ONLINE EXCLUSIVE COLUMN BY BAILEE COFER
The team steps off the bus into the shining sun and walks into the stadium. There is a soft breeze brushing against my skin, since this stadium has no walls to block it. Or a roof to conceal the sun. The track is 400m around, and the infield is made of grass—real grass. This can only mean one thing: outdoor is upon us!
This weekend, the Drake track and field team attended their first full-team outdoor meet at the University of Arkansas. The weather was perfect—about 70 degrees with very little wind and a glorious sun shining down on the track.
I was absolutely thrilled to be outside once again. There is just something about the outdoor season that makes spirits soar. Maybe it’s the full sized track, or the happy weather; maybe it’s the traveling to different places after a repetitive indoor season; or maybe it’s because outdoor marks the end of dreaded treadmill workouts. I can’t exactly tell you what it is that makes outdoor so great, but it just can’t be beat.
Outdoor season means practices move outside along with the races. The actual components of the workouts don’t change fundamentally from indoor to outdoor. There are specific formulas that go into workouts, depending on the event being trained for, no matter the season. But sometimes they are a lot more enjoyable to do outside.
It’s as if the joy of finally transitioning to outdoor can trick the mind into believing that the legs don’t really feel that heavy, that the lungs don’t really burn that badly, that you actually probably won’t throw up. Disclaimer: there are days that hurt so bad that even the nice weather and full sized track can’t cover up the reality you are in.
Running in stride with the excitement of outdoor is an insanely aggressive drive to win. We are in the final push: just two more months of competition left. Cross country (for some) and indoor season have flown by, leaving just this final season to get that new mark, get that qualifying time, beat that competitor you rival with. When you lay the season out, it really isn’t very long—less than 10 meets remain in the year. To reach our goals, we have to focus; every day counts. We aren’t afforded the time to let our performances slip.
The team started off the outdoor season strong at Arkansas, adding to the hype of switching over to outdoor. We’re excited to be outside, and we’re ready to grind it out in order to do some big things.
We aspire to get better each meet, and after each meet we will share one athlete’s new best mark.
This week’s featured PR: Pierce Vincent, 100m, 10.40 (previous PR: 10.47).