Race Recap: Such A Rush

Last Wednesday I ran my first-ever track race at the DC Road Runners Track Championships as part of the Bring Back the Mile Tour. It was so much fun and made me sort of wish I’d run track in high school, although I wouldn’t want to give up all the great softball memories and friends I have either.

Rocking my Oiselle stipe tank and distance shorts with CEP compression socks.

Rocking my Oiselle tank and distance shorts with CEP compression socks.

Ian and I drove up to the track about an hour early so I could get signed up for my heat, watch some of the earlier races to see how things were done and get a full warm-up in. My coach gave me a goal time of 6:30 so I ended up signing up for the under-7 minute heat. After my warm-up I was feeling good and made my way toward the start to wait for them to call our heat. I was pretty surprised at how nervous I was for a one-mile race… I mean I’ve done 26X this multiple times.


Once the starting call was given the nerves were gone and the adrenaline was pumping. It was such a rush and I loved every second of it. I jumped out quick so I wouldn’t get tied up with others near the start and led almost to the 200 mark before the speedsters in my heat took over. I spent most of the race in 4th place. Clocks were set up at the 200 and 400, but somehow I managed to instantly forget my splits. Ian’s pictures gave me a pretty good idea though, and it looks like I ran my first and last laps the fastest with the 3rd one being the slowest.

During lap four I moved up a little and ran with fellow DC Running Coach teammate Michelle. We dueled our way down the final straightaway to the finish. I felt like I was flying. Obviously my pace was nowhere near the elite heats that would go later, but it was still a pretty quick mile for me! We crossed the finish line at almost the same time. They gave me third in 6:21, but to be honest, it was a pretty close call and probably could have gone either way. The pictures are great – we match each other step for step to the finish.


I’m really loving the shorter races lately and being on the track with people cheering and seeing you run the whole way was a blast. I’ll absolutely look to do another one of these soon.

Have you ever run a track race? What did you think?

Book Review: Once A Runner

Once A Runner is written by John L. Parker and was originally published in 1978. Just about every running website or magazine has this book listed as a must-read if you’re a runner, but somehow I’d never gotten around to it until recently. A quote from Runner’s World on the back cover reads, “The best piece of running fiction around. Beg, borrow, or buy a copy, and you’ll never need another motivator.”

Once A Runner

Once A Runner

The story follows collegiate runner Quenton Cassidy as him and his teammates train for cross country, indoor track and the spring track season. It shows the devotion and effort it takes to be a competitive runner, and I think anyone who played sports in high school or college can relate to what it takes – particularly in individual sports.

Cassidy dislikes the cross country races and specializes in the mile. The story turns when he brings a petition from the student athletes complaining about athletic dress code and conduct issues that results in his suspension from the track team. It continues to follow Cassidy as he drops out of school and pursues Olympic goals with an unbelievably strong commitment to training.

I’ll be honest, it took me a little while to get into this book. The beginning came off as dated, (probably because I didn’t live in this era) and I didn’t really see how it related to running. Eventually I would see the tie in though, and as it focused more on Cassidy’s dogged pursuit to get faster climaxing in a one mile race against the fastest miler in the world, I was completely entranced. I couldn’t put it down and could not believe how motivating a fictional book could be.

One of my favorite parts of the book was during an interval workout Cassidy completed that perfectly sums up why runners (at least for me) keep going and keep training no matter how hard it is when they’re working towards a goal. I love this quote:

…just as each repetition made the next seem more and more impossible, he knew that without question he would do it. There was no refuge in injury, his body could not be injured in this way. There was no refuge in mercy, there was nothing to forgive and no one to issue dispensation. And at last he saw: there was no refuge in cowardice, because he was not afraid. There was no alternative, it just had to be done.”

If you like running and are looking for a quick read, this book is interesting, relatable and very motivating. Give it a read.