My son Phil, who is a high school freshman, had his first ever track meet yesterday. Track is a club sport in our high school and there are about 9 or 10 people on the team - boys and girls combined.
Because of the weather and the fact that we have no track, their practice facilities are pretty limited. Last summer, I wrote a (successful) grant request that got $2000 for the team to buy some equipment and paid for short-term gym memberships so they could practice indoors until the weather improved.
For some reason, my son has decided he wants to be a thrower rather than focusing on running. Anything that keeps him happy and active is fine with me, but I was curious what would happen when he realized his opponents in meets were mostly high school football player types - big, muscular guys.
Yesterday, the only field event offered at the meet was the javelin. My son had thrown a practice javelin, but had never touched a real javelin until the meet. He threw it 55 feet. The winning distance was 133 feet, but he was very happy with his throw. He had established a season-long goal of 50 feet for the javelin, so he now needs a new goal.
He also ran the 100m last night, running 16.5 seconds. He apparently pulled one of his hamstrings a bit as well, but he seemed better this morning. After the meet last night, he told me that the guys running the 3000m looked pretty slow and he's sure he can keep up with them, so he's going to try that event as well. I didn't have the heart to tell him that people can look slow running 4:30 or 4:45 pace on the track. I have a videotape of my 5:18 mile PR and it looks like I'm just jogging along in that race. Despite that appearance, I still remember well the pain I was in that day, and that race was 17 years ago.
Tonight, he's got his second meet of the season. He'll be doing the shot put tonight, and then either the 100m or the 3000m. It's going to be close to 80F here today, our hottest day of the year, so the 100m might be a better choice.
He seems to be enjoying track so far, which makes me happy. The work he does here will have him in good enough shape for the last 6.7 miles of Western States, if he wants to run them with me. That was the plan three years ago, and then I got pulled at mile 93.5, right where he would have started running with me.
Oh yeah, I'm running a 50K tomorrow, but right this minute, I'm much more excited about my son, the track star.