"Either this is a #tbt photo to 9-12 years ago or I'm about to do something really stupid." Unless you're looking close enough to realize my hair is red in this photo you might actually believe it was a picture from the unforgettable years I spent running track at Boardman High School in Ohio. Alas, it's the latter!
During the time I spent babysitting the bikes at our support locations during Live for 175 in April, I met a guy name Mark. He was willing to support child abuse prevention by jumping on one of the stationary bikes but couldn't ride long because he was "tapering for his race this weekend." Doing Live for 175 king of disconnects you from rest of the world, so I asked him which race it was expecting to hear the name of one of the gazillion local 5Ks. To my surprise, he shot back "the 1500." I kind of cocked my head to the side and looked at him as my inner track nerd started to wake-up. Mark went on to tell me how he runs Masters Track and Field and how there's a small contingency of adults still competing in track here in the Treasure Valley. While I was relieved I'm not yet considered a master (I still have three more years till I reach that age group,) I also wanted to know more since I would be able to resume running in a few weeks.
Turns out the Treasure Valley YMCA hosts "All Comers" meets on Thursday nights at Timberline High School which is literally in my backyard. My ultimate goal this summer is to complete a half marathon again, but let's be honest Track was my first love (and quite possibly still is.) I just had to throw my hat in the ring. I know that the chances of me ever touching a 5:34 1600 or 2:27 800 again are slim to none, but what was stopping me from setting some new "age group PRs" for myself? Nothing! I just needed to be a "goal digger."
I'm not sure where I saw that quote, but I loved it and made it my mission statement for this "track season." If I wrote down goals, I new I'd hold myself accountable for them. Boldly, I set the goal of running at least four of the meets this summer, breaking 6:40 in the 1500 and 3:00 in the 800. As of today I've competed in 3 meets and ran 6:39 in the 1500 meter tonight! My season PR right now is 3:15 in the 800 and my time to hit that goal is running out, so I'll be skipping the 1500 next week to run it fresh legged.
Track was my life in High School (hell, my senior class voted me that in the yearbook) and being back on the oval brings me so much joy! I've even made a few new friends along the way and inspired a non-track athlete friend of mine to give it a go. She's taken a venture into throwing the throwing events and had a PR night in the shot put.
Some people might think competing in these meets is silly and shows I'm living in the past. Shame on them! Don't EVER let someone steal your joy by telling you to grow up an abandon the things you loved in your younger years. Be a goal digger! Set your sights on what you want to do and achieve it! Be you, embrace the things that geek you out and be HAPPY!