Today I woke up feeling alright. Not peak. Not terrible. But alright. My calves still a bit tight and my legs a bit shaky in the morning despite rolling them on the foam roller for over half an hour the day before, but I felt well rested after sleeping for 7 hours. Today, I had a 1500m and an 800m race in the YDL (youth development league) at Bromley.
I went for a mile run just to wake myself up and prepare myself for racing with a couple of strides during the run. I felt decent. It was humid due to thunder and lightning and rain last night which meant there would be a lot of oxygen in the air from the rain which had evaporated. To make sure I didn’t dehydrate in the hot weather, I made sure to drink a lot of water.
I lined up feeling slightly nervous. I knew I wanted sub 4:30, but I didn’t know if I was feeling good enough to run that fast. My mind told me it was a 100% possible though. And I wanted to do it today.
The race went out and I hung on the back of the pack. 300m went through in 51 seconds, so I knew I was already running a fair bit faster than my target pace which was good, but it also meant if it was too fast I would have to pay for it later. 400 went through in 70 seconds and I was feeling good. The pace was fast but manageable. The next 400 went through again in 70 seconds. I overtook one runner in front with 500m to and hit the bell (for 1100m) at 3:16, so I knew I was on target, I just needed to push the last lap as fast as I could.
I finished in 4:27.25, an 8.65 second personal best which I was really happy with! However, at the end of the race, I didn’t feel flat or drained completely. I wasn’t on the floor, so I know I can definitely go faster. It’s my first really encouraging result of the season.
After warming up again for the race, I lined up wondering why I was doing an 800m. Last time I did one at the YDL at Reading, I went through the first lap in 66 seconds and ‘died’ on the second lap to finish in 2:23. Was I going to repeat that this time? Well, it was a month ago, and I felt far stronger… so, I didn’t know.
I was B string this time which meant I would be in a slower race. Slower, but fast enough to be competitive for me so that I would be in touch with the other runners. My aim was 2:16 – 68 seconds per lap.
The gun went off, and I felt my foot slip back. Not a great start, probably caused by some pre-race nerves. At 100m I was in last place, but I felt I was going at a solid pace. Towards 400m, I began to move into 4th place until there was 400m and hit the bell in 66 seconds.
I cruised forwards in front of the other runner until I was chasing the guy in front. There was a 10m gap between us and I knew I would have to work hard to close it down. By 200m I began to overtake until 150m when I really began to kick and then kicked even harder because there was no way I was letting him come past me. I finished in 2:15.20 in 3rd position. A time I was very happy with as it cut down my previous pb of 2:20.3 by 5.1 seconds. And I was happy to be able to maintain my position in front of the other runner. Again, I wasn’t absolutely dead or drained at the end. I really need to work on that so I can see what my full potential is when I race.
Altogether it’s been a great day of racing for me despite the heat. I’m looking forward to racing again (hopefully in a month or so when I feel even stronger and faster). I’ve decided that one of my goals by the end of the season, is to have completed a race on track which has left me absolutely exhausted. That is a target, I believe is achievable by anyone, but is also a target that is very hard to achieve unless you can push yourself past that mental barrier.
Did you race this weekend? If so how was your race?