A mountain with no ending: My first track race!

So, this weekend wasn’t all gloom and doom- despite what my previous blog post was griping about. My running was actually really neat! This year, adding to the theme of ‘getting outside my comfort zone’ I decided to be brave and sign up for a local amateur-friendly track series. This race ended up being on Saturday, the same day as my horrible horse show. Bad timing or what?

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My version of hauling ass at the track.

I did it anyways!

This is the track series: The Christie-Phoenix Victoria Run Series– super bare-bones, but really well run!  I was very intimidated when I got to the track–all these people looked super intense, elite athletes, and there’s me…the running schlub.

I bought the series run package- a steal of a deal at $65 for the season. That gets me three track events, and some local x-c running too. That meant that at the track, I can sign up for any or all of the track races. Saturday offered three distances: 1,500m, 800m, and 3,000m. I hemmed and hawed about trying the distances and decided on entering two: 1,500m and 3,000m.

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The 3,000m.

If there are enough elite athletes, they offer two or more heats per event. That meant the 3,000m and 800m races had two heats- actually the 800m had three! (Not that I was running in it). This is primarily due to safety on the track. I overheard the race officials talking about it and they said something about 14 racers being ok but not more than that.

My 1,500m race had 1 elite racer and the rest of us amateurs- about 14 runners total. I was sooooo nervous…there was a start gun and everything!! I lined up far away from the other runners, and I think there was even a false start when the gun went off (it was fine though). I was running soooo fast, my arms felt numb! I was blasting away and man it was tough!~

Turns out my ‘fastest km ever’ is not really that fast, but wow it was hard for me. I ran it at 3:48/km. Running 1,500m means going around the track 4 times. Running 3,000m means going around the track EIGHT times. That is a lot of time around the track!

I even got second female in my 1,500m race–whoop!!!! (there were not a lot of women racing in ‘amateur slow people’ category, trust me on this.) Still, I was very excited and proud. I’m doing it- running on a track! I was soooo out of breath too, holy shit, it is HARD on your lungs. I immediately wanted to quit, but Ian suggested I take a break and catch my breath, and then think about keeping going in the 3,000m.

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Two second places!

And I’m glad I did–because it went really well too! I was able to ‘settle’ much faster, and get comfortable for my eight laps around the track. They ring a bell when you are on your last lap and it is a very inspiring sound. 🙂 I even got second in my 3,000m race too! What a way to end a seriously disappointing horse show day, by getting some redemption in a race.

Track racing is wildly out of my comfort zone but you know what? I went out and gave it my all–and I’m glad I did! Well run, inspiring to watch the elites (they are stunning!), and just plain ballsy to run on a track.

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