No. 98, Revisited [Runners]

Photo by James Rogers
Photo by James Rogers

“One of my biggest setbacks in high school would be having a stress fracture from my last season of track. This was going into senior season, big goals ahead. I had already committed to Michigan, but I still had times I wanted to get. … I had a really good indoor season, then two meets into the outdoor season, my shins just completely gave out on me. So I got an MRI, found out I had two stress fractures. So that kinda put a damper on training right away. I got to the Golden Triangle Meet at Saline, kinda like a state meet preview, and I got to run the 8 [800 meters] there—it was the last thing I did before taking a month-and-a-half off. So I spent a month-and-a-half in the pool. I’d get up in the morning and swim with the swim team. Then after school, either elliptical or bike and then get back in the pool. I did that all the way up to the regional meet, so I got to regionals, and I hadn’t been on a track up until like the day before, and that was just a couple of strides. So I got through that, qualified with a time, made it to the state meet. My coach from there had me doing workouts every once in a while. With 200 meters left in the state meet race though, I felt something shift in my shin, and it just gave out on me. So I went from being third with like 250 to go, to dead last. I got a pity clap coming in the homestretch—probably one of the worst moments ever. … So that was my transition into collegiate running.

“I got back for cross-country [at Michigan], and then same thing: double stress fractures again right before indoor started, except it was both legs this time. I kinda rushed back into training because I was really eager about starting college running. I felt like I had a little bit of ground to make up. … It was one of those things where you got to know the pool, the bike and the Ann Arbor swim club that comes in between 11 and 1. I knew their times, they knew me. We were on a first-name basis in the diving well. So that was one of those things where you didn’t really get to see the team very much freshman year, which was difficult. … But with maybe two months left in outdoor, I started training again, so I got to do my base mileage, and the upperclassmen girls were really good about bringing me back. I got to race one meet at the end of the season. It was just an 800, and I literally had not touched a track since doing a race [simulation] 600 indoor back in December. So [Coach] McGuire came up to me before, and in terms of life advice, McGuire is a pretty quiet guy, very few words. And the only thing he said to me was, ‘If you go out and try to lead this in a 60 or 61, I will run out onto the lane and tackle you’ and walked away. So I pretty much went out, sat back the first lap and then picked up the second lap again. Took his advice, and it went really well. I think I got second in the heat and broke my high school PR. So I went 2:14-low, and I was really happy with it for a first race back.”

Author: James Rogers

James founded Hooray Run in 2014. He hosts the project's podcast, Hooray Run Podcast, which began in April 2017 and streams on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, SoundCloud, Stitcher, Overcast. Celebrate every step!

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