Sunday, March 28, 2010

Track Meet!

I haven't run a college hosted track meet possibly since I was in college (a long time ago I know). There are some major differences in strategy from a road race. You don't want to be in lane 2 the whole time, but you don't want to get boxed in or lose your momentum. Getting quarter splits gives you a much better chance of staying on the right pace, but you don't want to freak out everytime the pace isn't exactly on.
Yesterday I ran the 5,000m at the University of Maryland meet in College Park. The temperature was a little cold when we showed up at 8am - on the warmup I wished I brought some gloves. But, the sun warmed things up so with the calm air it was pretty much perfect conditions.
There were ~20 guys in the race and I was seeded 13th - so, I was a over half way to the outside of the track when the gun went off. I tried to get decent position without using too much energy. After one lap we were ~77 - about 2 seconds slower than my expected pace. After hearing the split some guys on the front took off. I gradually increased my pace to ~74 for the next lap.
I had some company, but I also had room to pass if needed. At the mile I heard 5:00 - right on pace. As some of the folks in front of me started to slow I made my way around them - my splits staying around 75. A little before the 2 mile (~10:00) I was leading the chase group with a lot of real estate in front of me - but, soon the 5th place runner came back to us. He had been running by himself for awhile and when I first came up on him he surged. Rather than push hard to get around him I let him lead figuring that if he was willing to go my pace I'd rather have him in front of me. Of course after 200 meters he started to fade and I made my way around him. The next runners were at least 100 meters in front of me, but I only had ~3 laps to go so I tried my best to "lift". Although I felt like I was going faster, my last mile split (5:01) would show otherwise (not that I looked at it). Even though I had nobody to chase I felt pretty good about my last 200m.
It was the best $20 I've spent on a race in a long time. I ran faster for 5k than I have in a LONG time - and I got to flex some track tactical strategies that have been dormant for a long time (have I said "long time" enough in this post?). Unfortunately things probably won't work out for me to run another track race this year - but I do have some fun races coming up - the two blossoms - Cherry Blossom 10 miler and the Apple Blossom 10k in my new hometown of Winchester, VA. But I think that I'll be sure to schedule a track race each spring - it was a good for the running soul.

Last Week
Monday: 9 miles
Tuesday morning: 4 miles
Tuesday evening: 11 miles 3X1200 (3:48, 3:46.7, 3:45.5) 3X1000(3:07.8, 3:08.3, 3:03.8) 2X400 (70.3, 69.6)
Wednesday: 10 miles
Thursday morning: 4 miles
Thursday evening: 9 miles 4 mi @ T pace 22:20
Friday: 6 miles
Saturday: 7 miles 5k UMD Track 15:36
Sunday: 17 miles
Total: 77 miles

Next Week
Monday: 9 miles
Tuesday morning: 4 miles
Tuesday evening: 11 miles 6X (600m I pace 1 min rest 400m I pace 30 sec rest 200m I pace 30 sec rest)
Wednesday: 8.5 miles
Thursday: 11 miles 7 mi @ T pace
Friday: 12 miles
Saturday: 5 miles
Sunday: 20 miles
Total: 80.5 miles


RM said...

Thursday May 6. Twilight meet at College Park again. Do it.

Ben said...

I'd kind of like to keep May easy to give myself a break before the I really ramp things up for marathon training.

///MM said...

Apple Blossom jeans... boots with the furrrrrr...