Sunday means time trial day, this could be good or bad. Throughout the week I had been hearing that we may run flat races instead of over-under speed. Basically it meant I would have to run a 400. I wasn’t really sure if I was ready for this, but until ‘race time’ I wouldn’t know exactly what I was going to run. I convinced myself that I would just be running a 300 and a 150 again, and I was totally ok with that. It seemed too early in the season to be running a full 400.
So early this morning, 6:30, I went for a nice little walk with my uncle. This was the first time he was able to do any sort of exercise since his surgery. We went for a brisk half hour walk, and I was pooped! I’ve never been really good at walking, and I’ve actually been told several times that for a runner, I walk really slow. During the walk we saw some banners saying that some of the panyards, steel pan bands, would be playing Monday night in somewhat of a battle of the bands. Every night before I go to bed I can hear them practice, so to see them finally put it together and perform will be nice to see and hear. We saw three different banners, but I’m pretty sure there will be more then just the three bands. The park where they are playing is just down the hill from my uncle, so Monday looks like it should be a pretty entertaining night. Once we got back it was still fairly early and I didn’t know what to do with myself. I was caught in the dilemma of to shower or not to shower, and this isn’t the first time I’ve had to answer this question to myself. It was only 7:00 and I had worked up a nice little glisten on my walk, and at 2:00 I’d be heading out to the stadium to compete in my time trials. Was this enough time to justify having a shower, just to get all sweaty again in just 7 hours? I didn’t think so :-) So I ate breakfast and after some randomness around the house, took a nap to rest up for the time trial.
I got to the track at 2:15 and once again I was the only one there. Within a couple minutes a couple boys showed up, I didn’t recognize them though so I stuck in my iPod and went for a little walk. I discovered where everyone warms up, and that there was a 100 meter stretch of track on the outside of the stadium. When I came back there were a couple of the younger kids there that I recognized, but it wasn’t until 3:00 that the older people started showing up. By 3:30 I started warming up, and I still didn’t know what events I would be running. No one was really saying anything, and I convinced myself if I didn’t ask then it would probably be the 300 and the 150 like I wanted. Well the don’t ask, don’t tell policy didn’t work here. Even though I didn’t ask, I was told that today we would be running the flat races, 100, 200 and 400. They didn’t give it much time to set in, and within 10 minutes we were lining up to run. As I came up to the line I didn’t really think anything, just go when he claps. Coming off the bend and down the back felt amazing, I worked on getting my knees up and being strong just like my coach told me. Coming around the corner I was reminded to keep my shoulders relaxed and stay strong to the end. Then at 350 meters, I’m not sure who it was, but somebody threw a wall right into the middle of my lane. Within one stride my shoulders tightened back up, my hips dropped and my back formed a nice little arch, all the things I didn’t want. I tried my hardest to bring my body back to its right form, but the best I could do it stop it from getting worse. A race that had started so well, ended real bad. At one point I thought maybe I ran a 56, but then I went over to the timer and found out 58. I felt like I got dumped at prom for my ugly cousin. I wanted to kick something, but I kept my composure. At first I was only going to run the 400, but after I got my results I knew I had to run the 200 as well, it would be the only way I could get some form of redemption for myself. They ran five sets of the 100 and one boy ran a 400 meter hurdle race, then we were up. Even though I had just ran, I felt no tiredness in my legs or my lungs, only in my heart. I wasn’t happy with the way I had ran my 400 and I needed to make it up to myself. I came out of the start nice and strong and I kept my form for the whole race. I pumped my arms with strength and control, and at no point did I feel tired. It had only been 20 minutes since the 400 and I was still able to run a 26. Even though this wasn’t a personal best or anything, I was still happy that I could run a decent time that soon after a 400.
A lot of people after a crappy day want to quit, I however, feel that I can take a positive out of this. First off, I know next time there is no way I’ll run a 58 again, I did not like how it made me feel, not physically but emotionally. Last season I started off at a 58, then the next time I raced I ran a 56. By running bad this one time, I will carry how it made me feel into practice and make sure I workout hard enough so I never have to feel like that again. This is just the beginning of the season and I have lots of time to make improvements. I have coaches here and back home that know I can run faster, and with a little work I know will.