Sunday, April 21, 2013

5k Race Report, and a Book Recommendation?

Swim: 14k
Bike: 1 hour, on my new bars :)
Run: 37 miles

            The forecast was not looking great, and I still needed to qualify for NCCAAs in the 5k. Thursday night I looked through the performance list to see who was going to be there. I remembered racing against Kris, from Franklin, earlier in the year, and I decided to Facebook him to come up with a race plan. Going into the race I knew Kris had run fast, and I needed to run solid, so trading off every 400m seemed like a good plan to me. I also knew my teammate Ross would be trying to run the same splits as me, so we were going to have a good group. Turns out, Kris was supposed to be pacing his teammate through 2 miles @ :75/400m, so that worked even better. Ross and I could just latch on, and not have to do any work—score!

            Friday we traveled to Rose-Hulman for their Twilight meet. Sure enough, it was cold (40s) with 16mph winds. The past few years it has always been raining, storming, windy, cold, or a mixture of all the above. Last weekend was windy and I was hoping the meet would be calm weather…but it wasn’t. Before the running events started, coach asked Ross and me if we were still running or if we made an “exit strategy” for the race. What’s this “exit strategy” he spoke of? I’m healthy, and able to run: I was going to run and qualify. I was mentally prepared, the pacemaker was ready, it was time to go!

            About an hour before the start of the race, Ross and I began out warm up. We confirmed the race strategy, and planned what we would do if things did not go as planned. We like to plan…Okay, I like to plan. :)

            As we were taking our sweats off, the weather decided it wanted to make the race a little more challenging…it started sleeting! April 19th in Indiana, and it is sleeting. Gotta love it. At that point I didn’t even care, I was ready to race. They lined us up by number, and the gun went off. There was a stud that took off from the start and never looked back. He went on to run 14:5X…solo. As for the rest of us, we settled into a pack pretty quickly. I knew Kris was the pacer, so I settled in behind him and two other guys and turned my brain off.  I don’t remember 400m splits, but I know I was feeling great. I just had to follow the person ahead of me. We came through the mile in 5:05, which was a little slower than what I wanted, but that’s okay. It felt like a warm-up mile. After hearing the mile split, Kris picked it up and we started running :73. We came through the 2 mile @ 9:57 (4:52 mile). I knew this is where I would have to start working since Kris was stepping off the track, and now there was only one guy ahead of me in the pack. Our next 400m was :74, which was slower than I wanted, so I took over. 1400m to go and I was now leading the chase pack. My next 3 400m splits were :73, :72, :71 to come through 3 miles in 14:48 (4:50mile). I ended up closing the last 200m in :33 to run 15:22.09, a 12second PR. Couldn’t have done it without the help of our awesome pacesetter, and all of my teammates cheering spread around the track. Thanks, y’all!

The best part of the Twilight Meet...the pie afterward!
            I qualified for NCCAAs, so I don’t have to worry about that anymore. I also felt pretty good after the race, and I feel that I have much more to give in my next few races. I said I wanted to go sub 15:00 this year, and I believe it is still possible. I probably have 2 5ks left of my college career, and I fully believe sub 15 is in the cards.

            Also, I read The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie, and it is now easily one of my favorite books…ever. It’s a children’s (well more like teen) book that I had to read for my Cross Cultural Children’s Lit class, and it is completely awesome. It’s a real book, with real thoughts and feelings. The author writes in the exact tone a teenage boy would think. It’s funny, it’s sad, it’s awkward, and it’s great. There is pain, and there is hope. It gives insight to life on an Indian Reservation, and the struggles that go along with it, through the eyes of a young boy. Honestly, if you have the time, you NEED to read this book! And if you do read it, let me know what you think!

Have a great week, y’all. Good luck to all the track teams out there that are gearing up for conference meets this weekend!

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