote this as my second post, (October 16th) and it was actually much longer, and was a little more detailed. I then deleted a paragraph or 2 because I didn't want to blow my reader away and I regret that now, because I can't retrieve those. I also never posted this because in the end I figured no one would want to read about what appears to be me bragging about my CC career in Highschool. Well, Greg's Post was nearly taking the words from my mouth. And I enjoyed reading his, so, well, without further ado, here's mine.

Well, to continue, I will begin with what fuels running, and everything I do for that matter. Competition. I've always been very competitive and that could almost be a post in its own, I think it began with video gaming. So naturally I started cross country wondering how good everyone would be, would I be the slowest, could I be the best? My mother told me that most likely girls would be better because they develope earlier or something. I don't really remember, I just know that from the first day or 2 of practice I suprised myself and became the fastest runner during a time trial. From then on I was hooked. I wouldn't do phenominal at meets, but I was the fastest on my team until Tim Marta joined the next year (He was even a grade younger then me!) I went on to Highschool with moderate XC success. I was pumped to play soccer, but alas, Freedom HS didn't have a soccer team. I was back to doing the only other sport available besides dreaded football, cross country.

I started out as a freshmen and had goals each year, usually just to beat the next runner ahead of me on the team. Each season I completed the goal and found myself as one of the top runners in my grade, and eventually of my school (Don't worry it was <500)
It was sad day, but nothing to dwell on, sectionals was right around the corner and we could still go to state, although only 2 teams qualify for state and 20 teams participate in 1 sectional. We were at Tomahawk. Along with the 2 qualifying teams, 5 top individuals qualify to go alone.
Much of this day is a blur of memories, but I must say it is a day I will never forget. Perhaps the single most ultimate triumph I have had as a human being. I went out knowing that to get Freedom to state I could only put forth everything I had and hope the team took my lead. Other then that I don't know how to describe my demeaner, I want to say surreal, but I am sure thats just how I feel looking back. They had to restart the race 3 times. So now on the 3rd start we passed the first turn, and that means no more restart is possible, so it was on. The next memory I have is probably after the first mile, I was being passed by my rival (from? you guessed it, LC) someone who had a very fast pace, but no kick, so I always let him go off and I try to outkick him at the end. Well, I don't know why, but something clicked in my head and I kicked up my pace and stayed with him at what felt like an impossible pace. (when I pick a pace too fast, I get horrible side cramps, start second guessing myself even more, and shortness of breath) I think I realized this was quiet possibly my last race in highschool. For whatever reason, the new pace wasn't just possible, it didn't feel like the end of the world. Then something happened again that I still cant describe, after running with him for probably another mile I picked it up again, and this time pulled away from him. At this point we were in the front of the pack and now I was taking off towards who knows what, the best of the best runners who were all but out of sight. I started to realize I might be top 5 and that empowered me even more. Adrenaline was spiking. I remember being 200yards from the finish line, and passing a kid that I knew must have been in 2nd or 3rd place. I looked at him and I said "We're going to F$#%ing STATE!" and I pumped my fist in the air. He laughed and said something cheerful back. Realize that we were both dead tire and I envision this communication as a drunk probably visualizes his pickup lines working at the bar. I sprinted it in at this point and realized that I had taken 4th place, out of 102 people. Division 2 state individual qualifier. Time of 16:53. (My previous pr had been 17:17). Incredible. I had done the impossible, the 3rd place guy turned around and with wide eyes asked where the hell I had come from.

The sad part of this story is that my team did not do as good and we were not going to state as a team. So it was a sour victory. I had achieved where my team fell short yet again. The best day of my life and it was only as an individual.

That's what running has given me, a day that, so far, has more emotions tied to it than any other I have witnessed. After that climax running wasn't the same to me. I went to college and I wasn't impressing anyone, I wasn't varsity, and I would have to wait 4 years of grueling, horrible workouts that make you want to throwup and quit. And after that 4 years, Maybe, MAYBE I would get to amount to what I had done in highschool. Well, as you can imagine, I quit after my first year of CC in college and my life has been different ever since. Some good changes, some for the worse.

I should also note that I didn't drink or smoke at all in highschool. I had taken a vow to never touch alchohol, which I removed senior year in HS (probably after CC but I can't remember) and wondered why I had ever mad the vow to begin with. Alchohol was the greatest invention known to man. The reason I bring this up is that it probably has something to do with my transformation to a non-runner in college.

I have started up my workouts and running again. I have even considered a Marathon. So I think this blog will help me to posts my thoughts and runs sometime and give myself a reason to stick to the training schedule. Which I realize without a coach is near impossible for me.

Don't worry though, all my posts won't be like this. I'll try to relax and give you some good stories too. Maybe next time...

Listening to: Best Of You by Foo Fighters

I should note that this post, now that I reread it, is similar to Greg's, but still so much different because of how much CC can be both a team event, and an individual event. I shouldn't say I can relate to Greg's story.
Also, Greg specifically says that these "weren't" the best times of his life. Something I feel I should point out. I hear a lot of people say this same thing with ease. And when I look back at HS, I suppose I only see the good times. (it was a very hard move to a new school district my freshman year) But I feel that senior year highschool was the best times of my life. And its closely rivaled with College party mode, but man, as seniors we felt like we were on top of the world. And we hardly thought of what the future would bring us. We were living in the now. The adrenaline rushes, and natural Highs I experienced without drugs happen less often, if at all these days.
So I dunno, I'm definitely not that Football Jock quarterback who lives in a trailer now that relives his HS days. But when I am asked what were the best times of my life, my response is very similar to his. Is that bad?


kiltrunner said...

Good story. Although you would smoke me in every race, next summer you can join me on all those sweet competition runs that somehow slipped through the heels this year. It will segway nicely into the marathon.

Nice dye job, freakin highschooler.

Gregor said...

Hahah, I was thinking the same thing about "blondie." And the love of my college years far outshadows those of my high school mainly because my memory is so freaking bad I can't remember most of it anymore.

I'm glad you decided to put this post up.

Assailant.9 said...

Well I suppose now I have to follow suit and post about my HS running career... and I was going to post about hunting too. Quit beating me to the punch! Anyways, i've been thinking of doing a marathon as well. Appealing to our competitiveness; I challenge you to a race! First to complete a marathon gets a snickers bar!

Joe said...

Jeeze, everyone is talking about running here. Must be what they picked up on - for me it was the alcohol that stuck out, and your snippet about not drinking. Reminds me of the quote by one of history's great boozehounds Frank Sinatra, who said: "I feel sorry for people who don't drink. When they wake up in the morning, that's as good as they're going to feel all day."