"My lunch hours aren't for eating, my Saturday mornings aren't for sleeping and my holidays aren't for taking it easy. I am a runner." - wisdom from a runner's t-shirt
"In a world of give and take, give what it takes" - more wisdom from a runner's t-shirt
This weekend while going through my drawers, I noticed that my race t-shirt collection needs some updating. For every race I have done, I have received a t-shirt. The good thing is that they have kept me from buying pj's for several years (hee-hee) but it did make me realize that the last year printed on the most recent race shirt is November 2009 (Thundercould Subs Turkey Trot). Boy, do I have a LOT of catching up to do!
Looking through my old shirt collection was like a trip down memory lane. It kinda reminded me of looking through a box of old school pictures or through old grade school report cards. I could see how much I had progressed in my training over the years. The oldest shirts were for 5k's (TONS of Race for the Cure shirts and the Austin Runner's Club Daisy 5k) and then the Turkey Trots (those are 5 miles). The next shirts were 10k's like the Austin American Statesman 10,000, IBM Uptown Classic and the worldwide Nike Human Race 10k (this race will forever be my nemesis. Not my best race and it was made worse by my bad decision to drink a Monster energy drink during the race. Never again). Races eventually became more challenging and longer such as the Run for the Water 10 miler, the Decker Challenge Half Marathon, the 3M Half Marathon and the last race shirt in the stack was the race I trained for but didn't get to do - the San Antonio Rock n Roll Marathon. There have been more 5k's and such since then but nothing quite as significant as those last few races.
I miss it all. I miss putting in the hours of training and the ache in my legs when I have pushed myself past my comfort zone. I miss packet pickup at the local running store and going to pre-race expos that are full of energy and excited runners. I miss getting my clothes ready for a race the night before and making sure I had enough safety pins to pin my number to my shirt and I miss tying my timing chip to my running shoes. I miss getting up at the crack of dawn on a Sunday morning to head to the race site to warm up and line up with the rest of the participants. I miss the feeling of accomplishment after doing well in a race (and "well" for ME is completing the route and not being the last person in). My first race back will be in 5 months. The excitement is back and I am embracing the challenge. And soon, I will have another t-shirt for my collection.