Thursday, August 9, 2012

Back on the track

River Rivals – 08/07/12

For the first time this season I headed to the River Rivals track meet without Dan, he will return next week.  I decided that it was time to drop down to some shorter races and see if I could break some of my master’s personal bests (PR).  My plan was to run (in order) the 800 meters, 400 meters, and the mile.  There would be a bunch of heats of the 200 between my first two races but I’d be lucky to run a mile between the 400 and my heat of the mile.

I rolled into Amesbury and paid my $5 entry fee (great bargain) and headed out for an easy 3 mile warm-up.  I was still feeling a bit tired from travel and racing in Chicago and also nervous about running the shorter races.  No excuses today, I’d be fresh for the 800 so I wanted to run “fast”.  I put on some light racing flats and did another mile and strides then had some extra time waiting for the 2 mile to finish so I put in another easy mile of running.  A solid 5 mile warm-up (plus 6m at lunch) and I was as loose as possible for the 800.

There was only one heat and a very small group gathered on the line.  I took the lead right from the start and beat up on a field of girls and 6-13 year old boys J  I hit the 400 in a fast (for me) 70.4 which is actually faster than I’ve run an all-out 400 as a master.  The second 400 was tough and I’m sure my form was crap but I carried myself over the line in 2:22.7 (72.3) for a new masters PR (by 2.2 seconds).  I changed into a different (lighter) pair of race flats and headed around the track for another 2 miles of easy running while the heats of the 100 were run.

There were a few heats of the 400 so I had plenty of time to get nervous.  I haven’t raced a 400 since High School and my masters PR (from a track workout) was 1:11.  The young guys lining up all looked very fast.  I drew lane one which was a nice spot to watch the race unfold ahead of me.  The gun went off and I did my best to not fall all over myself.  I hit 200 in 32.6 (which is faster than I raced 200 earlier this year) and almost caught one guy as I hit the finish in 68.1 (34.5).  I had to chuckle a bit, I was surprised to PR by so much (nearly 3 seconds).

They had a women’s heat of the mile so I had enough time to change into my heavier racing flats (third pair of the night) and head around the track for another mile.  I was feeling tired, damn it is weird that less than ¾ of a mile could be so tiring!  Temperatures were decent (low 80’s) and by this time the entire track was shaded.  If I ran over 5:10 I’d be disappointed.

We had a decent sized group line up including a couple of the High School kids who’d run well in the 400.  Bam!  They were off like a shot for the first 100m, but then drastically slowed when reality hit.  I tried to gauge how fast I was going, it seemed slow but not super slow (and everything felt slower after doing the shorter races).  They called out “79” at the quarter mile.  Yikes!  Too slow!!  I passed 409 meters (the mile is four 400 meter laps plus 9 meters) in 81.1.  Dan and I have gone out faster than that in the 2 mile.  I upped the tempo a bit and ran the next lap in 77.0.  It felt pretty difficult.  The next 400 was about the same (77.1) and I knew I’d need to kick to break 5:10.  I managed a 74.1 for the last lap and crossed the line in 5:09.3 for first place.

I headed out for another 1.5 warm-down and was wiped out.  I guess the shorter faster stuff really can take a toll.  All in all it was a good night, two first places and two new master’s PRs.  Next up:  The New Hampshire 4 mile championships in Epsom on Sunday.  I’m hoping the speed will help me toward a sub 22 minute time.

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