The Communicator

The Communicator

The Communicator

Finding my feet

Gabe Deedler
Art by Gabe Deedler.

6:01; 6:07; 6:04; 6:15; 6:02; 6:12; 6:10; 6:03: I was progressing and I was getting faster. I spent my junior year dipping into the low 6’s with a dream of breaking 6 at some point during my track season. Finally, by the team I had reached the finale of my season, I had a breakthrough race and broke 6 minutes running a 5:59. This was the start of truly learning how to race and how to listen to my body.

When I began my running journey, I just wanted to do something outside with my mom during a time when the world was upside down. My mom and I would go out and just chat and enjoy being in nature with one another.  I began to fall in love with the way I felt after coming in from a run. The time I spent running became one of my favorite parts of each day. I started to run a little more as the months went by through the Covid Pandemic. 2 miles turned into 3 into 4. The running became easier, and was a way for me to reconnect with myself. My 9:30 pace slowly became 9 minutes, then 8:30. I was now running 4 miles at around an 8:30 pace 10 months after I had begun running. 

During my freshman year I would count down the minutes until I would get to tie up my running shoes and go out for a run. I truly began to fall in love with running at the end of my freshman year. I decided that to cross train for field hockey I would join the track team my sophomore year. I began track season my sophomore year running a 6:30 mile. Which for me felt amazing. It was the first time where I was learning how to train to run faster. Learning how to train helped my speed development and I began to pick up speed during my races. I ended the season in the mid 6’s feeling great. 

As junior year season approached I felt great. I was running fast and couldn’t wait to get my spikes on and start racing. After 2 weeks into training I knew that this season was going to be a lot faster than my last. I felt stronger and ready to race. My goal this season was to break 6 minutes in the mile and by the end of the season, in one of my final races I did it. I ran a 5:59 1600. This was the first time where I started to learn that our bodies are capable of so much more than our minds think they are. I learned to start scraping the depths of all of the energy that I had to give in a race. I have learned that I only tap into this “gear” when I am racing. And learning this gear has changed my life. 

As I started winter running before my final track season, and I started doing consistent long runs at a solid 7:45-7:50 pace I knew that I was not only faster but I had gotten stronger. I hadn’t raced in a year, so I really wasn’t sure where I was going to be when it came to my mile time. 

My first race of the season was an indoor meet and we had only been practicing for a week. I had no idea where I was going to be. I really had no goal in mind other than to go under 6, which is where I ended at the end of last season. When I got up to the start line the butterflies flew in like they usually had before each and every race. The gun went off and I was off. As I entered my fourth lap, one of my teammates’ mom yelled that if you keep running this pace, you will run 5:40. Adrenaline rushed through my body as I came around the turn to enter my last lap. I came over the line and felt so strong. The only thing I could focus on was how strong I felt. I had no idea how I had run until my coach came over and told me that I had run 5:41. My mouth almost hit the floor. I had shaved off 18 seconds of my previous mile time. 

Track has taught me that even when things feel hard, we have to feel the hard and do it anyway.

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About the Contributor
Ailish Kilbride
Ailish Kilbride, Web Editor-in-Chief
While trying to pack as many things as she possibly can in her schedule, Ailish Kilbride is entering her 7th semester on staff and her 4th semester in leadership. Ailish is a senior at Community High School. Taking long runs, walking her dog Lulu, playing field hockey at all hours of the day, reading Colleen Hoover books and hanging out with her friends and family are all at the top of her list of favorite things. She can’t wait to be a part of all of the amazing work that the Communicator is going to do this year.

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