It was my best of times, it was my worst of times – it was my only of times. And frankly might well be my last of times. Track events were never an option growing up, so I figured I’d take this opportunity to see what a track meet was like. Anyone could sign up so I could choose any event(s) I wanted. The 400m, 1500m, and 5000m sounded like good choices for me to get the track feel.
The first week was the 1500m and then the 400m with about an hour in-between. Of course I showed up super early because I didn’t know what I was doing, but being my first meet, it was kind of interesting watching the other events. Because there were so few females (three) doing the 1500m, they stuck us in with the guys, but that actually made me feel better because I knew I wouldn’t have a fast time so the more people on the track the better. We all blobbed together at the start line and did almost four circles. The OCD in me was like “Wait, why is there even a 1500m??? Just do the mile!” Clue number one, that the track isn’t for me. Regardless, I did it and finished in 5:12.
Up next, the 400m. Oh yay, I get my own lane. But why are they putting these weird looking metal foot pedal things on the track? I looked like an idiot messing around with the starting blocks, moving them through their rings before I finally asked the official if I had to use them. Nope. I picked them up and moved them to the infield. I really looked like a fool now. But the gun went off and it was over, finishing in 1:16. Clue number two, that the track isn’t for me.
The next week was the 5000m, which I felt more comfortable with. I didn’t have a goal time, I just wanted to put forth a good effort. Despite going out too fast, I think I accomplished that. Twelve circles, around and around, getting lapped, finishing in a modest 19:10. At least I felt like I benefited from this track session.
Track is a whole different world, bringing in a different mindset and confining your environment. I’m glad I at least experienced a few events, but I won’t be ordering any track spikes. It’s amazing, what runners can and have accomplished on the track, and I appreciate the hard efforts put forth my those who race it. But I the road is where I belong, where I’ll continue to search for what fast feels like.