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Our house reached 81 degrees last week in the heat but that didn’t keep us from continuing our training for the Transplant Games!
Last Thursday, the local running club (Greater Manchester Running Club), had their week #2 of 4 track running series, with a $1 entry fee for track events (50/100/400/1600m). The series was geared toward kids, but they did have an adult division (maybe for the parents?). I have no shame, love a good deal, and want to support local events. Secretly, I felt like I was paying $1 for a cheering crowd during my workout! So, after work on Thursday, Logan and I walked the 1000m from our house to our track, and I paid my entry fee and waited in the 90 degree heat for my race.
It was definitely a local, low-stakes event: a whistle start, hand-timed finish, lots of kids, and no other adults entered (except for the volunteers from the Running Club). The first two events (the 50m and 100m) had a great turnout of about 50 competitors, with an average age of 7. Next, they called the four entrants for the 1600m. I stepped up, along with a volunteer who decided to enter, a 14 year old, and a 12 year old.
I have been tickling a sub-6 minute mile (best was 6:02 in a training run), and even though it was 90 degrees, I had a goal to run sub-6 in this race. For those non-metric folks, the 1600m (4 laps of a track) is 9 meters short of a mile, but this wasn’t anywhere close to a sanctioned event.
The whistle blew for the start. I stayed in lane 2 for the first turn (adding 3.8m) before running a more efficient line and the volunteer stayed in lane 5 (adding another 12m!) for the first turn while keeping pace. The 14 year old was well off the pace, and the 12 year old didn’t even know the race had started. I ran Lap 1 in 1:24 (5:36 pace). I remember checking my watch, and thinking the time was either borderline achievable for a mile, or it was going to hurt at the end. My adult competitor was now running in lane 1 right behind me for lap 2. I felt like he was running some advanced tactics and since this was a fun race, I playfully called out, “Are you really going to sit on my shoulder and out-kick me at the end?”
“That was my plan, but you may drop me at lap 3.”
I laughed and responded, “I may drop myself with this pace.” Soon after he took the lead and I didn’t keep pace: I had a personal goal and winning the race wasn’t it. Halfway through lap 3 a volunteer yelled encouragement: “You’re closing on him!” I laughed and responded, “No I’m not, he’s been pulling away the whole race!” In lap 4, although I felt like stopping, I tried picking up my speed. There was no possibility of catching my ‘competitor’, but the kids and parents were giving great encouragement. I crossed the two-cone finish line in 5:50, and felt great!
This race, along with a few races earlier this year give me a good boost of confidence going into the Transplant Games next month.
- In March, I lowered my Half Marathon time from 1:36 to 1:33.
- In June, I lowered my 5k time from 20:59 to 20:00.5.
- Thursday, I lowered my mile (~1600m) from 6:02 to 5:50.
I’m hopeful I will have fast times across the board (5k, 800m and 1500m) even with running all the events in the same weekend!