Friday, November 10, 2006

Aaron's goal narrative

Listing race report of Aaron, 11 yr old boy who completed his first 50k at SF 12 hour race.

A Hard Goal to Reach

In the weeks leading up to the San Francisco One Day 12 and 24
Hour Events, I thought I could run fifty miles in twelve hours. After all,
it is only a little more than 15 minute miles. But, now that I was about to
start, I pondered how tough that really was. I remembered my mom suggesting
that my primary goal should be 50 kilometers or 31 miles, and I tried to
readjust my own thinking to make this my new goal for the day.

When there was just 5 minutes until the start, I had a knot in my
stomach, knowing that I would not be able to be totally relaxed until I was
done at 8:00 or 9:00 p.m. It seemed a long way off. My nervousness had at
first kept me from hearing what one of the race directors, who was also my
dad, was saying. Luckily, I didn't need to hear his instructions anyway,
because the course was a one mile loop and I knew that I wouldn't get lost.

"We're going to start in ten seconds," announced my dad, "5, 4, 3,
2, 1, start!" As soon as I heard 'start' I immediately took off. At first,
I sustained the leaders' speed, keeping pace with the elite runners who had
come from all over for this race. But, after awhile, I slowed a bit and
tried to run relaxed. My first lap was 7:37, my second was 8:48, and then I
gradually slowed even more, trying to conserve my energy for the long day
ahead. However, my mini-goal of ten miles in less than two hours stayed in
my head - I wanted to be able to tell Mrs. Longua, my P.E. teacher, about it
on Monday. I achieved that goal with almost 10 minutes to spare.

Even with ten hours left, I knew that I hadn't gotten to the hard
part yet. I walked the whole eleventh lap, by then knowing that my socks
had holes in them and my shoes were rubbing up and down against my heels, so
I felt as if I was starting to get blisters. As I came into the aid
station, I immediately notified my mom that the shoes I was wearing were
hurting. She said that we were lucky that Sports Basement was just across
the street from the far side of the loop. She then went with me as I
started my twelfth lap. When we reached Sports Basement, we picked out a
pair of new shoes and socks to buy. It was then, when I was trying on the
shoes, that I noticed a blister was actually forming on my left heel. My
mom and I waited in line, paid for the new shoes and socks, threw away my
old ones, and sat down to put on the new ones. My mom and I walked out the
door minutes later with me wearing my new shoes and socks, feeling much

Back to the course I went, continuing to run and walk my laps. On
my eighteenth lap, I had realized how hard going even 50 kilometers was
going to be. I also started to think about stopping at twenty miles,
because my previous record was 19 miles, set when I was 7 years old. I told
my mom that I was having doubts and mentioned once again about stopping at
20 miles. And she told me that, instead of stopping for good at 20 laps, I
should take a break at 20 and "see how you feel".

At the 20 mile mark, I decided to take that break. My stomach was
bothering me - I hadn't been eating much during the run, and I was starting
to feel low on energy. After 45 minutes and eating a sandwich, I decided to
go for a marathon, which was only 6 more laps. I got to 'rest' and chat
with my friends who walked with me while I did these 6 laps. As I was
completing the marathon, my mom asked if I thought I wanted to try for the
50 kilometer mark, the goal that we'd talked about so many days ago. I told
her, "Now I do! At 18 miles I didn't, but now I do!" From this point on, I
had no more thoughts of stopping until I reached my goal of 50 kilometers.

This time through the aid station, I ate some pizza and headed
back out on the course. It seemed much easier now that I only had to finish
5 more laps to reach my goal. I counted down the number of laps that I had
left. It got gradually darker, now that it was after 7:00, until I finally
needed a flashlight. With just two laps left, I started running again. I
ran most of the 30th and 31st loops, crossing the finish line for the last
time to the cheers of my family and friends.

Now that I was done, I had all the time I wanted to play with my

No comments: