Friday, April 15, 2011

Conquering the Oval

It has been 10 years since I stepped on a track, until this morning. Sure, I've done my share of interval workouts, but always on a treadmill or on the road (thank you, Garmin!)... never the track. Some hate the track, but not me. I love it. So why did I stay away so long? Shame, and fear.

You see, back in high school and my freshman year of college I was a sprinter - 400m. I loved that race, especially the mile relay, and the sport in general. Running track was something I had very little talent for, but really, really wanted to be good at. So, I worked very, very hard and made my university D1 track team as a walk on. I even made the travel team, and scored points in meets. I loved it.

And then, as has happened many times since, I came face-to-face with my own limitations. I was a physics major and the topic was really too difficult for me. At least, it was too difficult for me to do well in my studies and spend three hours a day running around a circle. I admire all student athletes who can make it all work. I couldn't. I wasn't on a scholarship and didn't go to college to run. So, halfway through the spring semester my freshman year I quit the team. For 19 year old me, it was my first big failure.

Since then I have stayed away from the track. I was ashamed that I hadn't been able to do it all - especially, while at school, when I ran into my old teammates. Also, I was afraid of the regret I'd feel if I did go back on the track - maybe, just maybe if I'd tried harder?

Today, however, felt like the day. I took the day off work, it was beautiful outside, and it was a little too hot to do the long run I had planned. So, I made my way to the beautiful red oval (I do live on a college campus) and tried it out. It was perfect. My 800m repeats came off beautifully and I felt completely at home; nostalgic, but not sad. I'm not entirely sure why it took me so long, but I'm happy to be back on the track =)

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