"It's a little self indulgent..." - My mom
"After I read a sentence, I get mad at myself for caring what you're doing." -Karl Dusen

Friday, January 22, 2010

Worst Races #9

Old Dominion Athletic Conference Championships 2000-If I was a horse, they would have shot me after this one. I ran six races my freshman year because the Hampden-Sydney team only had five runners, and if I sat out we wouldn't score as a team. Coming from a heavily team-oriented background at Mt. Lebanon, I was ready to push through some discomfort and fatigue to give our team a chance in any race, but I struggle to even think of one team we beat that year. Maybe Southern Virgina? Averett? I'm pretty sure Ferrum beat us. For the conference championships, we returned to the Washington & Lee, a beautiful loops in the woods along the Maury River, where I had run 29:04 in my first race. Surely I could duplicate that, it was my first collegiate race and a difficult course. Wrong. I finished 39th in 31:46-- my worst time all season. I can't remember if I started hard, trying to actually contend with the Lynchburg and Roanoke runners (I can't believe they were once the standard to whom I looked when hoping to be fast) or if I tried to sit back and conserve my energy for later in the race. I barely remember any of the race, other than heading down onto the trail from the soccer field.
I just felt really bad that my mom had driven all the way from Pittsburgh to watch me fail so miserably. To make matters worse, we didn't even field a full team, because our second runner sprained his ankle and had to drop out, so we didn't even beat Emory and Henry. It was the end of a nightmarish season, but at least all the running I would do would be free of Bubba, whose bio at Sewanee conspicuously omits his disastrous tenure as head cross country coach at Hampden-Sydney... For a while I thought about trying to run as an individual at the southeastern regional meet, but I thought it was better to just get out of there. None of the team members came back- I transferred, Matt, Dan and Kennon graduated, I don't know what happened to Jo and Henrick, who was injured for all but two races, played rugby instead. Just as well, I suppose. There was nothing to build on there except frustration and misery.

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