I felt well rested this morning and ready to race. Mentally, I felt today I was going to run hard break some pb’s and hopefully run 1500m in 4:20. In addition to that, I was also running the 800m.Originally, I would be scoring in both events but now we had a couple more runners, I was non-scoring in both which was a bit disappointing since. I had no intention of doing the 3000m just yet until my 1500m times came down (we had no male runners in the 3000m). The only downside was that it was a very hot day with temperatures around 30°C.
After a 3km warm up followed by drills and strides, I was ready although still slightly anxious. We all got on the line, I was second from the very outside and bang the gun went off. After 100m, I was on the back of the pack trying to stay as close to the next person without having to move into one of the outer lanes. The first lap went through in 72 seconds and that was when I had the feeling the race wasn’t going to go well.
I tried to pick up the pace on the second lap, but when I heard the second lap at 2:24, I knew I was simply maintaining my speed. I still tried to push the pace, managing to keep just in front of another runner on the last lap just to be taken on the final 100m and finish with a time of 4:30.54. Not a time I was pleased with and I wasn’t as tired as I should have been. I should have started faster.
Although I’d been told that I shouldn’t be too disappointed with my time since it was so hot and the wind on the home straight was nasty, a part of me was still almost angry. I wasn’t risking going out too slow in the 800m and when I was walking around after the 1500m my legs felt good as if the 1500m was just a (very, very quick) tempo to warm up. I did not want to go home without a good race or a pb today.
I was in lane 7 for the 800m. The gun went off, I went as hard as I could to start off (at 13.5 second 100m pace initially) and just tried to hold the pace for as long as I could. My first lap was around 63/64 seconds which was the quickest I had done the first 400m in an 800m. At that point I was hoping I would be able to get a 68 ‘second’ lap. At the 500m mark, I began to struggle, but someone was chasing me and trying to overtake. I fought him off to the final 200m, then someone even further behind surged in front and the guy I was trying to stop overtaking me managed to get in front. I crossed the line after fighting the final 100m headwind in 2:14.38 which was a 0.82 second pb which, to be honest, I was happy with since it was sub 2:15.
A lot of my training seems to be based around me learning to go fast at the start and my coach has seen that as a weakness when I race. I’m annoyed that I didn’t execute my 1500m well, but at least I really understand the point of training I am being given currently – to try and make me unafraid of going out hard and fast, because I’m not going to achieve my full potential in a race if it doesn’t feel hard at the start. I was far too comfortable for the first 1500m yet I couldn’t seem to run any faster.
I think if I ran the 800m a bit more evenly, I could have achieved a quicker time but honestly, I really enjoyed it. It was a bit like a race to take out my anger and frustration on and it felt good.
Did you race this weekend? If so, how did it go?