And so it begins… This weekend was my track season opener and I got my first chance to break off the rust in the one event I felt the least prepared for, the 800 meters… Twice! Race numero uno was on Friday as the 800 leg of the distance medley relay and to say it’s a nerve racking experience to open your season without a clue about your fitness with a team depending on you is an understatement. However it is almost appropriate for me because I always get an extra surge of adrenaline when my teammates are doing well and hand me their momentum to carry forward. Unfortunately that’s exactly what happened and my 1200 and 400 guys gave me such a big lead I had to run solo, I mean its great and all to do the whole mental battle thing against myself but I was kind of in the mood to lock horns against another human being and see what I was made of. Either way I put in a hard effort and cruised my way to a 155, unfortunately we ended up coming second but we cant be mad when some guy had to run a 4:06 to just narrowly beat our anchor.
In race #2 the next day I got my chance to battle another living organism but I also got a few more unforeseen obstacles to overcome as well. The meet was on a rolling schedule so we thought we had a stable 20 min ahead of schedule time frame when we started warming up. Turns out they just kept getting further and further ahead so by the time we finished warming up they has already started the women’s heats. I was nervous about missing the race so I grabbed my spikes and stuck around the start line just in case. Luckily this was a good move because 10 minutes of stretching later they were calling my name. Unfortunately my teammate was not so lucky in hearing the call to the line and as I tried to stall for him he was unfortunately out of sight on the other side of the track so the gun went off without him. You can’t blame the guy though; the race went off over 40 minutes ahead of schedule with no warning or announcement so it was no more than luck that I made it. I am really not a fan with the way things worked out leading up to the gun but I try to think of it as just another challenge to overcome while I keep my mind focused on the beacon through the fog. So the gun goes off and I find myself in a classic boxed in position, no where to go, I check my right shoulder and there is zero chance of going anywhere that way unless I fade back and let everyone pass me which I didn’t fancy as an option. I just kept my eyes forward and tried to keep calm until my moment appeared, the moment came when the leader whom I was trapped behind drifted out into the outside of lane two for some odd reason and I figured to myself better now than never. I shot into the lead and pressed on through to 600 until I got passed, I reacted immediately but unfortunately another guy passed me and stalled my momentum of which I never quite recovered. I finished strong in 1:56 and although I am not satisfied with that performance I’m not going to complain about it because it’s actually the best start to a season I’ve ever had. If I had to pick a defining moment of the weekend I would say it was the moment I reacted when I was passed at 600, being mentally sharp like that only seems to come to me when I am aerobically fit enough to have the energy to interpret and analyze my surroundings on the fly. It took me until the final race of indoors last year to achieve that so to have it now makes me excited to put it to good use.
After a solid weekend of racing I’ve never been more excited to start the next week of training. This past weekend of racing showed me exactly what I wanted to know about my current state of fitness. I am basically exactly where I was last year in racing ability shape but this time there is so much more to it. It’s pretty hard to explain in words but I’ll try, I have every tool at my disposal that I had last year, such as speed and endurance, but now I can feel that I have so much more depth in my legs than ever before. When I dig deep I find raw strength, a deeper aerobic base and most importantly a sharper, quicker reacting and more in tuned mindset to handle myself with. It is honestly baffling to see the results of what two plus years of health and uninterrupted training can bring me, consistency is everything! I can hardly believe I’m doing it! In the right here and now, I am living the very dream I caught glimpses of last year in my finer moments. This reassurance in fitness gives me so much motivation to continue pursuing getting every ounce of fitness I can squeeze out of every step I take. Yah its true that the bad days will come but I look forward to opportunities to test myself and make mistakes I can learn from because that’s what I’ve been doing for two years and look where that’s got me. I don’t fear failure because it changes nothing for me. My sights are set long down the road in the big picture, but I plan on enjoying every second of the small adventures along the way.