Saturday, July 21, 2007

PVTC Track Meet Recap

A Runner's Ramblings: Volume 2; 15th Edition
306.35 miles raced in 2007
Race: Potomac Valley Track Club Outdoor Track & Field Meet
Place: McLean, VA
Miles from home: 8
Course Difficulty: Track
Course Enjoyability: Track
Weather: 75 degrees and slightly humid
Finishers' Medal: N/A

I passed on any Friday night plans with friends to get a decent night’s sleep before the attempt to break a 5 minute mile at the PVTC track meet today. I got a good night’s sleep but did not feel the invigoration I was hoping to feel when I woke. Understandably so, I am only 6 days away from a pretty taxing PR in a half-marathon in Erie. But on Tuesday, I had a pretty good track workout in some pretty warm weather and was hoping for a great day.

I drove out to McLean, signed up and ran about 800 meters of some striders before I was called over to the booth to line up the milers. Wow, there were a ton of runners lining up. What was odd was that the organizer decided to run the heats in reverse order than usual with the slower runners going first. So, I had to stew a few more minutes while two heats of milers went around the track.

When we finally lined up our heat, I saw we had a good 15 or so runners on the track. Crap. I did not want to have a flailing of elbows but it did not look like I had a choice. I glanced down and saw the guy next to me wasn’t wearing shoes. Interesting. We crouched down and the gun went off.

1st lap:
Desiring not to get caught up in the large pack around me I surged right out of the gate to the inside lane. However, within 200 meters, 4 or 5 guys passed me. I heard them all talking before the meet and discussing their 4:30ish times so I wasn’t too worried about them. I crossed in 73 seconds.

2nd lap:
Slightly after the first lap I got passed y a few more runners and it was as if they sucked energy out of me as they went by. A local runner George Buckheit, who as a Master can still kick most people’s butts, passed me as well. I found out before the meet he ran a 4:02 as a youth. Damn. Crossing the half-way point in 2:31ish I knew going sub-5 was over.

3rd lap:
The energy just wasn’t there. I was in the bottom few of this heat and wasn’t gaining ground on anyone. An 83 second lap more or less guaranteed I wouldn’t even break 5:10.

Final Lap:
For half a second two runners in front of me seemed to lag on the turn going into the final 300. I picked up a few feet on them on the straightaway and then hit the final 200 meters. A gentleman who had been standing there shouting out times to others said: “Only 200 meters to go. Then you can rest, pass out, whatever!” I heeded his advice and dug deep.

Passing one of the runners in front of me I had only one more in reach. With 50 meters to go, I passed him and crossed the line in a disappointing (for me) 5:16. Anne was there with some footage that I will post later and gave me a good word of encouragement. I think she was surprised to see how NOT upset I was. I told her: “from 400 on I could tell it was not my day. Time to rest up for the 8k”.

I made the acquaintance of a few fast female runners who I have seen a million times at my track workouts. Both were pleased with their miles as well and were thinking of sticking around to do the 400 meters. When I told them they had a two hour wait at least, I think they decided otherwise. I bid them adieu and went home to rest up for my 8k just a few short hours later.

Writing this from the comfort of my couch, I am simply killing time waiting until this evening when I will try to set an 8k PR on a course that does not exactly look fast at all. Stay tuned!


smurthy said...

I was behind you most of the race, before you built a gap on me near the end. I hit 76 and 2:35 at 400 and 800m. I also felt exactly the same way you did. I have run 5:14 en route to 5k before and that never felt like this. I suspect the July sun beating down on a hot track didn't help matters. Good luck with your sub-5 goal.


Dane said...

Hey Sid,

Drop me an email!