Monday, September 24, 2012

Back in the Day, I Used to be Fast

Since I'm really good at procrastinating, I decided to go digging in the basement to delay studying and packing before heading off to Las Vegas. I found some gems from my high school track days that I thought I would share as I occasionally mention the days of yore.

As a little history, I joined the track team at my high school when I was a freshman. I had never really held any interest in running before but some of my friends were trying out so I thought I would give it a try. (The mile in junior high gym class had been torture.) My cousin was also into running so I figured it would be fun.
I made the team and I ran the 400m consistently. Comparatively to other schools, I wasn't that fast. But for our school, I was one of the faster 400m runners and was consistently in the open event (my PR was 62.something. I never broke 60 although it was one of my goals all through my 3 year career). I enjoyed running this race but felt I never mastered it. I always either started too slow or too fast.  
Getting ready in the starting blocks for a 100m hurdle race.
Probably around 1999 or 2000. Pigtail buns with feathers were really cool.

I think I still have that problem even now with longer distances. Haha, I guess some things don't change? When I ran track, I was pretty stubborn and never wanted to join the "distance" runners and compete in the 800m or 1600m. I was a sprinter, and those distance runners were so "clique-y." I sometimes wonder what would have happened if I would have given the longer distances a try. In addition to the 400m, I also dabbled in the long jump, high jump, and hurdles. If you've read my blog before, you know I'm not very coordinated. How I was enlisted to complete these events, I'll never know. I was a terrible hurdler and an even worse high jumper. I think my lack of fear (and lack of other eager participants) helped me participate in these events. As I dug through the box of old memorabilia, I stumbled upon some medals from these events.
I think there must have only been 2 high jump participants that day... I swear...

Either way, it was fun to look back and reflect on what I did back then and how far I've come! If you would have told my 16 year old self that I would complete a marathon before I was 30, I probably would have told you that you were crazy. I never wanted to run more than 2 miles, let alone 26.2!
Apparently I wasn't always a heel striker...
The home stretch in my first heat of the 400m

I really cherish my memories on the track team and every time I watch track on TV I feel really nostalgic about the days in which I used to run on the track. I think I need to incorporate more track workouts as part of my normal cycle, just to feel like I'm 16 again! :)
In front with unflattering grey sweatpants; resting between events, junior year, 2001

Did you play any sports in high school? Did you run track? Do you incorporate track workouts as part of your normal running routine?

P.S. Today is the LAST DAY to enter my Haeleum giveaway! Entries are accepted until 11:59CST today!


  1. I only "played" sports in high school bc my friends begged me bc our teams were short people. Bowling for 3 years (soph to senior) and swim team junior year (on varsity! Yikes!). I was not (and still am not) very good at sports. Btw, hated running...

  2. Love this!

    I ran cross country my sophomore and junior years and was injured most of the time. I never did track because I was a band geek. Part of me wishes I had done track to see what woul have happened, but I was injured a lot. Perhaps it L's a good thing I waited to start running again 5 years ago.

  3. I'm so jealous of your swimming abilities! I still don't know how to swim and I'm almost 30. Kind of sad... lol!

  4. I was too timid to do cross country. I went out on one of the runs after not trained and quickly fell behind the pack (duh). It discouraged me and I decided to be stubborn and not do it. I wonder what would have happened if I stuck with it???...

  5. I always had to run a time trial once a year for skating tryouts and I swear, it was the worst back then. I was never a runner, and then I needed a goal, so I became one.

    The one thing I wish I had was my ability to workout as often as I did in high school! I would skate at 6am before school and then from 4pm-11pm in the evenings. Then I would get like 5 hours of sleep and do it again. HOW!?!

  6. I can barely fit in running 3 days a week but during track season we would run 6 days a week, practice every day after school and then meets on Saturday mornings. I guess that is why they say "kids are resilient".....? Haha. If only I still had that same energy. My cousin used to ice skate when she was younger. I remember the crazy hours!!

  7. Which one are you in the group pic??

    The only running I did in high school was to chase soccer balls. When I first started "running", I had to visualize that I was playing soccer to get myself to keep going.

  8. Irina @ Chocolatea TimeSeptember 24, 2012 at 9:45 PM

    I am so jealous of you for starting your running habit early on in life! I would have to say that one of my biggest regrets in high school is not joining the track or cross country team. I was the nerd who loved school and only studied :( You are lucky to have such great memories and memorabilia!

  9. I was a sprinter back in my high school days. I ran for a club and did a lot of track work and a bit of weight training. I did 100m, 200m and a bit of long jump and 400m. But it's at 100m where I really excelled. My PB, if my memory serves me well is about 12.40. But that was a long time ago. I don't think I could even run 15 seconds now. Like you, I'm now focused on long distance, although I'm still doing 5km and 10km. My current PB for 10km is 44 minutes and about 21 minutes for 5km. Not sure when I'll run a half marathon, but hopefully that day will come soon.

  10. In the group photo I'm the one that is sprawled out in front wearing very unflattering grey sweatpants. "Beached whale" is a term I wanted to use. Haha, very unflattering angle is what I'm going with. :)

  11. Thanks Irina! I only did track freshman through junior year because of some issues with the coach and that "clique-y" distance squad. It seems like there are always some regrets from back in high school, if only we didn't think we knew everything at the age of 16! Haha

  12. Wow! You are fast!! Best of luck with training for a half marathon! They really are fun and a bit of a challenge, especially if you specialized in the 100m! :)

  13. Aww! I love your cutie HS track pics! :) You know, I only did track in middle school, but I remember that the longer distances seemed SO LONG and only the UBER great athletes (in my mind) did those distances. LOL.

    I played soccer in high school. I wish I would have stuck with track!

  14. Just ran ran a 10km race this morning called City to City which took place in Pretoria, South Africa. It's also got a 50km ultra marathon that started in Johannesburg and ended in Pretoria. I think I'll wait a few more years before I try that one. Anyway, I finished the 10k in 47.30. It was quite a tough race, very hilly. There was one hill over 2km long. It wasn't very steep, but as you can imagine, it was quite a killer. Check out my photo with my medal and other race photos on my facebook page.