Am nervous...oh so nervous.
The countdown to Mt.Sac has begun! Actually it began like a week ago, but now that we're four days away the nerves are mounting to an extreme. Track races make me ten times more nervous than roads or cross country (which is saying something if you ask anyone who has had the extreme misfortune of spending any significant amount of time around me in the 72 hours leading up to a big race) I think that this is primarily owing to the fact that whatever time you run on a track is pretty honest. There are no hills or muck or any of that good stuff to make it less of a straight-up foot race and more of a foot-race combined with a feat of strength. So however fast you run on a track, well, that's how fast you are or aren't. At least that's how I see it.
The sole goal of Thursday night: to run a P.R. That's it. Just so that I know that the last couple years of training haven't been totally in vain and that maybe I've actually moved foward even though I don't always feel as though I have. Since it's always seemed to me that I don't run quite as well on the track, I've mulled over reasons as to why that may be, employed some good old-fashioned self-psychoanalysis, and looked at track races where I ran well as well as ones where I didn't, and noticed a huge difference in my approach to both. Mainly, whenever I turn it into an effort where the end result is strictly to hit a given time, you know, a "hit these splits and nothing else and if you start falling off of pace then you suck and nobody loves you anymore" kind of thing, I tend to run relatively poorly. And you can always tell when this occurs because the person who told you they would yell your splits at you suddenly stops telling you what you're hitting and just says useless and inane things like "keep moving foward!" or "great workout!" Seriously? Don't lie to me. Please just turn away and don't watch. Go get a snow-cone or something. I'll be done when you get back.
But anyway, whenever I find a pack to race, stick my nose in it, and actually race for the sake of competing, the time seems to take care of itself. So the plan for Thursday I have decided is to do just that. Get with a pack and race. Mt.Sac is always a strong and deep field so I know if I compete well, a fast time is bound to come with that. Granted, I have a range of splits that I will listen for in the early stages of the race that will give me an idea of what sort of pace we are at so as to prevent going out at some pace that can't be maintained or improved upon throughout the duration of that 25 lap joy-jog. It's easy to get caught up in the initial adrenaline rush of such a big race at a meet the caliber of this one--I learned that my freshman year the hard way.
May it be another magical night at Mt.Sac!!!