I’ve Been Tagged

I was tagged by Lori (aka Toughnoodles). When you get tagged you are supposed to answer the questions and then tag 5 other people.  I’m going to be one of those weirdo’s who just says if you are reading this and want to get tagged – you are it!

So on to the questions.  This is a running tag so that’s good!

1) How would you describe your running 10 years ago?

Yikes, well 10 years ago I would have been 16 so I was still running high school track.  We didn’t have a cross-country team until my senior year and 10 years ago from today would be the summer between sophomore and junior year in high school.  I was on the distance crew running a little bit of everything – 800, 1600, and 3200.  I know that my high school 800 PR was 2:12 but don’t remember the others.

2) What is your best and worst race/run experience?

Wow this is really a tough question. Nothing jumps out at me either way distinctively as being one or the other. 

Both Good and Bad – my senior year in college the 4×800 team I was on was just a few seconds away from getting a national qualifying standard for the NAIA. Our next to last chance to qualify was at the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA) national meet.  The 4×800 is run on Friday night under the lights – so it is a pretty big deal.  I was running the second leg and got the baton in second place behind a rival school that included 2 Kenyans.  I took off like a rocket and passed the other guy on the backstretch – everyone kept yelling at me to slow down and take it easy, but I had decided to leave nothing on the track.  I came through the first 400 in 53 seconds (a new 400 PR for me) and in first place.  As I rounded the track and hit the 300 to go mark I hit the wall hard.  Coach said it was like a herd of Gorillas jumped on my back.  So I struggled through the rest of the race and got passed by 3 or 4 guys with a 72 second last lap.  I collapsed and after recovering got really upset.  It took 3 or 4 days for me to stop replaying that race over and over again in my head.  I don’t remember how we placed but we still didn’t qualify and the head coach decided not to give us another chance.  That first 400 was glorious and the last was hellish.

I can think of other races and runs that I enjoyed or hated but nothing ever felt like those 400’s on either extreme.

3) Why do you run?

This is a simple question, but one I often dread. Maybe I dread it because I am an addict and don’t want to admit it.  So there I said it, I’m addicted to running.  I think if I look back deep into the archives I joined the track team in middle school because it was a sport that they couldn’t cut you from! I started running in 8th grade, taking a season off in high school and a track season off in college.  I’m not really sure why I ran in college – maybe I wanted to be a part of a team or something.  I joined the team and became the 15th man – usually by a long shot but I enjoyed the people and had already dedicated so much blood and sweat that I couldn’t stop.  Even during the spring I didn’t run track I still hung out with the team ALL the time, lunch, dinner, chapel, breakfast, track meets, cross-training days, etc.  I guess it became a part of who I was.  So when I graduated college it was still a part of me.  It became something I could do – somewhat well – anywhere I was and I could always meet people with similar interests.  I ran through grad school and post college all the time. I’d do road races and really enjoy winning and placing in my age group (something I struggle with not doing now).  But there are also the other benefits – clearing my mind, letting go of the stress, being free and enjoying the outdoors.  Those are all reasons I run.  I enjoy pushing my body and draining it.  I enjoy the thrill of the final kick – even when its rather pathetic.  I enjoy exploring new trails and getting muddy while running through swamps.  I enjoy the camraderie that is gained by slugging through some hard miles with a friend – or just a random runner.  I enjoy the shared interest and collegiality of another runner who you happen to meet after a run at the parking lot.  I enjoy the challenge that it takes to get out of bed some mornings and the sheer challenge of a long run after a hard week.  Those are many of the reasons I run!

4) What is the best/worst advice you’ve been given about running?

Best: Stay on your toes – this was for cross-country where speed was important and being on the toes keeps your momentum going forward – not so important now. A second piece of advice and more applicable today is that if you have a problem and you make a change but nothing happens you need to look at other causes and factors.  This was given to me when I wasn’t recovering from plantar facitis.  Part of the problem was that the shoes I wore to work everyday were making the injury worse!

Worst: I’m really struggling on this one.  I’ve had some really good coaches and running buddies throughout the years so I guess I don’t really have any worst advice!

5) Tell us something suprising about yourself that not many people would know.

Well I guess depending on when I post this you might already know this.  I have run on 3 different continents and in 4 countries – South Africa, Ghana, Great Britain (England), and the US.

Official Rules of the game: I am now supposed to tag 5 more people and get them to answer the questions. I’m not going to name anyone but tag you are it.  Leave a comment below and link back here if you play so that we’ll all know to check out your running story!

If you have been tagged, you will find your name at the end of this post. You should then, copy the rules (or your version of them), and the set of questions onto your blog post, provide your own answers, and then tag 5 new people.

Just to be sure that everyone tagged knows they have been invited to play, go to their blogs and leave them a special comment letting them know, and refer them to your blog for details. One more thing, once they’ve answered the questions on their own blog, they should come back to yours to tell you.

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