If you are a Huntsville runner (even a very casual one), you really should consider becoming a Huntsville Track Club member. I remember, before joining in 2001, that I had no idea what it was or why I would want to join a track club (it seemed like something for maybe high school or college runners?). I have no idea of the history of the name, but it is not only for high school and college runners in our area, but for all ages of runners (my children are actually members too--we have a family membership). A benefit I have found is that I receive a large, booklet-type newsletter regularly in the mail from the HTC. It has good articles and some race results and the results for the competitive Grand Prix. I love these newsletters so much that I have started saving them all. I think they will be great to look back on someday, which brings me to the awesome article that Harold Tinsley wrote in the July/August 2010 issue called "What Will Your Memories Be When You No Longer Run." It may seem sad or even depressing to think about that, but I find that it helps me appreciate so much more where I am right now. Here is an excerpt:
"Take time to enjoy your accomplishments. They will have a lot more meaning later in life if you do. You ran a PR, or won a race, or won your age group and you had that feeling of accomplishment that you trained so hard for. Did you give it the importance of something you may never do again? Probably not. Everyone expects the next race, or one soon to follow, will be a new and better accomplishment. And early in your running that may very well happen, even frequently, but one day you will have run your ultimate race. Not until later will you realize that." (emphasis added)
I have hopefully not reached that stage yet, but I certainly got slower after having children, and this made me ache for when I felt good while running. The wins and PRs are nice, but I want to remember when running was fun, and when it made me feel alive. I have a lot of bad knees in my family (and a mom who swears I am doing so much damage to mine right now), so I know my running days may be numbered. Let me use Harold's wisdom to help me fully appreciate where I am today.