|LCA runners atop Terrapin Mountain|
After my first season as a high school head cross country coach, my finger felt the beat of adventure running through my runners' veins. They got used to following me anywhere and everywhere on local trails, putting in miles on our distance days. Sarah even decided she never wanted to run a 5K again. She named herself "UltraGirl", helped me sweep a 100-miler, and accompanied me on a 20-mile training run a few weeks back. But for now, my most serious runners transitioned to the indoor track season. I came along as their coach.
For distance runners, "indoor track" is an oxymoron. Seldom do we stay indoors. Rather, it's out into the windy, cold days of winter. While our speedy counterparts come toting shorts and t-shirts to the temperature-controlled track, my kids show up with tights, hats and gloves, and jackets. It's up the mountain, around campus, through the fields. Our faces go numb, lips unable to form intelligible words. Eyes water, fingers go cold. We slip and slide on snowy trails, grabby trees to stay upright on tight turns. Our return trip to the track office is filled with musings about hot chocolate and warm showers.
Of course, we pay our dues with speed work on the track once or twice a week. But too much track work is punishing pounding for the necessary mileage. Sometimes we get inventive. After working hard on the track Monday, putting in a two-hour trail run on Tuesday, we did hills on Wednesday. Never mind that we got to the bottom via sleds. Our workout was climbing back to the peak to go again...and again...and again.
When I suggested we go run a challenging ten-mile loop in the mountains, they jumped at the chance. A promise of a free lunch didn't hurt either. Attempts to recruit sprinters to join us failed miserably. We could only recruit a decathlete, polevaulter, and the head coach. Nevertheless, I distributed every hydration pack and bottle I had before we headed to the start. As anticipated, there was snow. What was not anticipate was how much snow.
|Abby Quigg follows Trey Fisher through Fat Man's Misery|
I loved this run. I love these kids. I love it that they are embracing the challenges and accepting these activities as "normal."
I love them being this gullible.