Tuesday, June 26, 2007

More USATF Track and a race report


More great races at nationals. Another big highlight for me was the showdown between Alan Webb and Bernard Lagat. It turned out to be a very exciting race. The men's 5000 was also awesome, and so were the men's and women's 800 and both steeplechase races. And I don't care as much about sprinting, but it was very cool to see Tyson Gay running that impressive double of 100 and 200.

I saw both extremes of competition this past weekend; on Friday night we watched Shalane Flanagan run a near-PR performance of 14:51 to win the women's 5000. Next morning, we drove down to Judah, IN to run the Judah Jog 5K. I was second with a 23:32 (the girl in first caught me in the last tenth and was only a couple seconds ahead).

It was a nice little race, but the most badly organized of any of the races I've done. The flyer said the race was starting at 8 a.m., so I warmed up in preparation for that. However, the elderly man who is in charge of the Magnificent 7 Series began to talk right at 8. He described all the awards which would be given out (this race was the final race in the series) and even went ahead and gave one out. This involved going inside a building and finding a medal, which was then handed to this guy. I'm not sure what he did with since we were about to start running. Ugh. He talked and talked, and then the race director described the course in detail, and then the man who does the results gave us instructions. The latter two were actually necessary. Meanwhile, everyone was standing around getting cold. By the time the race actually started close to 8:30, it was like I didn't warm up at all.

Unsurprisingly, I went out way too fast. My splits were 7:07, 7:46, and 7:59, with 0:40 for the last tenth. Ouch. Still, I was pleased overall since it was a fairly hilly course. This is almost exactly the same time I ran back in March for the Anthem 5K, and that was on a perfectly flat course. I wish I hadn't let that high school girl get me in the end; she couldn't even accept the first-place prize because of IHSAA regulations. But I did win my age group and a $5 gift card to the BP down the street, which was promptly spent on doughnuts.

One very cool thing that happened came as I was running back towards the starting line after a short out-and-back portion. I was passing a few people still heading out and I heard someone say to her friend, "She's a runner." I'm not sure why, but that just made me feel so good.

I'm going to do a few more 5Ks this summer and hopefully shave off another minute or so. I would really love to be back down in the 22-minute range. Later in the summer and early fall, I'll be on the lookout for a few slightly longer races to use as tune-up races for the marathon. More PRs to fall? Let's hope so.
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