See Part 1 for a review.
When I started jr. high in 7th grade I considered myself athletic. So I went out for every sport. And, it turns out, I’m not as athletic as I thought I was. At least not when it comes to team sports involving balls. And I was cut from every team. Track didn’t have cuts though. They could find something for everyone to do. I was definitely not a hurdler. That ambition never materialized. But I could run distances. So I ended up running the 800m, the 1600m, the 4x800m relay, and the anchor for the 1600m medley relay (200, 200, 400, 800).
Our junior high had a dirt track which actually gave us a slight advantage when we ran on real tracks. And there was a hill on the northeast corner of the track that we’d have to run repeats on. And our coach loved to have the 4×200 and the 4×400 relays race against us long distance runners so that we were going up against fresh legs regularly. We moved at the beginning of my 8th grade year and I did track again at the new junior high as well.
I enjoyed going to the meets. I had a lot of fun being with the other runners but I liked that for the most part how I did on an event was all up to me. My mom came to all of them and my dad was there for as many as he could be. I had a cooler they’d pack for me with oranges and Gatorade in it. I had issues with shin splints so my dad would rub Icey Hot on my legs for me.
After junior high I continued running with my dad in the mornings during the summer and doing 5Ks when they’d come up but I didn’t pursue track in high school. My senior year of high school I dislocated my knee and it took a long time for me to come back from that. Knowing what I know about injuries now I should’ve done some physical therapy but the doctors never suggested it.
Next up: Running during college and my first three marathons.