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.
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.
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.
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.
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!