Striding Through

Because a life well lived always finds the right pace

Club Race Night at the Track

Last night the DC Roadrunners held their annual mile and 3000-meter track championship races at Wakefield High School in Arlington. I had missed this event last year as I was still rehabbing from an injury and looked forward to participating this year. With so many heats of the mile to run, I considered running not just the Masters Mile but also the Open Mile, in addition to the 3000-meter.

As it turned out the masters’ race was not to be for me. It took about 90 minutes for me just to get to Wakefield and when I arrived, the Masters Mile was in progress. So I prepared myself quickly for the open mile, knowing there would be lots of younger, faster milers ahead of me. Still I hoped they’d pull me along to a fast time. But that wasn’t meant to be either. I got out surprisingly slowly — 45 seconds at the 200 mark, then picked it up to get to 400 in about 87 seconds. But I couldn’t seem to get any faster than that. My breathing was well under control but when I asked my legs to turn over faster, they just wouldn’t do it. I came home in 5:44 and 13th place, a somewhat disappointing result. It was made all the more frustrating by the fact I didn’t even feel that tired afterward, like I knew there was more race in me, that I just couldn’t seem to unlock.

After a fairly short break, it was time to line up for the 3000-meter, which was run as a single heat with about 25 runners in it. I should mention here that in addition to the mile a few minutes earlier, I had also put down 5 miles earlier in the day and that followed up an 11-mile day. That said my goal for the 3000-meter was simply to run at a comfortably hard tempo pace that I could maintain for the entire distance. I got out for  the first 400 in about 91 seconds and was able to stay close to that pace for every lap. The final time was 11:29, far off my PR but an average of 92.5 seconds per 400; I’m pretty certain I didn’t run any lap slower than 94 seconds and all but one was in the 90-93 range. It was good for 11th place overall.  I was satisfied with the fact I ran a controlled but fast pace, and hopefully that sets me up well for the final race of my summer season, the club’s 5k championship race next weekend.

Meanwhile my “Getting Started” pamphlet for the New York City Marathon showed up in the mail, providing yet another reminder of what’s in store for the fall. I’ve already begun ramping up the miles to get ready. More on my training plan in post to come soon. As of today there are 100 days to go!

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