29 Jan 2013

On the Right Track

Posted by divamar

The New Year has kicked off with some indoor track action. This shift in training emphasis has sharpened my speed and given me a new and refreshing mental focus. The opportunity to coordinate some workouts with friend and Olympian Hilary Stellingwerff has been amazing. We enjoy training together and although our track workouts are usually very different, we are there gutting it out in tandem. Our tempo runs often pair well, so we can help each other with pacing in these sessions.

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The first race up was a 3000m at the University of Washington indoor track in Seattle. I found myself in the fastest of the four heats and, as predicted, was launched decisively from the back of the pack within a lap. I accepted that I wasn’t “in” the competition, so put my head down and ran my own race against the clock. I was happy with my 9:43— a pedestrian time compared to the women who finished ahead of me. Hilary ran a PB in a wickedly fast 9:05, only a few hours after having run an 800m race.

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Last weekend, we returned to Seattle. Hilary ran an 800m and I took on the mile for a first time. Racing on the track definitely takes some getting used to. My lack of experience made for some frustrating first laps. I didn’t get off the line quickly enough and soon found myself swallowed up and boxed in, running slower than I’d planned. I spent the next two laps trying to make my way back up to the front. With two to go, I was finally able to catch up to the leaders but a small gap remained. At the bell, the three girls ahead started a breakaway. I pushed hard to grab on, hoping to get pulled along, but the best I could do was to keep the gap from growing. Coach Trent reminded me that it can take many years of racing on the track to develop the skills required to handle tactics and pacing well. I believe him! I ran 4:56.28 to place fourth in the heat.

My final indoor meet is on February 10th. I’ll be running a 3000m and hope to better my time.

The 2013 Mindful Strides clinics are off to a great start and I’m excited about the year ahead.

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