Though Arcadia’s indoor track program is still fairly new, it’s growing and becoming established as a group to watch. This past season was our third year running and our best to date. Among dozens of personal records on our team, we had 15 new school records, 20 athletes who qualified for our MAC Conference championship, 8 podium finishes at MACs of 8th place or higher, and 1 medalist, which was me in the 800 meter dash.
Our season was no doubt an incredible feat, but it didn’t exactly start out with smooth sailing, at least on my end. Indoor track is one of my favorite seasons, but admittedly, I was worried about coming into MACs. Last indoor season when I competed in the 800, I shocked myself with a personal record and earned 3rd place not knowing what I had in me. It gave me a glimpse into the reality of what I’m capable of and I was super excited to come back the next year and potentially do even better.
I would like to say this season was my best to date, but for a lot of the races I ran, I felt stuck in a mindset where I didn’t feel like I could push myself hard enough. I would finish my race and still have energy immediately after stopping. I knew that I had more to give. It was a frustrating spot to have fallen in and, as a result, my times weren’t ideal.
For many people, including myself, it’s better to be grouped in the fast heats with quicker runners so that you can run alongside people who will push you as opposed to leading the race. Due to what I ran during the season, I missed the fastest heat by one place and was set to lead the middle heat. Essentially, this meant if I wanted to medal again like last year, I would have to pace myself and run fast enough to beat the times of the girls seeded at least 6 places ahead of me.
Finding grit within myself when it comes down to the line is something I’ve found myself doing time and time again, and it shocks me every time it happens. I had one chance to race with all I had and wherever I placed was out of my control. When I had finished, my coaches, teammates and I held our breath as the fastest heat ran, and to our delight, by a tenth of a second, my time ended up earning me third overall.
Was it my fastest race? No, but sometimes our best performances aren’t our fastest races. As our team moves onto outdoor track season, indoor was just the start of what we’re going to accomplish.