Of Mice and Runners

By: Kevin Irwin

It’s about that time of year when the spring racing season winds down, heading into the base-building of summer. It’s also around my birthday, so it’s also a time for me to reflect on the events of the past year. Where am I in my life? Am I accomplishing what I had hoped? From a work and family standpoint, the answer is a resounding yes.  From a running standpoint – unfortunately, a just as emphatic no.

Last summer held a promising start as I finally managed to rejuvenate my motivation after a long hibernation. With the fire in my belly again, I could relaunch my assault on the masters division. I ran a few races in the fall and winter – not exactly burning up the course, but definitely turning the corner back into shape. The hope was to get some speed work coming out of winter and roll into the spring season on an upward trend. But as Scotland’s favorite son, Robert Burns so famously (and well) said, “The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men / Gang aft agley.

Since the beginning of the year, I’ve been trying to shake a nagging hip issue. This has meant a greatly reduced level of activity (almost none) – the complete opposite of what I wanted. Instead of moving forward, I feel I’ve been slipping backwards. A thoroughly frustrating experience, but hopefully one drawing to a close. I’m not totally healed yet, but the signs are positive and I hope to at least start running again while recovery continues.

Now what? Sure, the last year didn’t turn out quite as planned and I’m starting over from scratch. Or at least it feels that way. But it wasn’t because of my goals. Like the previously quoted Bard of Ayrshire, I have some Scottish blood and if there’s anything Scots are known for (aside from being a contentious lot and penny-pinching cheapskates, it’s stubbornness. So I’m not about to give up on my goal of kicking ass and taking names on the way to owning the Austin masters division – even if I’ll be another year older and have a new crop of younger masters runners to battle. After all, it only will make it that much more fun. (I guess the contentiousness comes into play here too.)


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