Friday, 31 July 2009

The O.C. Part Two - 3000m

I'd stepped off the track after the 400m at about 7:25 p.m. and was still heavy breathing about 5 minutes later. Unfortunately I was in the toilet by then; my game of chicken with a turtle head during the race nearly ending in disaster. Not sure what my problem is, but I always need to hit the porcelain just before a race and I'm getting sick of the constant "do I have time to make it" dilemna. It must be what they call the 'shite or flight' response to danger!

Track meets can be similar to tennis tournaments in that there is often dead time between races where you have to be careful not to eat too much, keep moving without getting tired and avoid stiffening up. This was a particular challenge with the 3000m being scheduled for 9:15 p.m but the meet obviously running behind time with the 19 800m races in between. There was an added complication in that it was absolutely pissing it down and I'd not brought enough clothes.

I decided to start my warm up during the 13th 800m, but by the 15th everybody was ordered off the track. Of course, it was too much to ask for an explanation over the tannoy. It transpired that the racing was postponed because the timekeepers were no longer able to write due to the monsoon conditions. For the non-British readers amongst you this type of excuse is commonplace - but usually on our rail system where, on seperate occasions, the wrong type of leaves and the wrong type of snow have halted servies.

This announcement triggered a mighty boo from the stands after which, almost instantaneously, a mighty miracle occured and racing recommenced. A khamsin sent from the Lord himself must have swept through and dried the pencils and paper!

In reality I suspect the prospect of a riot (albeit a British middle class one which involves moaning, tutting and shaking of heads rather than stones and beer glasses) persuaded the organisers that perhaps they could manage.

By the time my race came around at 10:22 p.m. I was wet, freezing, sore and miserable. The race itself was uneventful and I suspect I'd shot my bolt at about 9:15 p.m anyway. I finished in about 9:25 although I got no official time because my number had rotted and blown away half way round. That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it. In retrospect I took the race far too easily during the middle laps and could have / should have pushed much harder. This isn't the first time this has happened in a longish race and is something I definitely need to work on....

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