I made my way down to Myers Park High School Track for week number three of the Summer Track Series. During third week they typically substitute the 5k for the 2 mile run. This left me on the fence about how many events that I was going to do.
As the track meet start drew closer, I finally decided on skipping the 100 and 200. This left me running multiple heats of the mile, then the 400, 800, and 5k. This wasn't a whole lot different from the previous weeks but still, the work load is pretty stiff. After all, there is still over 5 miles in hard running.
We were called to the line for the first heat of the mile. I stay with my game plan and hit the first lap hard. I pass Billy Shue during this lap but honestly was expecting him to come roaring back by me.
Lap 2 goes in the book, I look at the clock. I know I am running faster, but it isn't easy. I hear them announcing that Billy is behind me. Still the expectation lingers that he will go flying by me any second.
We come around for the 3 lap. I am just under 4 minutes. Again I hear them calling out Billy's name. I know it is possible for him to blow by me at any second. However, this doesn't mean that I will make it easy for him.
Going down the back stretch, I found the oxygen to push harder. Then, coming off the final turn, I can see the clock ahead. My arms are pumping and my legs are churning. Each stride carries me closer to the finish. Finally, I lean across the line in 5:12. This is 6 seconds better than last week and a full 12 seconds better than week one. My lungs are still trying to process enough oxygen as my heart rate slows. Wow! This was fun.
I am still recovering when we are called for the second heat of the mile. I come off the line but I quickly realize this isn't going to be good. I was not completely recovered from the first heat. My legs are churning but they feel weak. The laps click off but I don't have the energy to drive them forward. I run in the second position most of the heat but settle for 4 when a couple of guys pass me in the final run to the finish. This heat, I was slower than last week but the same as week one: 5:45.
I get a few minutes to recover while the 400 heats start. I am so luck. I am running with 4 other ladies who say they are planning to run the 400 in the 70 second range. Tom fires the gun and these ladies are gone. I was being honest with my expected 400 time. My plan was to run the 70 second time range which I did: 72. However these ladies were running like they stole something. They all ran in the 60 second range. I am last but finishing last is okay. To me, it is all about competing.
Next up is the 800. Everyone one is running in the same heat so there must have been 18 of us. My legs are still wobbly but I am determined. They created a gap but I was still trying to dig deep. One lap in I know I got this one. I start pushing harder. My legs are shaking with each stride. I come off the final turn and start looking for the clock. It ticks slowly toward the 2:30. I try to surge again but there is nothing left for me to surge with. I cross the finish line in 2:30. This is still 3 seconds faster than last week and nine seconds after than the first week of summer track.
While they are running the 200 heats, I switch out to a racing flat with a little more cushioning. I need the extra support.
The 5k is 12 and half laps of the track. Everyone gathers at the 200 meter mark to start to the 5k. Brad and Chris quickly put some distance on the field. I settle in to my spot and watch Matt and Scott battle back and forth in front of me. They are gapping me pretty good.
Six laps in Brad and Chris catch me. A couple of laps later Dan surges past me. Finally Chad surges past me. My last lap comes and I am happy to be finished. My time isn't anything earth shattering: 18:44. Later when I was looking at my splits: I realized that I ran 12 and half laps. Each lap varied on by a second – from 1:29 to 1:31.
"Shouts-outs" need to be given to Danelle, Andrea, Jinnie, and CSB for their support on each lap that we ran. When I am hot and tired, even the smallest bit of support can make me feel better. Also Jinnie took some great pictures of us racing down the back stretch.
I have to give another "shout out" to Stan. He was running on a sore hamstring. Here's hoping that he improves before next week.
Without them Tim, Tom, and the entire crew from RFYF, this would not be possible so "Thank You"!!!!
Sharing one thought at time,
The Cool Down Runner