Daniel Herrera — Race Reflections of a Miler: ATL TC Wingedfoot 1 Mile
The following post was generously composed by High Performance West Elite athlete Daniel Herrera, the Mexican record holder in the 1 Mile outdoors (3:56.13), hours after his 7th place performance at the Atlanta Track Club Wingedfoot 1 Mile in a time of 4:01.98.
Enjoy! // jm
For many years, I have defined my value on the fickle outcomes of races.
Poor races left me disheartened. They robbed me.
They stole my confidence.
They drowned out my accomplishments.
They eroded my self-image.
My mile race in Atlanta, at a low key all comers meet put on by the Atlanta Track Club, could have done the same. I couldn’t tell you how fast or what place I ran. I couldn’t because the result was not favorable (since writing I am aware it was a 4:01 and 7th place showing).
I could mope. I could fabricate excuses about the rain, about the travel, about the workouts and short turn around after my previous race and pacing. I could choose to let this one poor result define my season thus far, but that would be unproductive and petty.
This is a game. A very serious game, but playful nonetheless.
We show up. We play. We learn. We improve. We play again.
When you race over 25 times in a year, you quickly realize there are more opportunities to play if you continue to swing for them. Winning takes time. It takes repetitive and diligent practice. You can not convince yourself you are off the path on the first failure.
As for learning, I have to see the whole race.
I'll admit, I still don’t. Not always. In Atlanta, I very clearly saw the final 300 meters until 200 meters. I repeated it in my minds’ eye over and over.
In the race, off the back and feeling pity for myself, my mind went blank at 300 meters to go. I would go on to find and force, to my surprise, the effort needed to get from 300 to 200 to go and pass many of my competitors to get into position for the final 150 meters. Automation. Without constant, hindering thoughts.
Admittedly, this is as far as I saw. I never saw the final 150 meters. It wasn’t automatic. It was plagued with thoughts, feelings, concerns. It was not racing, and so at this level the result could only be poor.
Rather than wallow in defeat or hide fearfully, I’ll show up to the next starting line having learned one more nuance of the game.
¡Viva el sombrero! — Daniel H.