Thursday, 13 August 2009

Under / Overdistance at Watford

Discretion is the better part of valour as they (usually cowards) say. As I had yet to attempt to reach terminal velocity during a short sprint at any point in the last few years I decided to opt out of running the 100m at the meeting last night.

I had feared that running the 200m and 3000m in one evening may go down in the annals of combo mistakes alongside gin with cherry 7-up and the infamous 'night of the Diamond White and prawn cocktail crisps'. It doesn't make a good story but actually the evening was a success.

Before the 200m I eavesdropped on pre-race discussions about attacking the bend, relaxing entering the straight etc. My current state of training absolved me from such technicalities, boiling down to a race tactic of pegging it as fast as I can. Not much to say about the race apart from I felt as though I got a decent start, but never really felt as though there was much speed on tap. I crossed the line in 24.00 - coming 4th out of 8 and with the 20th fastest time out of 83 total runners. Satisfying considering it was my first for 15 years but also highlighting the need for some acceleration / top speed work next season.

The 35 minutes between races was sufficient for my legs to recover but not to eliminate the puke taste in the back of my throat (a bit like the order of play for a hangover). After a sub-standard effort two weeks ago I decided on a change of tactics and ignore my watch except for the first 200m split and to focus on racing people not digits. The result was a much better effort mid-race and a time of 9:15.47 - 11 seconds quicker than a fortnight ago. This way of running is definitely more effective for me and I think I'll leave the watch behind for my final scheduled 3k of the season in 2 weeks' time. This was a good night of racing and hit the spot in terms of preparation for the 400 / 800 / 1500m races to come.

As a side note: I always feel a ridiculous sense of satisfaction at these meetings when they run out of toilet paper (as they always do). It eliminates the queue for the cubicle, allows me to practice my 'self-satisfied look of wisdom' and also enables me to make inroads into the McDonalds napkin mountain that has accumulated in my car.

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