Approach the track. Step onto it and feel the surface beneath the racing shoes. I can't be still. I unconsciously shift my weight from foot to foot. I shake my hands and arms out. Shake them again. It's taking forever to line up.
Finally the official takes her position, shouts "on your MARK!" ,*tick* tick* tick* my heart is pounding. She raises the gunless hand *TICK *TICK *TICK... my heart is ready to jump out of my chest. *BANG!*
I'm breathing hard even though the race just started, the adrenaline is almost too much. I'm still so jittery. Eventually, I'll relax... eventually...
I ran track in high school and starts always made me nervous. I was a sprinter, so my races were all finished in a minute or less. I loved the relays though. I always got the anchor position on our team since (a) starts made me nervous, and (b) I was the fastest of the sprinters.
My good friend Debbie always ran the start position because (a) she couldn't stand waiting for the baton to get to her, and (b) she was second fastest of the sprinters.
My other good friend Carolyn (of cow-tipping fail fame) always ran second or third position because (a) she was a strong and methodical sprinter, and (b) she was third fastest.
The final position was... was... whomever. We only had three sprinters on our track team, and there were no 3-legged relays. Sometimes Sherri the distance runner would jog up and hand me the baton. Other times it was Anita the big shot-putter or similar.
This always made for some interesting fun - especially for me because, unless something really strange occurred during the race, it was guaranteed that at least ONE girl would be ahead of me by the time I got the baton. There was very little pressure on me, and having someone ahead gave me something to chase like the fake bunny at the dog track!
By the halfway mark, it's a comfortable lead, but I haven't settled down yet. Is it too much speed? The race is still young.
Bell lap and the lead has grown even more. It's hardly even a race anymore, yet I'm still a bit of a wreck.
The final sixty yards and my nerves have transformed to a bit of befuddlement. I feel like I can finally relax.
"Is he just running really fast or is everyone else really slow?", I say to Magnum.
Wolfgang crosses the finish line first, nearly a hundred yards ahead of the next guy.
His first track meet of the season was on Saturday. There were two heats for the boys' 1600 meters, and he was assigned to the slower one. He ended up 5th place overall.
He was happy with his race, but wishes he would have had someone to push him. Maybe he would have broken 5 minutes. As for me, I agree that he was in the wrong heat this time, but I don't know if my jitters can take a close race.
They're actually worse now that I'm a mom spectator!