Dan and I headed for our third of the five series track meets, this time back in
. 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 Newburyport 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.
4.1 (18 meters) 78.0 78.8 79.5 78.9 79.7 79.8 78.9 73.3 = 10:31.0
72.8 72.1 = 2:24.9