I had a great time returning to the track. I got up in the morning and started my day with the playlist. Or, maybe started the day with Kelly Clarkson's "Stronger" 2 to 3 times in a row while I got dressed. Had a little moment when I got up. Just absolutely overwhelmed with where I am in my recovery and so grateful for the way everything panned out. Still amazed by the outpouring of support. Then my adrenaline kicked in.
I was one of the first people at the track. Our race wasn't scheduled to go off until 10:20 am and I usually warm up about an hour before the event. To make sure I had plenty of time I got to the track at 8:45 am.Old habits die hard. I warmed up with a giant grin on my face. When we were lined up one of the other 400 m legs was sharing positive words with all the other runners. I reiterated to her what I had e-mailed out to my teammates looking for "smiles not splits". She looked at me and said "I'm stealing that". I also looked around at all the college students on of them discussing how it had been forever since she had run a Distance Medley Relay (DMR). She hadn't done one since her freshman year. She was a junior. That is when I said out loud "Holy Crap I'm old". I also looked at my coach, who was sporting a pink tie (very nice touch Coach), and said "I don't remember how to do this." He looked back and stated "Run fast". One of my teammates who has been there longer than my 10 years on the club, came over while I was waiting to get on the line to give me a high five and go get 'em.
Our 1200 m (leadoff) runner was named Hope. How freakin' perfect.
I took the baton from Hope with our team in the 7th position. I can't even express how electric a baton feels in your hand. Well, it got something going and my legs felt good. I had a girl in front of me in a white jersey. She was about 30 m ahead. Made it through the first lap and didn't feel like I was going to die. Surprised, I focused more on the girl in the white jersey and reeled her in on the back stretch. As I went around her and headed in the home stretch there was my good friend waiting to take the baton. Ear to ear grin. She told me she did a little happy dance on the inside seeing me come around the corner. Handed the baton off and the following grin was engraved into my face for the day:
|Photo thanks to Coach Tom|
I spent the rest of the day celebrating. I went and saw the professional track meet (World Record, World Junior record, good day). Had frappes and pancakes for dinner and went out to see my favorite 80's cover band.
This morning with a good amount of difficulty I got out of bed. With further difficulty I got to the gym and ran and did some weight lifting. And now I am pooped. On the couch trying to recover and headed for a nap. A content happy nap.
This song was on my "Return List" playlist and the 80's band played it last night. I sang along with a little extra volume. I was certainly feeling Forever Young (until I woke up this morning and tried to get out of bed).