My First Track Races

So I’m sitting here, eating some KD (Kraft Mac n’ Cheese for the non-Canadians), and I thought what better time to post two mini race reports. These two reports are from my recent track races. For those who don’t know, I only started running just over 1.5 years ago, so I haven’t ever had the chance to run track (or cross country for that matter, but I get to do that in the fall too!). So when I found out that my town has a track series that has both open and elite races, I signed up for the whole thing.

The local track series’ logo

The first distances I have raced are the 5000m and the 3000m, the next will either be 5000m again or the 10,000m, and then after that I’m hoping to do some shorter distances – depending on what is offered (right now it is “TBD”).

Just as a little aside, the week before the first track series I found out my family dog was being put down. It was her time, but it still shook me. It caused me to go out hard in my Tuesday Night Workout with my running club, the Prairie Inn Harriers. And when I say hard, I went out really hard. This, plus the fact that we are doing our workouts on trails at this time of year, caused some severe tightness in my soleus muscle. Tight enough that I had to take off the two days right before the 5000m (and subsequently had to take off another day the next week). It is all better now, but I think it may have affected my races a bit. ANYWAY! Onto the reports.

The 5000m: Finished in 18:48 
This was actually my first time breaking the 19:00 barrier, but I didn’t really take this race that seriously. As mentioned, the past two days my soleus had been really really tight, and it was still tight on race day. My mind wasn’t really in the race either, as right before the race I went to the Highland Games (Scottish competitions) and had a beer and pulled pork. It just didn’t feel like race day. 

I started out far too quickly, with the first 200m in 40 seconds. I then settled in, and got into a pack with two girls and one guy behind me. It went well like this for most of the race, but I couldn’t hold on and they all started to pull away (well actually, the guy behind me rocketed away with 4 laps to go – who does that?). Then one of the girls completely dropped out of the race. I was manually taking my lap splits with my Garmin, while also using the pace it was giving me. Unfortunately it was giving me a slightly faster pace than I was running, which I think messed with my mind a bit. I gotta get a lock on that mental thing. Here are my splits: 

1. :40.5 First 200m 
2. 1:29.5 
3. 1:30.9 
4. 1:30.3 
5. 1:30.7 
6. 1:31.1 
7. 3:00.7 Forgot to press “lap”on one of these 
8. 1:31.2
9. 1:31.4 
10. 1:31.4 
11. 1:31.6 
12. 1:29.2 

So I wasn’t too far off my intended pacing of 88s/lap, but those seconds really start adding up. I’m fairly pleased with the result though, because I at least broke the 19:00 5k barrier, even though I know I can run faster.

The 3000m: Finished in 10:54 

My first time racing 3000m, so no matter what it was an automatic PR. I decided last minute to just try for sub-11 minutes, since I had no idea what else to try for and I really like going under even numbers. Turns out this is slower than my 5k equivalent says I should run, but my 5k is slower than what my 10k equivalent says I should run. I think I’m seeing a pattern here: I’m better at longer distances. Or, my minor injury may have detrained me a bit… 

Anyway, the race itself. I did a couple miles of warmup, and timed it pretty much spot on so I would arrive back at the track and be able to watch a couple 800 elite races before I raced. But then it was announced that the elite 3000m would be changed to go before the open 3000m. This meant an extra 30 minutes that I didn’t time for and by the time my race was about to be up, my muscles were cold. The 3000m elite race was really great to watch, especially the women’s. Here’s a video of the winner in the final lap (skip to 65s)!

I re-warmed up with some jogging and then some strides, and we all got ready to go. There were 16 of us, so the line was tight, and they lined us up in an order which was not organized very well. I was on the very inside, then there were a couple slower people, then a faster person, and it went on like this. I think it would be better to have us lined up based on estimated finish. So when the gun went off I was RIGHT in front. Oh god the pressure was intense. I took my first 200 WAY too fast. It was in 37 seconds, whereas I needed to be in the 44 second range. At 400m I was still too fast with a 82 split. I needed to slow down. From there I negative splitted the entire race like a pro. I let a couple people pass (I think I came in 4th, so 3 people passed) and got into a rhythm. For some reason, whenever I needed to pass someone, I would always catch them in a corner. The worst time to do so! With around 4 laps to go I noticed I was just about 4 seconds too slow to make sub-11, but I knew I would be ok with my finish. I continued negative splitting and finished strong, with the last 200m in 40s. 

Here are my splits: 

1. 1:22.51 
2. 1:29.87 
3. 1:29.48 
4. 1:28.35 
5. 1:28.43 
6. 1:28.27 
7. 1:27.33
8. 0:40.91 

So I think I either need to not get injured in minor ways, or I need to work a bit on my shorter distances. Oh well, that’s what fall will be for. I’m feeling healthy enough to start…the Summer of Malmo!!

Happy running everyone!

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