Runners World: A Running History
4 years ago - LEAVE A COMMENT
Welcome to my new series: Runners World! I will be updating you on the progress of my different races I do throughout the year and share with you in my accomplishments and even not-so-accomplishments. I ran my first half marathon last fall and plan on doing another in a month!
I have always loved to run. Ever since I was a kid, I remember loving the PE days when we had to run around the field and collect popsicle sticks for each lap we ran. I would get so sweaty and disgusting only to have to stay in those same clothes the rest of the day; but boy, did I have fun!
In the 3rd grade, I remember they handed out flyers in school for a recreation track league in the area for kids my age. I was ecstatic! To this day, I remember going home and taking the flyer to my mom to have my sister and me join the track team. I vividly remember walking into the McIntosh High School cafeteria to register, to find out that because I had a December 26 birthday at the end of the year, even though I was 10, I would be in the 12 and under age group instead of the 10 and under age group; always putting me at least 1-2 years younger than every girl in my group.
I remember both coach Bill’s and coach Steve. I remember the time and effort they poured into us, these little kids, who signed up for recreation track and field. I remember traveling all over the city of Atlanta to run against other rec-track teams. I remember spending many, many weekends at Carrollton High School running at district and state. I remember running against the Red Runners who were based out of Holy Innocence Catholic School and hating how good they were, while I can’t even remember the actual name of our team. Peachtree something-or-other. I do remember the logo clear as day, however. It was a burnt yellow shirt with a red logo in a peach tree. Today, they are the Peachtree City Flash, the team that we created for cross country my 6th grade year (I ran on that team until I joined my high school cross country team). I guess they have combined and are one team now.
I tried pretty much everything except the mile as a kid. I found my niche in the 800m and 400m races. I learned so much about track and field in those first years of rec-track and ran on this team until I joined my middle school team in 7th grade. Later on in high school, I ran the 4×100 and 4×400 relays, 400m, 800m, 200m, and eventually tried pole vault once GHSA allowed girls to actually participate in pole vault in 2002 for the first time ever.
In the spring 10 years, I ran track. For 10 years, I spent all day Saturday, running, or waiting to run; and I loved it! Cross country wasn’t as involved, as we would be done with the meets by mid-day; but I remember leaving track meets at 9pm after spending over 14 hours there all day. I was blessed to be able to make it to state in either cross country or track all four years in high school.
Track and field and cross country in so many ways helped develop a drive and determination to work hard and do well, not only in running, but in other areas of my life as well. My favorite thing about track and field is not only are you individually competing against others in a race or field event; but you are always competing against yourself in attempting to reach a new PR (that’s runner speak for Personal Record). You could get last in your race, but if you hit a new PR, it was a win in the books.
Years later, I found myself as a track and field coach cheering on my athletes and celebrating with them as they reached new PR’s and placed in the meets. The four years I coached pole vault at Chattachoochee High School meant dedicating my spring afternoons and Saturdays to track meets. I loved it so much!
Next blog will talk about how I got back into running and how my love for distance running has grown over the years!