Thinking Back

As we all know, long runs give us a chance to think. Even more so when you’re on an out and back on a river path away from roads.

Yesterday on a 7 mile out and back, I was thinking about my high school running career. I don’t know how I got on track for that, but oh well. And I’m not talking social or academic high school life. I mean, I could, but y’all are here for running talk.

So we’ll talk running. There are times where I (and I’m sure a few of you) wish you could jump in a time machine and go slap some sense into your high school self. I was definitely that kid who thought running Cross Country in the Fall and Track in the Spring was fine. Summer training? Nah.

The one summer I kind of trained (and by kind of, I mean I ran in June, stopped in July, and kind of did in August) I had my best CC season. Weird.

Back then, I would try to do almost anything to not do my training runs. Run errands? Ok. Read a book? Even better. Now days, if I don’t get my run in, it feels like something is wrong. Do I look forward to my rest days? Of course. But I also look forward to my long runs.

I could easily run circles around my high school self now. If I could race a ghost of my high school self in the 5k, I’m pretty sure current me would win, even though I don’t train for, and really don’t like, that distance.

Senior year me on the left, current me on the right. Amazing what some dedication will do for a person.

And of course, a lot of that comes with compounded training over the years, and especially since college. With that also comes the maturity of growing up, of course.

But still, it’s hard not to look back and see the potential that was there.

I’m currently binge watching my way through Last Man Standing on Hulu. There’s a scene way back in Season 1 where some characters talk about “doing the work” and not winging it. Running is very much the same, and in high school I didn’t do the work.

Looking back, that seems just silly; expecting to be good without running those summer miles. That would be like expecting to do well in a marathon without doing the training.

And while this can be an annoying walk down memory lane, I do know that I’ve become the runner and person I am now because of my lazy high school self. It’s motivating. Plus, in a weird way, it might be a reason I stayed with the sport, before really discovering how far it can take me post college.

Are there aspects of your running life where you wish you could go back in time and slap some sense into your running self?


2 comments on “Thinking Back”
  1. Ryan says:

    First off, I LOVE Last Man Standing, easily one of my favorite shows on TV right now. I didn’t find cross country until my senior year of high school and I definitely didn’t take it seriously. I didn’t train at all over the summer and when the season came around I ran my first 5k in just under 30 minutes. I actually started caring about halfway through the season and managed to break 20 minutes in my last race. I can’t tell you how many times I look back and wish I’d started running my freshman year, taken it seriously, and trained year round.


    1. It sounds like your first race was a lot like mine! Just under 30; those six summer miles didn’t do me a lot of good


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