Three races, and a million hours of sun later I've come to the end of my opening weekend. My times were nothing to celebrate, but I find myself surprisingly positive about how this season is going to play out.
Race one this weekend was the 400m at Mount Sac, in Walnut, California. My week of training leading up felt really good, and I was feeling ready to go. After my pre-race the day before, I was so sure I was gonna roll out come race day. When it came to the next day though, things didn't exactly fall into place. I was quiet, concerned, introvert, just not myself. I probably looked like someone had shot my dog, and all that showed in my race, and I ran a very dismal time. For like 15 minutes afterwards I was ready to quit track all together. Then something awesome happened. My training partners came to me, and brought me back up. My doubts fleeting my mind with no haste.
The assurance of someone who cares about you, in a time when you're down, can do you wonders.
I left Walnut, and traveled to Azusa to run my second race. My attitude and demeanor was night and day from my first race of the day. I was excited once again, and ready to have some fun. I ran the 200m at Azusa. I ran the race not caring about the time per se, but more for a feeling. I ran for that feeling, that reminds you why you love track, and as a quarter miler, running a 200m is the perfect race to get that.
Friday was a long day, very early morning and pretty late night. I got home and was exhausted, but knew that my race on Saturday was going to be great.
Third race of the weekend was the 400m at the Long Beach Invitational. I was lucky enough to get in the invitational section later in the day so I got to sleep in a bit which my body definitely needed. I thought I would have been really drained coming into my last race, but I was feeling surprising well. After my 200m I was feeling mentally better, and given how bad my first 400m went, I now knew what not to do this time around.
My race execution was perfect. I came through the 200 and 300 right on point, but then I came around the corner and it hit me! The wind, the two previous races, and a whole lot of sun from the day before, all took form of a giant gorilla hopping on my back for the last leg of my race. For 50m I had succumb to the beast of lactic and fatigue. It felt like I was doing running A's with a 100lbs weighted vest up a hill with a 45 degree incline. With 50m left I told myself the faster I finish this, the sooner the pain will stop, so I went to my arms and pumped as hard as I could, and it worked!
Needless to say, none of my times this weekend were anything to write home about. But given that, I'm extremely happy with how everything went. You can't enjoy the sun without snow, you can't appreciate success without failure. Through these three races I've learned a lot it usually takes a whole season to realize. I'm extremely excited for this season to play out. I'm ready to apply what I've learned and have some fun while doing it.