Our St. David's School Varsity girls team finished out that season as State Champions in our division. Sharbear overheard some indignant runner-ups complain, "uh yeah, we could run that way if we hadn't hit puberty yet either." Irrelevant, since we had some talented high-schoolers on the team as well.
Eighth and ninth grade didn't hold the same team victory as the first season, but that's another reason I like running. It doubles as a blessedly solitary sport. Even when you can't win as a team, you can dominate in your placing. Three All-Conference plaques and an All-State certificate proved that to me.
Winter and Spring Track kept my love/hate with the sport alive, but I lived for cross-country season. Running in circles on a track doesn't leave much room for the imagination, but my race times didn't reflect my lesser love for the synthetic ground. That one 5:48 mile time still makes me proud. Just don't ask me to repeat. KThaaaaanks.
Moving to Texas, a new state with a lesser school and a lesser coach, quickly showed that I had left my talent, heart, and motivation in Raleigh. And the onset of the silent energy sucker, Addison's Disease, kept me from competing at my best in Oklahoma City at Heritage Hall. The glory days were long over.
On the bus rides to races I'd play songs that made me ready to run. Like Dixie Chicks, "Ready to Run." But the one that really fueled my adrenaline was the song, "Remember the Name" by Fort Minor. It still makes me want to race somebody. Even if it's just myself. So I make it point to try to play it on my runs today. There's something about running that clears the mind and leaves a sense of accomplishment upon finishing. I'm by no means to the point that I was as a freshman in high school. And I don't expect to get there ever again since I don't plan to include six 800m repeats with 5 seconds recovery or seventeen 300m repeats with 3 seconds recovery in my repertoire (#hyperbole). Thank you Paul for the vomit-inducing workouts.