Thursday, July 26, 2012

River Rivals Track Meet

Dan and I headed for our third of the five series track meets, this time back in Newburyport.  Ken Tripp joined us which was a rare treat.  Ken doesn’t race very often but he has a lot of leg speed.  We were met with warm temperatures but it was brutally hot like the week before.  Dan and I were both a little beat up from weekend racing (me up Ascutney and Dan at a master’s track meet).  We headed out for our normal 3 mile warm-up on the Clipper Rail trail and along the Merrimack River.  I felt tired but was wound up pretty well for this race.  I was hoping for a better result than last week when I wilted in the heat.

We all changed into racing flats (and Ken went with spikes!) and headed out for another mile with strides.  I felt pretty decent and we even had some cloud cover keeping things a little less hot.  The plan this week was to aim for 80 second quarters for as long as possible.  Dan would lead the first half-mile then I’d take over for a half, and so on.  Ken wasn’t sure of his speed and his goal was to just hang on.

Dan took it out hard (after almost getting DQ’d for a false start) and we chugged through the 400 in 78 or low 79.  I felt good and just did my best to stay close.  I felt even better when I took the lead and the three of us passed through the mile in about 5:17 (they called out our splits moving up a few yards each lap, I took splits from the start finish of the 400 meter track).  Anyway, Dan took over at the mile and kept us rolling along.  I started to feel it at 1.25 but felt a lot better when I went back into the lead with two laps to go.  I upped the tempo a bit and started counting down each 100 meters.  With a lap to go I knew I’d be under 10:40 and I threw caution to the wind and tried to “hammer” that final lap.  I was happily surprised to take the win in 10:31.0.  Ken was close behind and Dan crossed the line with another age 50+ personal best.

We ran another 2 miles on the track while waiting for the 800 meter race to start.  They had two heats of the 800 so we had a few extra minutes.  That can be good or bad, a little too much rest and everything starts to tighten up.  I felt okay when we lined up but by 100 meters in I felt all-out.  Dan went flying by and I couldn’t react, I think I used too much in that final 400 of the 2 mile!  They called the 400 in 71/72 as Dan actually picked it up and I tried to just hold onto some sort of (bad) form.  I gave everything I had but never really closed on Dan as he ran 2:23.  I got 2:24.9 on my watch which is within a half-second of my best time this year.  I don’t think I could run much faster on fresh legs, but may find out in a couple of weeks.

We completed our 10 mile afternoon with a 1.25 warm-down on the track and called it a night.  I hope this bodes well for the track nationals where I’ll be aiming for 16:40 for the 5,000.

2 mile
4.1 (18 meters)  78.0  78.8  79.5  78.9  79.7  79.8  78.9  73.3        = 10:31.0

800 meters
72.8  72.1  = 2:24.9