Saturday, August 3, 2019

DC Road Runners Track Championships - Kids Run and Masters Mile

Racing the one mile track race against other 40+ men

After last year's disappointment at the track meet (heavy rain and wind resulting in barely breaking 6), Shawn and I trained again for the mile. For about 5 weeks, we hit the track and attempted to get our speed down to have a shot at a low 5 minute mile. We didn't think we could break 5, but a good showing would be acceptable. Since the meet was the day after my birthday, I was able to successfully ask that Laura attend with Miles, that Miles run the kids race, and that they stay for my race. It was a hot day (90 degrees!) so I really appreciate the two of them dealing with the heat.

Finishing the kids race with Miles

Receiving instruction on the start line

The day of the race, we swam in the pool in the morning. After Miles’ nap, we went to Giant on O to pick up a couple of items and then onto the DCRRC Track Championship which started just after 5PM. Miles entered the kids mile and was the youngest entrant but he looked so cute on the start line with the other kids. He ran one lap before I told him “he won.” Then, he wanted to race me on the infield. I definitely made the right call only letting him run one lap because he was excited to keep running. Pushing him in that heat might have lead to him getting whiny. However, officially, he is listed as DNF. Maybe next year he can finish or at least get two laps.

The start of the kids race

After his race and our mini races, I handed him to Laura and warmed up with three laps around the school. The first two were slow, and Shawn and I ran striders the last lap. After some dynamic stretching, we checked in and got ready for our race. It was a pretty stacked race. Last year's winner was there, and Michael Wardian showed up too. We were slated to start at 6:15 PM. There were 3 heats of elite 800s before us (I thought there were supposed to be 4), and the race walkers, kids run, slow mile over 7:00 men, and slow mile of 7:00 women.

Miles on the starting line
Miles is ready for the kids race
The kids race begins

Miles chases the pack at the start of the kids race
On the start line, I looked back to wave one more time to Miles and Laura. I heard him whine and play tug of war with Laura as he pulled on his backpack. I shook my head and focused on the start of the race, moments away.

At the start of the race, I took off fast to get into the first lane. I was in the first lane at 100 meters and in third place, by mistake. I slowed to a reasonable pace and heard Wardian notify me he was trying to pass on the inside. I stepped to my right, barely into the second lane, to let him go. I settled into fifth place; the fast four took off, and I led the second pack for another 200 meters. Shawn and Bill passed me after the first lap, and I tried to keep them close. I was surprised they didn't take off on me. I remember hitting about 600 meters into the race and the clock showing 2:00. I felt strong and in control, but still a little worried about the heat and what I had in me. When I hit 800 meters to go, the clock was about to hit 2:40. I was about to catch Shawn and Bill. It felt too early to make a move, but my legs surged and I listened to my body. I caught him around 700 meters to go and passed him, perhaps a little too tightly because he kick the underneath of my left foot. I stumbled but didn't fall. I had my excuse if I didn't do well. Every race I collect an excuse just in case. But I wouldn't need it this race.

Shawn on the outside as I held lane 1

With 500 to go, I was asserting my place in the race and trying to put some distance. A good surge could discourage any chasers, I thought, and if someone was to make a move, I would be in position to try to hold them off. The roar of the crowd calling my name gave me the boost I needed to get around once more the lap. With 200 to go, I started my finishing kick. I loudly heard Big Guy cheer me the rest of the way. With 100 to go, I saw Laura and Miles standing at the entrance to the track that was just beyond the finish line.

Leading the second pack

I sprinted for the finish and beat Shawn, good enough to come in 5th overall and the first runner who didn't break 5. I didn't use my running watch, so when I looked at the clock I thought I won in a solid time of 5:17. It wasn't my PR, but I was pleased with my effort. A few days last, I was so surprised and excited to see that I officially ran a 5:07:44 in the mile - a PR by 6 seconds. It was good for 5th place in a stacked lineup where the first four ran sub 5. We can say that we participated in the same track meet where the 4 minute mile was broken for the first time in D.C.

A few days later, I ran the Tidal Basil race. I ran 5:20 in 1500 meters out-kicked my Lokesh Meena. I had led the whole race until the end. It was also hot, and I came out slow and got faster, setting the pace. But he sat on me and picked it up at the end. When he passed me with 20 meters to go, I slowed up, conceding the race and leaving something for the 3K. But, the race was delayed and I had to get back to work.

One last Boston note: I also learned that 705 people had a negative split in Boston, and I was one of them.

Pictures and results:

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Another recap Boston

Boston Marathon - photo recap

The joy of my brother's first Boston

I learned I was one of 705 finishers to run a negative split!