After saturday's fiasco I will admit to some reticence approaching sunday's 800m. Very little of my training has been aimed at the middle distances yet, but any that I have done would be more useful in the longer 1500m. That combined with a pedigree that boasts of just 4 800m's, none of which I'd run in lanes and the last one being in 2001 meant I was hardly approaching the race brimming with confidence.
On the bright side there were only 5 runners so I could always claim a 5th place and as it's only 2 laps any humiliation would be very temporary, albeit quite visible. But secretly I knew that where my running is concerned the shorter the better and that miracles do happen. Hell, even Gordon Brown apologised the other week - sort of.
I had drawn the inside lane which was helpful for me as I could keep all the other runners in front of me for the first bend ran in lanes - similar to yesterday of course, but this time it was at the start of the race and not the end! Most races I run in are categorised by runners going off much too fast and then spending most of the remainder suffering a vicious and lingering demise as I pick them off and kick sand in their face. Maybe it's the wisdom of age but I was shocked to go through 400m in slower than 61 seconds - particularly considering there were 2 sub-1:56 runners in the field.
I injected some pace 300m out taking up the lead, accelerated 200m out and then kicked for the last 100m. Unfortunately slowly, inevitably a couple of the runners reeled me in as my lack of anaerobic training told. The winner crossed the line in 1:59.92, the second in 2:00.27 with me in third in 2:00.70. I'm pretty pleased with that time as it was a negative split and I feel as though I have plenty of training to come that will solicit considerable improvement on that before season's end.
On the way home the Wimbledon final was on the radio and I was disappointed to see that the cry baby Federer won. The other day I heard him described as 'the gayest straight man in the world' and I couldn't agree more.