Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Summer Series Track Meet

Time: 52:26
Distance: 8.02 miles
Mile: 4:38? for 1st
5k: 14:59 for 1st

W/u: 10:27 for 1.28 miles
W/u & C/d: 9:47 for 1.07 miles
C/d: 12:35 for 1.57 miles

Tonight's events kicked off when I headed over to the Myers Park HS track for the biggest meet of the year. All the hitters were lining up to hit fast times on the city's best track facility. I had a lot of doubts in my mind as to how fast I would be able to run this evening. I spent most of the day in the car visiting run and bike shops between Charlotte and Hickory. Plus, I had the opportunity to have lunch with Carol Amrani who is in charge of Balega's marketing. She knows this great little family owned restaurant called Youssef 242. It just so happens that her husband's name is Youssef and he has a taste for fine dining. I may have mentioned this in an earlier post, but if you're ever in Hickory at lunch or dinner time, look up their restaurant. Today I was tempted by the hamburger and the sweet potato fries. It definitely wasn't the best pre-race meal but I couldn't resist.

I began with some slow warming up around the neighborhood and track. I felt heavy as I tried to warm up the legs and open up the airways. I had qualified to run the championship mile from my race a few weeks ago when I ran 4:19. Tonight's focus was the 5k, but I didn't want to opt out of the mile. Most of the others with top times in the mile were absent so I felt a little obligated to toe the line.

I had no interest in doing much work in this race. The main competitors were Brian McMahon and Greg Isaacs who have both run close to 4:40 this summer. My plan was to make a move with 600m to go so I wouldn't have to run hard the final 200m. Our splits were around: 75, 70 (2:25), 67 (3:32), 65 (4:38). I sat off Brian for the first 1,000m and then made a move to the front. I felt in control, though still a little heavy. I probably shouldn't have worn spikes for this contest, but I did anyway.

Between races I jogged several laps on the track watching the rest of the meet. It's cool watching some of the youngsters compete in the sprints and relays. There wasn't much time before the 5k, but enough to shake the legs out and prepare mentally for the effort. I wasn't sure how fast I was capable of running. Late last week I considered going for a PR (14:43 on the roads and track), but today wasn't the day to test my ability. On top of eating too much at lunch, it was really hot and humid. Nothing new for Charlotte this year.

I wanted to get out well and remain fluid during the middle section of the race. I would be lapping people as early as the mile mark which just gave me the incentive to go faster. I don't have official splits because I didn't wear a watch and nobody was calling out times. From memory I was: 2:55 at the 1k mark, 8:55 at the 3k mark, 13:52ish with a lap to go and finished in 14:59.4. I'll take the effort considering I was out front from the start. I never went to the well, but definitely gradually slowed over the course of the race. See the pics that Caitlin took from an earlier post.

The best part of the night was the showdown/throwdown between Tim Rhodes and Meagan. Her recap tells the story.

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