On Friday, I ran the last race of my high school career.
Four years. Thousands of miles. Embarrassing moments and collapses and victories and triumphs and PRs and first places and last places and places in the middle of the pack.
This wasn’t the most important race, the fastest race, or the most nerve-wracking race… but it was the last one, and that in itself made it pretty memorable.
We left for states on Thursday afternoon and drove in traffic for a long time before finally getting to the hotel. After a quick shakeout run, we ate dinner at Olive Garden and got back to the hotel around 10. We partook in our night-before-the-race tradition of weird YouTube videos (mostly funny cats) before going to bed around 11:30.
The 4×800 was at 3:30, and I ate oatmeal and toast for breakfast and leftover pasta for lunch. We got to the stadium at 2:15 and warmed up at 2:45.
We kept the same order, so I led off again. I wasn’t feeling great before the race (stomach didn’t feel right), but I chalked it up to nerves and repeatedly told myself, “It doesn’t matter if you don’t PR, this is your LAST RACE OF HIGH SCHOOL so treasure every second of it!!”
The gun went off, and I ended up switching between the back of the pack and the front of the pack all throughout the first lap, with a first lap split of about 68. (I think)
As we entered the second lap, I found myself thinking, “You have a little over one minute left of your entire high school running career.”
Three girls passed me on the second lap (oops), but I yelled at myself all the way down the home stretch to run through the line since I wanted a real split. I saw my teammate lined up in the third lane and headed straight down the third lane towards her, but unfortunately as I was about five meters from her she stepped laterally all the way to the first lane! Not sure why. So I kind of lunged sideways at the end to get to her 😉
I handed off at 2:22, but I’m not sure if it was officially 2:22 or 2:23 since you can’t really see the clock when you cross the line. In any case, it was the second fastest time I’ve run this year and a solid way to end high school running! (Although I was hoping to run about the same time I ran last week, the conditions were different and it was still a good time.)
After a ten-minute cool down, we went to Outback Steakhouse for dinner and I went to town on a steak, shrimp, sweet potato, and broccoli, followed by “Chocolate Thunder from Down Under.”
I typically eat sweet potatoes and broccoli plain, but this sweet potato was cooked with brown sugar and butter, and it was the most delicious thing I’ve ever eaten… maybe I’m missing out 😉
Today brought all the individual races, and they were all pretty amazing to witness.
After a 3-hour bus ride home, I got back about an hour ago to discover that my dog had destroyed my blinds and some race bibs.
I’ll decide later which emotions I should be feeling now that high school running is completely, 100% over for me. But don’t worry, I’m nowhere near done– I also have to talk about my college (running) plans!