Sometimes a sprinter has to accept the phrase “c’est la vie” or “oh well, that’s life” and move on. As a 400 runner, I run one of the hardest races because it takes both stamina and speed. For those of you who don’t speak track, the 400 is one lap. It is still considered a sprint, but you can’t run all out or you will die before the race is half way through. It takes a delicate balance of pacing and sprinting to run the 400 well. 400 runners also get to do some of the worst sprinter workouts. I have accepted the fact that I will never be a 100 runner and approach the 400 and all of its workouts with the attitude of c’est la vie. Run four all out 400s in a row during practice? Oh well, that’s life.
One of my pet peeves is when someone (usually someone who desperately wants to run the 100 because it is really easy in comparison) complains about having to run one 400 for a duel meet. This person is usually someone who doesn’t have to run at Saturday invitational meets and also is not on the 4×400 relay for that duel meet. It really bugs me when they complain about this because I have to not only run both the 400 and the 4×400 relay at the duel meet, but I also have to run both of those events at Saturday invitational meets. That person is complaining about running one 400 for the entire week while I have to run four 400s every week. That person is also probably the person who switches to the 100 runner workout in the middle of practice because they are “tired.” I just wish that everyone would take an attitude of “c’est la vie,” accept the fact that they have to run a 400, and move on. –A.
This special little phrase is not limited to sprinters. Sometimes us distance runners experience things that either piss us off or just depress us, but in the end we realize that we must get over it. For me personally, I train very vigorously so that I can improve and score necessary points for the track team in a meet. So naturally it really ticks me off when I go to run the 1600 or the 3200 and I just can seem to pull my act together. I know that I should be running it faster, but my body seems to be unresponsive to my fruitless attempts to speed up. My body is sore from the training, or when the competition is a little lacking may be the reason. I then get a really poor time by my standerds and lose motivation to continue on with the meet. Fortunately I have friends and my coaches that understand that I was just having a bad day. Their support helps me realize that I have to accept that I can’t always control run a great time every race, and that I shouldn’t fret for one bad race.
Another instance that I feel that I have no control over is what heat I run during a track meet on a Saturday. For those who don’t know, Saturday meets are much more prestigious and top athletes from around the state could be racing there. Usually I get put into a heat around runners at my level, but occasionally I get put into a much faster heat and I get utterly decimated by the competition. As they pass me, and in the 3200 where some actually lap me, I lose so much motivation to finish. When I do finish, usually in last or near last I accepted the fact that those runners were way faster and there was nothing I could do about it.
Finally my last point is how I look when I run, mainly focusing on my face. Although this may seem vain but I have learned throughout my years of running is that how I look doesn’t matter in the long run (<– Ha a pun). In fact the faces that I make, makes for some hilarious photos that I share with my friends to laugh at. I do remember though as a wee freshman, looking at photos of me running and cringing at the sight of it. I would may faces that are bizarre and almost look of something not of this world.
Nonetheless I’ve learned to somewhat like my faces and just to deal with it. -K