Last Wednesday I ran my first-ever track race at the DC Road Runners Track Championships as part of the Bring Back the Mile Tour. It was so much fun and made me sort of wish I’d run track in high school, although I wouldn’t want to give up all the great softball memories and friends I have either.
Ian and I drove up to the track about an hour early so I could get signed up for my heat, watch some of the earlier races to see how things were done and get a full warm-up in. My coach gave me a goal time of 6:30 so I ended up signing up for the under-7 minute heat. After my warm-up I was feeling good and made my way toward the start to wait for them to call our heat. I was pretty surprised at how nervous I was for a one-mile race… I mean I’ve done 26X this multiple times.
Once the starting call was given the nerves were gone and the adrenaline was pumping. It was such a rush and I loved every second of it. I jumped out quick so I wouldn’t get tied up with others near the start and led almost to the 200 mark before the speedsters in my heat took over. I spent most of the race in 4th place. Clocks were set up at the 200 and 400, but somehow I managed to instantly forget my splits. Ian’s pictures gave me a pretty good idea though, and it looks like I ran my first and last laps the fastest with the 3rd one being the slowest.
During lap four I moved up a little and ran with fellow DC Running Coach teammate Michelle. We dueled our way down the final straightaway to the finish. I felt like I was flying. Obviously my pace was nowhere near the elite heats that would go later, but it was still a pretty quick mile for me! We crossed the finish line at almost the same time. They gave me third in 6:21, but to be honest, it was a pretty close call and probably could have gone either way. The pictures are great – we match each other step for step to the finish.
I’m really loving the shorter races lately and being on the track with people cheering and seeing you run the whole way was a blast. I’ll absolutely look to do another one of these soon.
Have you ever run a track race? What did you think?