Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Powerade NC State Games at UNCC’s Irwin Belk Track

Sunday morning my racing adventures took me to UNCC’s Irwin Belk Track for the Track & Field portion of the NC Powerade State games.

This was my first ever Powerade State games so I had no idea what to expect. For all I knew there could be hundreds of runners in attendance.

While there were a lot athletes present, most were in the sprint events with several more sprinkled across the field events. The distance events just don't draw a crowd.

During my warm up, I spotted Cory jogging to the track so we made a few laps to catch up. The events were to start at 10 AM, and the event schedule showed the 3000 race walk and the 3000 meter run starting around the same time. Cory and I were trying to adjust our warm ups accordingly. Reality was the 3000 meter run was to come after the 3000 meter walk.

I needed a break anyway. My warm up miles were starting to mount up. Once they made the first call for the 3000 meter run, I headed for the infield to do so some strides. I like to flow right into the events. This stopping and starting are tough on me.

Finally, we were ready to run and they combined both the men's and women's 3000 together. I am in lane one and Cory's in lane two. Cory is running slightly ahead of me for the first couple of laps. Then he surges out over the next two laps. He was gapping me by maybe 20 to 30 yards.

I was running about as hard as I could run so there was nothing left to do. I just watched as he appeared to be pulling away. Then, about 4 laps the distance stabilized. Catching him was probably out the question, but keeping it close spurred me to keep pushing. Then, with 3 laps left, I realized that I was closing on him. Coming around with about 2 or so laps left I passed him. From then on, I just ran as hard as possibly could.

Something about seeing my name listed up on the score board in first place, I don’t know. It just feels good. Feels like I got a good effort out of my body.  I was decently happy with my time 10:14. This was 11 seconds faster than my 3000 in April.

Rather than run any more miles, I just walked around while watching 100 and 100 hurdles. Soon they called us up for the 800. There were some fast 800 meter runners and they were gone quickly. I ran 2:36 which was 2 seconds slower than my run on Tuesday night at Summer Track.

Throughout the morning the skies were threatening to drop rain on us. Every so often a few drops of rain hit my head and shoulders.

Then, as we lined up for the 1500 the skies finally opened up. When it rains, it pours. In hindsight, I should have left my sunglasses in my bag. Between the rain and my sunglasses fogging up, the world was a blur. Forget trying to make out the time displayed on my Garmin. The only thing that I could make out was the inside railing.

I love it. Cory yelled encouragement for me from his safe and dry place under a tent.

The rain formed puddles of water all around the track.  My racing flats could have easily been mistaken for sponages because they seemed to be soaking up all of the available water. The lone brightspot came from the rain bouncing off my hot and tired legs. Even thou, my shoes were heavy my legs found the energy to keep driving forward.  

The winning time for our heat was in the 4:30s, and he was gone from the start. I finished second in the 1500 with a 5:07 mark.

This just goes to show that I am nothing if not consist. I ran 10:14 for the 3000 and ran 5:07 for the 1500.

I picked up a nice medal for my efforts in the 3000. I probably won one for the 800 and 1500, but I had to dart out after the 1500 for plans with my daughters.

I hope that I can parley this into a faster time on Tuesday night. I would love to break 5:10.

See you Tuesday night at Summer Track.


Sharing one thought at time,

The Cool Down Runner


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