My second track race of the season was county champs and I had signed myself up for the 3000m, 1500m and 800m. It was disappointing to see that I was the only under 20 who had registered for the 1500m and 3000m, but either way, I had come down to try and achieve pb’s so I was going to have to work with what I had and try to push myself as much as possible mentally.
Race 1 – 3000m
I had an aim for 9:30 in the 3000m, 3 seconds quicker than my pb which meant 76 second laps. The first lap went out at 74 and from there the pace slowly dropped to around 77/78 second laps. I ran behind an under 17 from Luton, Jed Noblett until the final lap where he sprinted off to finish in 9:25. I went through in 9:34.8. I wasn’t pleased with my finishing time, but I guess it wasn’t bad for my first 3000m of the season. I didn’t feel tight in my muscles or especially fatigued which told me I had more to give, but I just didn’t know how to ‘give’ it.
Race 2 – 800m
I wasn’t originally planning on doing the 800m, but after feeling terrible about my 3000m I thought I’d enter it anyway and see how I felt. The poor turnout of competitors meant I was guaranteed silver anyway. Also, it was only 2 laps of pain.
So an hour after finishing my 3000m, I lined up at the start. I went through the first lap in around 68 and finished in 2:20.3 – still a 3 second pb (I haven’t done any 800m feeling fresh) and I could feel that I was holding myself back as I knew I had a 1500m to do later and I still really wanted to pb in that.
Race 3 – 1500m
Three hours after, I was at the start line again. 4:30 that was my target. I had two people in my race, a veteran with a pb possibly around 5 minutes and Aiden Killeen, who was targeting a 4:10 in the race. It would be hard for both of us to achieve our targets though as we had no one of a similar standard to compete directly against.
My first lap went through in 70 seconds, a bit quicker than expected but I thought I’d see what I could do with it. However, my second lap dropped to 77 seconds. I knew I had to pick up the pace if I wanted a pb, even if it was a slight one. At 1100m, I heard 3:23. It was going to be tight. I would really have to push it to beat my pb of 4:37.1 but I knew it was possible. With 300m to go, I picked up the pace as much as I comfortably could (in hindsight I should have made it hurt more) and then in the last 150m I sped up further and heard someone shouting times from across the track. 32… 33… 34… the burst of speed I picked up in the last 50m was unlike anything I’d ever done, I found a reserve of energy which I regrettably hadn’t been able to use in the 3000m which meant I finished in 4:35.9. A 1.2 second personal best.
Although my races didn’t quite go to plan, I’m glad I managed to find that reserve of energy in the last 1500m because I now believe I can go much faster than I thought, I just need to push past the pain. I’m hoping that next time I race, I will have people running similar times to me so I can use them to push myself harder and faster. Not quite the results I hoped for, but I’m sure they can only get better from now on.
Did you race at your county champs this weekend? How did it go?