It was still raining, not hard, when I got to Mesquite. I checked in and waited for them to get the hurdles organized. That was my queue to start warming up (like 33 miles on the bike was not enough)! All the while I was on the lookout for 800 masters runners. Its pretty easy to pick out the middle distance idiots from the sprinters and the throwers. In short the middle distance runners are all spindley dudes with running shorts rather than sprinters shorts. I spied a couple of them and introduced myself. First off there was Greg. He informed me that he had been training 3 weeks. I told him that training was overrated. The second dude, Matt, was more serious and had recently run a 2:14 at the Lukes meets where I had been doing my Miles. I had figured on a good day I could do a 2:20. So it would be Mike, Chris, Greg. Hopefully.
We lined up and and it was only the three of us. The gun went off and just like the plan it was Mike, Chris, Greg. I knew right away that Mike was pulling too hard, but I tried not to let him get too far ahead. For the first 300 meters I could hear Greg right behind me - not bad for 3 weeks training! I came through in 67 and tried to give it some more juice. On the back stretch, Mike was pulling away, and I could feel that my legs were dead from the bike. In spite of that I kept pushing as best as I could and I came in at 2:20. That was good for first place in my age group (Mike was in the next younger group, and Greg was second in my division).
Fast Forward to Tuesday. Lukes All Comers #5.
My guess is that it was in the low 60s when we ran on Saturday. Tuesday night was 195% relative humidity and temps in the low 90s. 30 degress hotter. Man! Unlike Saturday we ran in the fourth of five heats. My buddy Mike was there, and also my training buddy Karl. Another master's regular, Rick Easley was there and this local girl named Melisa - who had kicked my ass in the last mile. Unlike Saturday we got to line up in a half stagger. I took lane 1, and Mike took lane two. He asked me what I was going to do and I told him that my plan was to run faster! The starter had us take our mark, and then I jumped. The starter saw me jump, and I reset. Meanwhile Terry was jabbering about my "foul" in the background. Finally the gun went off, and so did we.
At the break Karl, Mike, Melisa and Easley were all in front of me. Karl had not run anywhere close to the times I had been putting up this spring, so I picked him off first. Then Easley, Melissa and I formed a pack in the second turn. I tried to get by them on the stretch but to no avail. Coming off of the third turn I felt pretty strong and Rick and I dumped Melissa and then I got on Easley's shoulder and I was damn determined to pass him before the last turn. He and I both knew he could not hang. Just before the 600 mark he pushed and then jumped off the track! I had no one ahead, but Melisa was right behind me. I gave it everything I had. I had to avenge my loss in the mile to her. I came round the last turn and kept pushing. It worked; I held her off and came in at 2:21.
Coach Vaughan had my splits at 70.09 and 71.34. And he told me that was a good effort. Since Coach Vaughan never compliments anyone - I was ecstatic!
Next week: The 400 meters!
Update June 30 - Added links to the USATF Results and Lukes Results.
All views expressed in this post and on this blog are my own. None of my comments should be construed to represent the views of others including and not limited to: BMC Software Inc., Corel Corporation, Dun and Bradstreet and AC Nielsen. Copyright Chris Hughes 2004-2012