Yesterday kicked off what I refer to as the preseason of track and field, otherwise known as Indoors. Many athletes participate in some capacity during the Indoor season but it doesn’t hold the same significance or importance as outdoor meets, especially if that particular year doesn’t have an Indoor World Championship, as this year doesn’t. I have decided to do a few meets this year and have started earlier than ever before. Due to the fact that I didn’t have any real races last year I thought it was important to get the ball rolling early and work on some of the things I have been learning with my new coach.
So off to Fresno I went. Why Fresno, the armpit of California, you ask? Well the west coast has very limited indoor facilities and Fresno happens to be relatively close. A group of athletes from the training center headed out to get the ball rolling in 2009 and I chose to start the season off sprinting. Last year, this meet was added to the professional Indoor circuit in the U.S and featured some pretty decent prize money and some good competition. I wasn’t invited. We found out early on that the meet had lost its sponsor and would have trouble offering prize money but didn’t learn until very recently that there would actually be none. No worries, I really had wanted my first meet to be more about getting the kinks out and relatively low-key so the absence of money would definitely ensure that there wouldn’t be too many high profile athletes there and not much on the line to get anxious about.
It wasn’t until late the night before that I learned the invitational section of my event had been cancelled due to lack of participants and I would be running in the college section. I didn’t have a huge problem with this except that now it meant a prelim and final and an earlier than desired start time. So I went. I competed. I conquered. I realized I probably wouldn’t have much competition, but I literally beat 2nd place by .26 seconds – which many not seem like much but it’s only a 55 meter race.
I really had no idea if my time was even decent or not, seeing as how indoor races are normally 60 meters instead of 55. So later that night, my training partner and I decided to look up results from this meet last year, where they ran the same distances but actually got paid for their performances like professional athletes should. It turns out that I ran faster than the winner from last year by .05 seconds. Not a whole lot, but considering 1st and 2nd were a virtual tie, they at least had some competition as well as something on the line to race for.
"Wow", she said, "aren’t you excited to know that you ran a decent time and it was faster than the winner from last year!"
No, I’m pissed that they won $4000 and all I got was a $10 dollar meal voucher and some gas money. But that’s my life.