A solid teammate is a runners best friend. Its someone you can talk to about your pre race nerves, someone to push you in your workouts, even someone to collapse on after a race. A good teammate can bring out the best in you on your worst days, and even more on your best. A solid teammate keeps you humble, but keeps you proud. To be able to walk off the track with a teammate who just ran the same race you did, feeling the same way you are can be very comforting, especially in our moments of failure. I believe a good thanks is appropriate to all teammates who stick by your side.
The frustrating thing about track that I think many people encounter is how much a race can change from day to day. One day your race can take off slow and then make the last lap an all out sprint. But yet others can take off really fast and stay that way. You can see/feel the change most in the 3200 meter dash. (Or run, whatever you prefer.) It takes skill to be able to adjust on the move. Not knowing what kind of race you are about to start can take its toll in the mental aspect of it all. Of course, if you try and guess how the race take off you could get screwed over! For example, if you think its going to take off fast, and you take off fast you could find yourself alone. In which case the field could easily catch up and pass you. On the other hand though, if you take off too slow you have the potential to find yourself in the back of the race and may struggle to regain position up front. It takes a lot of strain to try and maneuver in a 3200 meter race so this all just adds to it. Being stuck in the middle of a large pack can really kill you mind as you try and guess what the other competitors are thinking and when they are going to make their move. To add on to that there are a lot of thrown elbows that you must try and avoid. O, and I almost forgot, during all these mind battles of guessing and strategy, you are also running pretty fast! So that adds to the strain a little bit.
By far, in my personal opinion, the greatest advantage to being an active runner is the amount of calories your body burns. Plus, the amount of calories your body needs to function. In simpler terms, we runners can eat whatever we lay our eyes on, but still not see the difference in our weight. It's almost magical. It has become a routine of one of my team-ate (Ben Anderson) and I to drive to Krispy Kreme after we finish our longer runs. Our mission? To eat a dozen donuts as fast as possible. The great thing about that is you won't feel guilty! No matter how many I eat. I just keep thinking of all the miles i ran before and all guilt melts away like the donuts in my mouth. O, and don't let me forget about Zebra Cakes! Just one package and all the troubles of the world disappear. Yup, I believe almost every runner would agree that the greatest thing is being able eat up whatever is laid in front of you without counting the calories!