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Hop in your Deloreon and set the clock for 1993.

02/21/2012

Posing with dad at my first 5K--the Massapequa Firecracker--in 1993. My dad didn't run it in 2006 but came to cheer me on to 2nd place in my age group.

I’ve been running for kind of a long time. There was a break between high school and motherhood, I refer to these as The Corona Years, but running has been in my life more than it has not. Running makes me feel centered (read: less crazy) and helps keep my competitive, er, tendencies in check. If it wasn’t for running I would end up challenging my neighbors to pie eating contests, Boggle championships, and strong-man competitions. I already secretly snicker that we’re the best recyclers on the block. So you can imagine how I’ve been toeing the line of “normal adult behavior” the past 6 weeks. But if this leg doesn’t  heal up soon, I cannot be held accountable for strapping a fridge on my back and shouting “What you got, old lady?” to the old lady next door.

I work with some young(er) runners at The Very Good Run Fast Shoppe and conversation will sometimes turn to high school coaches. They have fond(ish) memories of aqua jogging while holding a brick above their heads and having their calves rolled out to near-tears. Those aren’t my memories. My coach wasn’t the eccentric but lovable archetype who micromanaged our summer mileage and tortured us through killer August hill repeats. Instead, I remember my coach as the coach who took one of the runners to prom, dropped us off on the Cross Island Parkway and said “See you in an hour,” and once, on the way to the Guilderland Invitational, pulled over the van and screamed at us so bad I can still perfectly envision his purple face spitting anger at us. In his defense, we probably should NOT have played Nine Inch Nails’ Closer. Unedited. On repeat. For 3 hours. Our baaad.

But not all my high school running memories are creepy(ish). I do remember the previous coach shoveling the track after a snowstorm so we could get in our speed work. I remember exploring the Planting Fields Arboretum, pigging out at the Crossgates Mall in Albany, and making these cool runner girl necklaces at a cute bead store just blocks from the Brown Invitational. It was thrilling going to Madison Square Garden to watch the Millrose Games and then seeing Bill Cosby in the stands! I met Steve Guttenberg at a 5K (Tip: Never tell Mahoney that Citizens on Patrol was your favorite Police Academy movie unless you want to be looked at like you are an asshole), and I ran in the New Year’s Eve Midnight Run in Central Park. Hearing Green Day and Salt ‘n Pepa (I know, I know) brings me back to the Armory when it was the sketchiest place on Earth. We listened to our Discmans while waiting through endless heats of the 55 until FINALLY it was time for the 4 x 800. And it was always sort of fun when our bus sputtered and lurched through the Bronx threatening to strand our gang of suburban Catholic High School girls in some unsavory neighborhoods.

Ah, the memories. And I cannot wait until I am out on the roads and trails again (but  mostly the roads because I am chicken shit)making more!

1993 Duel Meet vs OLMA. Guess I've always been a heel striker. This was also before the invention of color photography.

Indoor at the Armory in 1994 when it was full of homeless people.

Over the bridge and into the hills! 1994 Duel Meet.

Posing near our trusty bus at Sunken Meadow following a Duel Meet.

Downhill at the Guilderland Invitational. This was the debut of our new uniforms and extremely thigh-flattering briefs.

Love this picture because I am ahead of a Friar at league champs!

My last cross-country meet at Sunken Meadow.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Marian Wolff permalink
    02/21/2012 12:33 PM

    Ah the memories. After all these years I thought I blocked most of them from my memory but this brought back a few. Coming up on 20 years since high school (gulp) I never thought I would be one of those runners that I thought all of my fellow ‘competitors’ were at the time. I hope 30-40 years from now we are still running along through life :)

    • Suzanne permalink*
      02/21/2012 2:12 PM

      I ran the Firecracker in 2005 also and beat that girl Jessica from St Anthony’s. She was THE runner to beat in our league and I was finally able to do it–10 years later!! Remember soccer freshman year? “We warmed the bench!” So funny! Miss Gant was not a fan of us, good thing she left and we got Homey for lacrosse (“I don’t know anything about lacrosse, but I saw my son play once!”). Fun(ny) times!

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