The Texas Relays are always meaningful because, as a perennial spot in my racing schedule, I can look at my progress through the years. I can look back and see how each race was a snapshot of that season, and see what’s changed and what’s the same.
2006As a high school sophomore, I went to watch the meet with my dad. I noticed the track world, experiencing its sights, sounds and tastes (foot long corn dog!). Even though I was a runner at the time, I thought I couldn’t be a part of this world. Look, but don’t touch.
2007 I’d recently met my first serious coach. He told me “Next year we’ll have you in the Texas Relays for sure!” After hearing that, I felt a little dizzy from happiness. That aspiration topped my list.
2008 In a year I’d gone from Texas Relays hopeful to contender. I broke 5 minutes in the 1600 for the first time, a big milestone for female high school runners. Ok, I got killed by 14s by a freshman phenom, but I was very satisfied with my 2nd place. Since I didn’t have a state meet, this was one of my biggest accomplishments from senior year. I was flattered when I made it in the newspaper the next day.
2009 I made it to Baylor on a partial track scholarship and was ecstatic to return to my hometown track. The race was hot and painful. I was suffering the effect of months of cafeteria food and poor habits (hello, extra weight). I pulled out 4:32, which still surprises me. Or maybe I’m just slow now… anyway. This race reminds me of how I felt that season – kind of hopeless. I petered out by the end of the year, eventually ducking out early due to a nagging hamstring pain and my increasingly slow times.
2010 Didn’t get to run because I was battling the hamstring pain again. Had a great time spectating with friends and teammates. Lesson learned: running is not just about the races, but also the relationships.
2011 Got the chance to run when I didn’t think I would (I was a last-minute entry). Like the whole season, getting the chance to compete I hadn’t counted on.
Texas Relays has been here for me, stirring excitement every year. I look forward to many more.