We went down to London for 1500m night this weekend. I decided to race because, well, I just got a good vibe from the event. With only one distance to be run, it felt like a road race, rather than a track meet. I also knew that there would be a good heat for me, which would not necessarily have been true at many other meets, just because with a 4:30 seed time, I would have been far behind the pack in most cases.
The drive down was fun, as usual. What I like best about this group is that they like to have fun, or, I should say, this group is at their best when they are relaxed and having fun. Running sometimes stresses people out, but it’s important to remember it’s just a sport, and worrying and stressing and taking things too seriously doesn’t really help you run faster. So we had fun. Kelly’s parents’ hosted us at their place in Burlington on Friday night. We enjoyed the hot tub and the pool.
Everyone raced well, as I’m sure you will see by the various upcoming blog posts. Ryan ran a PB and finally broke that 4:00 barrier going 3:58. He said it felt quite easy, and so was fresh enough to rabbit one of the HP sections 40min later. Maybe he was too fresh as he led them through 400 in 59 (not 62) and then slowed down to go through 800 in 2:06. Not ideal, but almost everyone in the heat PBed, so hey, not too bad. He still felt fresh (the drop on the second lap just an over-compensation from the first, not running out of gas), so we decided to take advantage of the situation and run a couple more intervals. 10min later he went through 2×300 in 41 with 3min rest. A good night.
Both Kelly and Brenna won their sections, in 5:04 (6sec PB!) and 4:47 respectively. Nice to see Kelly get a good race in. She’s been struggling with her confidence I think, and it’s nice that something good happened for her, to show her that all the work is paying off.
What can I say about Dan Kramer? He keeps getting faster. 3:49 this time, under that 3:50 barrier. What’s next for this kid?
So, as for my race… The plan was to be as steady as possible. I knew that sit and kick was not going to work out for me, so I divided the race into 3x500m.
The first 500m I went to the back of the pack, and just relaxed my way through the first lap and a quarter. Mission accomplished. At the end of lap 1 I was in 12th place and had split a 68, which was a little faster than I had planned, but I felt fine.
The plan for the second 500 was to move up in the pack if the opportunity arose. It did, mostly because these high school kids were all over the place. They would swing out wide to pass, but then just stay there. There was a bit of jostling, to which my response was almost to laugh. “Really? You’re pushing me? I’ve run more 1500s in my life than you’ve run miles this week young man!” Ok, maybe not that many, but still, it was interesting to be in the throng of youth. They were so comfortable, but so unsure about how to use their fitness. Most of the guys in that heat could have gone a lot faster I think. My 800m split was about 2:18 and I was in 8th place. So 68,69 and I moved up.
At the third 500m I decided to make my move. I had moved up to about 4th between 800m and 1000m and I knew that if I left it to a kick I’d get left behind. I was still feeling reasonably comfortable, so I just let my natural rhythm carry me to the front. I took the lead at 1000m, though by 1200m I was back in 3rd. My split was 3:27, so 68, 69, 69 give or take some decimals. Even paced and I moved up from 12th to 3rd. See what I mean?
Then the inevitable happened. I ran the last 300 in 56 which is equivalent to about a 75, so yeah I kind of died a bit. I only fell to 10th though, it was only in the last 100m that about 5 people went by me. I don’t see how I could have run the race any other way. Perhaps I could have tried to go out in 70-71 instead but I don’t think that would have opened up much opportunity for me on the kick. So I made a plan and I executed it. I ran 6 seconds faster than I wanted to. I’m pleased.
Race videos and interviews will be up soon. London Runner has most of the races up already.