The answer to all of these: no. And yes. Well, I suppose some yes, and some no. That is, Yes, there was rules I needed to learn, and training is difficult, but the best kind of difficult. I would in fact compare with my competition, but meets would not become boring. The first two months of my year (wow, it's crazy to think that we're two months into the year already. That's 2/12. or 1/6. Only 10 more months until Christmas! Okay, back to the recap) were filled with a meet nearly every weekend. The first one took place on January 16. I was completely nervous. And to add to my nerves, I was seated first for my race! (that is, the odds were on me to win, and I was given bib #1. Don't worry, I didn't know what that meant either, so when Casey told me my seat I was clueless. Just one of those things I had to learn, haha). Anyway, I raced the 3k, and lead it for 10 of of the 15 laps, and finished second with a time of 11:08. And not only that, but it earned me 3rd on the university's 3k record board! That was a complete shock, and not a bad way to start the season. That is, it definitely got me pumped up.
Day two I raced the mile. And hated it. Utterly hated it. It was too quick for my legs, haha. I finished in 5:40. And to put in perspective how not fabulous I did, the following week, on my meet on January 31, I raced the 3k and my first mile was also 5:40. The exact same. And I had so far to go yet. Therefor, my my race should've been faster, but it wasn't. So yeah, my meet on the 31st I made a new 3k PR, and broke 11 minutes! My new PR became 10:54.
The next week I was back at the 3k. I didn't do too shabby, though not fantastically amazing either. I made a PR with a time of 10:51, which moved me up on the university record board from third to second. I was one second shy of breaking it, but so it goes. Improvement is improvement, no matter how small.
Last week I had my final meet. It was bittersweet, for I've greatly come to love indoor track. I raced the 5k, with secret hopes of making another PR, and maybe even qualify for nationals, because I was 25 seconds away. Though that is great, it wasn't impossible. So I entered the meet with great expectations and aspirations. Only one thing... Due to an unforeseen injury which occurred the week prior (yes, at the meet on the 14th) I was no longer in prime shape. I had to spend two days on the bike rather than run (which broke my 230 day running streak, by the way). So yeah, with an owie foot, my I was also entering the meet kind of scared. Well, not scared but nervous, because I had no idea how it would go. I really really wanted to run fast, but wasn't sure if I could. I was more nervous for this race than any race before.
And so I ran. And I ran. For 25 laps I ran. And then, I finished. 19:03. In tears I finished.
I was... Kind of sad, haha. Knowing I have the ability to do better, but it didn't happen. I was blessed to have an encouraging team mate at the finish line able to give me a hug remind me there's still outdoor to come! And then my [quite amazing] coach came and gave me a few encouraging words too. He told me he was proud of me, and that I raced well "especially after the week I had."
Needless to say, I have loved the experience I have had during the indoor season. Generally my training has consisted of speed workouts two days a week, 7 mile run on 4-5 days a week (depending on whether or not there was a meet), and a long run (10-13 miles) on Sunday. I love to run. So much. I hate it too, but generally I love it. And I take it for granted. I never realize how blessed I am to do it until it is threatened. I would go crazy if it was taken away from me, but injury could plague at any time and do just that.
In closing, it's crazy to see how far i've come. With the training, pushing, and encouragement of my coach, team, family, and friends, I have chipped nearly two minutes off of my 5k time in 6 months. As for now, I'm taking it one day at a time, because I hate making assumptions. That is, how this upcoming running season will come about. But let's just say that i'm entering it very eager to see how it goes.
"It's time to see what I can do to test the limits and breakthrough."