Dirt in your skirt blog

Day 186… 12 Minute Run

Posted on December 10, 2011 by Margaret Schlachter

One of the greatest things about running is it gives you the chance to just be. As I wrote yesterday, I took an escape from work and just went for a run. It was during that time that many thoughts and memories flooded my mind. Thoughts about the upcoming race, and memories of my past. It is amazing how the simple activity of running can bring about so many memories.

Many people recently around me have asked about this 24 hour race. They one don’t understand what would compel a person to do it and secondly can’t believe the amount of time I have put into it to get to less than seven days away. I have learned to just shrug off really all the noise of the people around me because its really just noise. Those that are encouraging I welcome it and those that are not well, I put them aside. 

It was yesterday as I ran that I flashed back to a vivid memory of my first time testing the 12 minute run. My high school years all started off with physical testing, before school would start each year we would move back into the dorm and be tested on max bench, max squat, 5x jump, figure eight, and a number of other physical tests. But the one test each year that brought the most dread and anxiety to the majority of my classmates was the 12 minute run. I remember the first time sitting in the van wondering, how do you do a 12 minute run. (I had just turned 14). The 12 minute run is a simple concept, you are on a track and run as far and as fast as you can for 12 minutes. When the 12 minutes is up you stop in place and thats your distance for the test.  Not only how can you run that long, it’s true, but how do you run that fast for that long. I had no concept of pace, no concept of a distance I would be able to go. It was a set of unknowns.

As I am about to plunge into the first ever World’s Toughest Mudder the memory of this day has come rushing back to me. In a way this 24 hour race is my new 12 minute run. The set of unknowns are vast. I haven’t run that long before, I really have no concept of just how far I will be able to go. This race has so many variables and unknowns all I do know is that, for this race I am as much of a newb as I was during that first 12 minute run. 

The only difference between now and then is I have a lot more life experience behind me. The teenager who ran her first 12 minute run, I had never really trained, I was still a kid. Now I have almost 15 years of experience in competing, training and coaching. During that time I have learned how to be a smarter athlete, I have learned to surround myself with those more experienced. I now am able to say, yes I am new at this, I am new to endurance racing. I don’t have all the answers, but as with each step I take I gain a little more experience. So for really the first time I am comfortable in saying, yes I am a newb. I have never done a 24 hour race. I don’t know exactly what to expect and the unknowns are vast and it’s time to conquer my new, “12 Minute Run”.