Saturday, June 12, 2010

New Balance Boston Twilight 5k...Sort Of

AM: 3 miles
PM: 2.5 mile w/u + strides
Target: 5k @16:25 (5:15/mile)
Actual: DNF (5:17, 10:40)
2 mile c/d
Total: 6.5-7 miles

Yeah, I dropped out.

It started raining in Waltham around late morning and never let up. Fortunately we had plenty to occupy ourselves with until the meet, as we spent the afternoon switching our television back and forth from the NCAA track meet to the World Cup to the Diamond League meet in New York. I couldn't care less about the soccer, but two track meets on TV in the same day?? It was almost like Christmas.

Around 5pm we left for the track, slightly discouraged by the weather and uncertain of the meet status. We thought it might be delayed or even canceled if the predicted thunder and lightning materialized, but upon arrival we were told that everything was proceeding on schedule. Just after 6 I began my waterlogged warmup with Jenna and her friend Jenn, a former App State runner who now competes for NB Boston. (Randomly, I had met her over a year ago when my friend Ozzie was driving through Charlotte. Ozzie and Jenn's then fiance Brian Deal were driving the Nike truck and they all met up with Jeff and me for dinner.) We got back just in time to watch the women's 1500--Pezz placed second in 4:25, while Maraya DNF'ed due to a rare bout of stomach problems--and put on our spikes before go time. Though I wasn't feeling too confident about the race, I tried to put my game face on as I approached the line.

From the gun, a girl I'd never heard of from Saucony shot to the front. Having researched the field before the race I knew she'd previously run sub-16:05, but I had no idea what her goal was for the night. She came through the first lap in 74 with me trailing in 77 and the rest of the field in pursuit. That lap felt surprisingly easy, for the first time I thought the race might go better than expected. That lasted until I came through the mile in 5:17 while simultaneously feeling a slight twinge in my foot. You know how sometimes you feel good and think you're running really fast, only to finish an interval or hear a split and realize you're not clipping along nearly as quickly as you'd thought? Yeah, that. After my first lap I half expected to breeze through in 5:10, so it was a bit disheartening to hear that I was already a few seconds off pace.

By this time a handful of girls had decided to go around me. I was perfectly fine with this, as I'd grown annoyed by having to do all the work until this point. What I wasn't fine with was the fact that once they went around the pace began to drag. If you're going to pass, then you should keep the momentum going. That didn't happen, so I found myself stuck squarely in the middle of this group without making up any of the time I'd already lost. Plus, my foot was still hurting. It wasn't really getting worse, but it definitely didn't feel right. In the matter of a few laps, I found my mindset declining from positive and hopeful to discouraged and resigned. This is not where you want to be in the middle of a race, and I knew it. We came through the two mile in 10:40--at least 10 seconds slower than where I needed to be at this point--and that's when I realized I was over it. I knew I could continue to the finish and run 16:40, but what's the point in that? 16:40 plus a dollar would buy me a Coke but not much else. Besides, it wasn't worth risking a foot injury in this futile pursuit. One lap later, I made the decision to step off the track. For a split second I felt regret, but that feeling was immediately overpowered by a sense of relief. The race, the season, the training--it was all over. I could now take a much needed and long-awaited break, a break I now know I should've taken immediately after Nationals. That championship weekend had depleted my body far more than I'd (perhaps naively) expected at the time; now it was time to finally listen to my body and call it a day.

In the end, the "unknown" Saucony girl won the race in an impressive 15:50, well within the USATF Nationals qualifying mark. She did it virtually solo and looked strong the entire time. Jenn Deal finished in a PR of 16:50, while Jenna ran strong to come through in 17:31. For a small meet in the middle of unquestionably crappy weather, the athletes were able to produce some pretty impressive results. I'm disappointed that I wasn't among those athletes but glad to be here nonetheless.

2 comments:

Jilane said...

You don't have to lie. We all know you actually dropped out to let DeCoste keep his manhood in one piece.

asda said...

人生就像一顆核桃,必須敲破它,才會顯出他的內容。 ..................................................