Fanatical Fitness

Summer Challenge # 20 - Participate in an athletic event in the valley

Cache Valley has a slew of athletic events during the summer - and I love it! You have more than a handful of triathlons and/or biathlons to compete in. There is the infamous LOTOJA where athletes ride their bicicletas from Logan, Utah to Jackson Hole, Wyoming. That's three states of biking, for those of you who haven't brushed up on your geography lately. :) And a grand total of 206 miles. There is also my favorite road races! 5ks, 10ks and 15ks to run! And we could never forget the half and full Top of Utah Marathons!

Knowing that The Angry Mr. Achilles has reconsigned himself to his anger issues, I knew that the event I would have preferred to participate in {the half marathon} was out.


I had consigned myself to creating a bike race which would be called LOTONOLO. It would be a lot like LOTOJA, except I would ride my bike from Logan to North Logan. Approximately six city blocks. I would ride from my house to Lee's Market Place where upon  my completion of my strenuous bike ride I would treat myself with an ice cream cone ... and then load my bike up in a truck and drive the six blocks home {after all, that is how they do LOTOJA - they don't expect the athletes to make the 206 bike ride BACK to Logan, otherwise the race would be called LOTOJABATOLO}.

I am convinced this would have turned out beautifully.

But then something more beautiful was presented to me.

A Logan High Cross Country Reunion Race!

Holy smokes! Could anything be better? Let me answer that for you right now: NO!

I am not really one to be big into reunions and emotional mumbo-jumbo like that. I didn't attend my high school {nor college} graduation. And  I definitely did not attend my 10 year high school reunion {yes, I am that old}.

But for the love of cross country - I will do just about anything! Including running with current high school students and past alum even though I am only able to run about 10 minute miles right now {and I did just about that - 10 minute miles. Ohhh, The Angry Mr. Achilles - how you cause my heart so much sorrow}.

Notification of the race was extremely short, so not a ton of people were there. But I knew I would be okay because my high school cross country coaches {both now retired} would be there!

After the race I am with Coach McBride {and Michelle B., an old teammate}. I am one full foot taller than he. Isn't he one of the most adorable men you have ever seen? He announced his retirement the final month of my senior year of high school. I jokingly said to him one day, "You had to wait until I graduated, didn't you?" implying that he could never leave moi.  

He normally would respond with some quippish remark. But I will never forget his immediate response, "There is more truth to that than you know."

More teammates: Callie Land Auman, Jo Hanson Leary, Michelle and Coach. :)

And then, of course I had to have a picture taken with Coach Bennett!

At about mile two I was wondering why I had opted to run. So out of shape. So injured. But in perfect Coach Bennett timing, he caught up to me and began running with me - helping finish the race strong. I couldn't help but think of how that seems to be what he had done for me my entire competitive career, even if he wasn't able to always run right beside me.

And just when I thought my day couldn't get any better {minus the being out of shape, injured and running the slowest 5k time I have EVER ran by five minutes and 11 minutes slower than my fastest time ever!} ... My college coach was there too!

This is Coach Reeder. Not only is he a phenomenal coach, but he is an even better person.

I recall the day I realized my college running days were over {I had been battling Achilles tendinitis [Yes! The Angry Mr. Achilles has been around that long!], shin-splints, IT-band syndrome, plantar fasciitis and a stress fracture all in one leg, all at the same time}. Deciding to end that part of my life was one of the toughest decisions I had ever made.

I remember informing my teammates and coaches I was done. To this day I remember what Coach Reeder said to me, "Your effort has been outstanding even though the desired results didn't come - the effort still stands. In my mind, getting the most out of what you have is the definition of success. By that definition, you are a legend."

It was a nearly perfect dayPure perfection would have included me still being able to run a sub 20-min 5k. ;)  I am still convinced that as long as The Angry Mr. Achilles and I can get on the same page, it can happen again sometime in the future. :)

The Breakdown
This particular event is free! Most 5ks run under 15 dollah {wtih a free shirt], half-marathon runs at 35 dollah with early registration, full marathon and LOTOJA substantially more}.


Ruth Emmett said...

oh my gosh how fun!!! and yes, McBride is a cute little man.. ha ha. glad you had fun!

Cali said...

Ah, coach McBride! And Coach Bennett! And coach Reeder! So awesome. And Callie Land???? I think it's been AGES since I've seen her. What a fun day!

Shan said...

Way to go on doing it with the angry mr. achilles.

Mike said...

Makes me wonder how I'd do with a reunion Logan High tennis team tournament.

Missy said...

Miss good old LHS and McBride!! These pics are fun and made me sad I discovered my love for running after high school!

Erin said...

I wish I could have been there! This brings back great memories! I ran a race this week for the first time in years so I've had lots of CC memories this week. Dole Power!

Meg said...

I'm sorry you're still having trouble running. But that's awesome you were able to see all your coaches.

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