Sunday, March 19, 2017

First Look: Outdoor Schedule

A few weeks I just saw the outdoor dual meet schedule for the first, and slowly have been the dates and locations of major meets. Today I saw the full Westerly schedule. I put in on the 11th grade page, but it's here as well.


West Warwick and Narragansett will be new additions to tracks I've running, and a possibility of also running at some out of state tracks. There's also a number of meets I've have been to before like the Stonington dual meet, Loucks Games, Moretti Invite, Retro Relays and NBNO. I'm certainly not locked in for any of them, but am really hoping to go to loucks as I know there's great competition and I want to go to NBNO as well. It'll be fun to crush some Stonington distance runners at the home track, and the relays meets are always fun as well (no idea what retro relays is). They changed the schedule a bit, moving up Classical Classic to weeks and changing from boys only to co-ed, while giving Moretti invitational, a meet that was co-ed that slot (moving it one week back, it served as a meet for those who did not qualify for schomp). I'm also happy to go to Narragansett a couple of times and Portsmouth with their fantastic 8-lane track.

Indoor Recap (16-17)

Indoor's finally over and while it went by quickly, the season was long spanning from late November all the way to mid-march. I can easily say that it was both one of the most enjoyable and one of the best seasons I've ever had. While not the giant improvements in PRs of the 15-16 indoor season, I mostly had consistent success and improvement which is probably my number one goal in running (something I lacked/didn't not do as well in the 15-16 season). Not everything went to plan, but overall I was happy with the results I produced and I remember this season more than others. Things are looking pretty good for outdoor.

I wasn't hitting big times in December, but the PRs came back in January in abundance and continued throughout March. Here's my progression in each event with final PRs in bold (click to enlarge any photos).

As well as PRing in events, I improved or maintained placement at many high meets.


I won a couple races as well, but none of them were that big or meaningful:
-RI Classic 3000
-URI Classic 1600
-URI Classic 1000
-Division Championship 3000

Coming into the season, I had some big goals. Here's how I did on them:


-Run under 4:30 in the Mile PASS: 4:29 at the East Coast Invitational
-Run 8:50 in the 3K at the Yale Track Classic (Jan 21) PASS: 8:44
-Get my 3K down to 8:40 FAIL: But not far off with 8:44
-Run a 600 under 1:30 PASS: 1:29 in a dual meet
-PR in the 800 (2:04) PASS: 2:03 at East Coast, then 2:02 in a 4x800 at Class
-Run 2:36 in the 1000 FAIL: 2:38, really just needed another opportunity
-Run close to 4:05 in the 1500 FAIL: 4:07, but only ran it twice all season
-Win a Class and Division Title FAIL: Got the division as expected, but just missed a class title in the 1000
-Place Top Three in the 3K at the State Meet PASS: 3rd in the 3K
-Place Top Six in the 1500 and 1000 at the State Meet PASS: Didn't run 1500 and 5th in the 1000
-Place Top Six at New Englands in the Two Mile FAIL: Way off, placing 16th
-Qualify for New Balance Nationals and run a 5K sub-15:20 FAIL: Made it, but ran 15:35

Kind of a mix of pass and fails, but most of them were close were enough to actually pass.

Highlights
  • Yale Track Classic- Easily the best race of the season, smashed the time I was going and ended up being a #2 RI and a US #32
  • Consistent success in the mid-distance events: lowered many of time to what I wanted, and easily could've brought every one of them at least 2 seconds faster if I had more races
  • Qualifying for Nationals and running a track 5K: It was a great experience going to nationals for the first time and running the 25 laps, a much more enjoyable experience than expected.
  • Placing Well at States: Really happy to get third place at the states and follow it up with a 5th place in an event I'm only decent at
Low Points
  • 3K Struggles: Pretty much every meet except Yale I felt good in the 3000 for a good portion but faded badly in the last 1K to run a mediocre or even bad time
  • Needing Competition to run well: In nearly every 3K, I had to do the majority of pacing and typically fading after 8 to 9 laps. I was unable to run well without competition, something I used to excel at.
  • New Englands- Really ruined a perfect season with a horrible placement and time. Was about 25 seconds and nowhere near top 6.
Time-wise, I was really close to hitting all my goals but just off. I think all three would have been do-able in the right kind of race, I just ran out of races.

The season's over and there's nothing I can do about it, but there's plenty coming in outdoor. Right now, here are my goals:

Dual/Minor Meets

-Break 9 in the 3K
-Break 4:10 in the 1500
-Break 2:05 in the 800
-Win every 3000 I run
-Anchor a DMR at Injury Fund Relays

Invitationals

-Win something
-Run 8:40 in the 3000
-Run close to 4:00 in the 1500
-Break 2:00 in the 800
-Run a fast 400 (relay/practice)
-Run a distance event in an out of state invitational (Penn Relays/Loucks Games) not sure about this one

Championships

-Run a 8:34 3000
-Get second at states in the 3K (at least third)
-Place top six in the 1500 at states
-Help qualify a 4x800 for States
-Get all class/all division in every event I run there (top 3)
-Win the class B 3000 (or another event) 
-Win an event at division
-Don't have a bad race
-Place top 6 at New Englands with a 9:10 3200
-Qualify for the championship 5K and 2-Mile at NBNO
-Run 15:10 and 9:10 at NBNO and place top 10 

Misc

-Beat Mars Bishop
-Beat Sam Toolin
(hopefully they won't see this)

Ranking every track, worst to best (that I ran):
5. PCTA
4. URI
3. Yale
2. Reggie
1. Armory

Big change from last year (randomly liked Yale this year but got really tired of PCTA. Excited for outdoor.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

New Balance Nationals Indoor- Weekly Log: March 6 to 12

One of the best parts of this season was qualifying for nationals. While it's unfortunately not too far away, it seems like a great opportunity to race on a great track with great competition, especially as I somehow sneaked into the fast heat of a championship event. Very light week to fully recover from new englands.

Monday: 0.

Tuesday: 5 Miles. 6x400@75s w/60s recovery. Felt good, was surprisingly a little heavy. It was a little humid out which made the breathing hard. Difficulty: 2/5.

Wednesday: 0.

Thursday: 6 Miles. Easy shakeout. Heaviness was back (I guess from not running) but didn't prevent me from feeling smooth. It got better as I progressed.

Friday: 5 Miles, Nationals. I was scheduled to run at 5:40 in the fast heat of the championship 5000. Since I was in the fast heat, I knew the field would be extremely fast and I likely should be near the back and probably would finish in the back. My plan was to try and run consistent 37s but stick with someone for as long as possible (don't drop off everyone early). I was hoping for a time in the 15:20-15:30 range.

Pre-Race
We got there super early (10:15), 7 hours to race. This helped me relax as I knew I had a long, long time. As usual, the time went by quickly. Arrived at the armory at 3. I slightly altered my eating for this one as I had lunch at 12:30, then a lighter meal at 3:45. Usually I try to eat 150 carbs three hours out, but today it was something like 100 carbs five hours out and then 80 carbs 2 hours out. I'm not sure if this was better, but I didn't feel as full as usual right before the race. It was difficult to eat the food 2 hours out because I wasn't very hungry. At 4:15, I did my first warm-up. I had a chance to watch the slow heat of the 5K which reminded me through people fading badly that it was 25 laps, something I've never done before. From then on, I was extremely nervous. The warm-ups didn't help as the warm-up area was two extremely crowded hallways with numerous people walking, running easily and sprinting/striding. There were many times in the warm-up where I had to stop because there wasn't enough room or narrowly avoided slamming into someone. Easily the worst warm-ups I've done in indoor track (not including rushed warm-ups because that wasn't due to a problem with the facility). As it got closer and closer, I became extremely nervous. I was losing all interest and excitement besides having high levels of both for months before the event. Eventually, I used the bathroom for the final time (always nervous about not getting everything out pre-race) and finally went to the check in area. The girls 5K was about 5 minutes in, so it was about 15 minutes to race time.
Great bibs.

I recognized some competitors, but overall barely knew the majority of the field. Usually, there's at least 5 or 6 people I'll know and at least 1 or 2 I know well enough to talk to, but here there was only one runner I had previously seen in person and a few others I had known from seeing their name on the start list or in videos at other meets. This certainly did not ease my nervousness. I finished out stretching and put my numbers on. I was taking my time because I thought I had time, but was suddenly told that I need to get ready now and hurry up. Wasn't thrilled about that. I saw a runner pour water on his head, and since I had been feeling really hot for the last hour the idea was too tempting to pass up. I didn't have water with me (bad preparation) but fortunately there was cold dispensable water for athletes in the waiting area. I poured two cups on my head. We watched an incredible girls race as the top girl broke the indoor national record with a 15:55. I was nervous that I might not even beat that. We did a stride out and were introduced one by one and called up to the line. It was the first time where I've seen my live on a TV in the center as they called my name. Cool, but somewhat scary and nervewracking. All 13 of us were on one line and I could barely get on the line, so it was relieving when they brought us up to the stagger. It was finally time to go.


Race
I was prepared to go out fast from the gun as usual. I had been used to going out no slower than 33, but I wasn't sure what to do here. Two guys in the stagger went out fast while the other hung back a little so I stayed with him. We went through 200 in about 35, and I found myself back of the pack. There was another guy about 10 meters back, I guess taking it out even easier. It turned into a long string of all the competitors as I went through 400 in 72. By 600, the last guy had caught up and passed me and two guys managed to break away and open a 30 meter lead. I was now at the back of the chase pack. Went through 600 in 1:48. Despite being in last, pretty much everyone was right on each other and close to that. Passed 800 around 2:24 and 1000 about 3:00.



I was pretty comfortable and feeling good, yet it didn't feel easy to just hang there in back and it was taking some effort. Usually, when I try to hang on I get right on the person, but here I was at least a good 5 meters back. I hit a few consecutive 36s to close out the 1600 in about 4:49. That was certainly faster than I was looking for, but I didn't know what would happen if I dropped off the pack earlier and ran solo in last. The chase pack soon caught up to leaders at 2K. I went through in about 6:01 and now was having trouble getting right on the last guy. I was about 10 meters back but still feeling good and not falling back anymore or fading. I was surprised to see the original leader and sub-15 minute runner had dropped to end of the chase pack and I was now about to pass him. I didn't really want to pass him, but knew it wouldn't be good to hang on to him as he faded, so I made a small surge around and was no longer in last. While far from exhausted, the number of laps to go seemed insane and I tired to think of it as if I was running 3K. Finish the 3000 first, then think about the laps to go.



The gap between me and the guy in front continued to grow, but I still didn't completely fall off going through 3000 in about 9:06 and 3200 in 9:45. I knew I was on a really good pace and 10 to go didn't even seem that bad. With about 8 to go, I started to get tired. I had slowed tremendously and was now just hoping to hold on. It was hard to figure out splits or project my final time and I was just focused on finishing. I passed another guy who had fallen far back, but wasn't able to do much in a very slow last 1K. I was lapped by the winner with two to go and the next few guys as I hit my final lap. I closed slightly better than the splits I had been running but I knew in the final few laps that my time had gone from low 15s to much slower. I managed to pass a guy in the last 150 and finished in 15:35.99.


Post-Race and Thoughts
My initial reaction was definitely disappointment as I wanted to run low 15:20s and was on pace for much greater than that, but faded badly to 15:35. When I thought about New Englands, this was clearly much better than that and I at least didn't finish out the season on bad note like I have numerous times before. Overall, I think it was okay, maybe slightly leaning towards the good side. I had a big PR, but really didn't hang on for a better time at the end. I'm already thinking about NBNO and if I manage to qualify for the 5K, I definitely want to go under 15:20.

I immediately felt exhausted, hot and thirsty afterwards. It took a little bit to recover, and even the cool-down felt terrible. I was surprised to find out my coaches thought I did really well.

A few other takeaways from this meet/experience:
  • Fantastic track. I think this definitely helped keep me going in the middle as it just felt smooth and natural. I like how it was somewhat of a stadium format with people watching above from every side. It was a new experience having my name called in front on that many people then seeing myself on a TV screen in the center. Easily the best indoor track I've ever run on.
  • Easily the best website for a meet I've seen. Full-length HD race videos with commentary (see 5K video here), quality pictures, live results, and a listing of everything you need to know.
Saturday: 0. Really feeling it.

Sunday: 0. Same.

Weekly Total: 16 Miles
YTD Total: 418 Miles

Will be taking a week off. I'll work on a indoor recap/outdoor outlook post next.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Weekly Log: February 27 to March 5

New Englands finally here after a two week wait.

Monday: 8 Miles. Easy river road out and back. Felt really good and coasted in the mid-6s.

Tuesday: 6 Miles, track workout. 4x800 @2:20 w/120s recovery. Supposed to be 2-Mile pace. A little tiring but not bad at all. Struggled a little with the pacing, wasn't super consistent (from first to second 400). 2:20/2:17/2:18/2:17. 5-Minute break before easy 400s at 75s w/30s recovery. Really easy and event went a little fast. 70/73/70/74. Difficulty: 3/5.

Wednesday: 8 Miles, early Hopkinton run. One of the few early morning runs I have do before school a few times a year. Was worried about 40 degree rain, but luckily it was very light the whole time and not all uncomfortable. Pace was slowish, but that was expected in the dark. Picked it up towards the end and felt really good besides the stomach distress.

Thursday: 5 Miles, track workout. 4x300 at 50s, 6x200 at (1-5 at 34s, 6 hard). Pretty easy stuff and didn't have any trouble. Recoveries were 60s with a longer recovery between the two sets. Pretty much right on or slightly under. Last 200 was a 27, and it didn't even feel much harder than the 34.

Friday: 7 Miles. New England shakeout. Relaxed and the run went by pretty quickly. Feeling good.

Saturday: 5 Miles, New Englands. I was excited for this two mile for two reasons:

1) I wouldn't have to run at PCTA for the 12th or 13th meet this season.

2) I wouldn't have to do much of the pacework myself.

It was the second one that was really important, great competition. It helped me out at Yale and I thought it would here too. Until I was moved to the slow heat. Despite being seeded 14th of 34, enough people behind dropped out that I became 15th (not sure how I moved down) of 28, meaning I was the top seed in the slow heat. That pretty much ruined my day and killed any confidence or excitement I had to race. I felt off and wanting to quit pretty much from the start, and turned in my first bad race of the season, 16th overall in 9:45.

Pretty much every one of my 3Ks/2-Miles have been bad this season, except Yale which was perfect. Otherwise, its been a similar trend of having to do a majority of the pacing, being on a great through the mile but fading badly the rest of the race. New Englands was no different. I went through 400 in 67, 800 in 2:17, and the mile in 4:45, but came back in 5:00. Definitely somewhat frustrated/depressed but I'm somewhat just glad its over. I'm confident I'll fare better at nationals, where I have guaranteed competition even in the slow heat, as everyone must either have a 3K time of better than 8:48.9 (or 3200/2-Mile equivalent) or a 15:12 5K time. Looking forward to it, but also nervous.

Sunday: 0.

Weekly Total: 39 Miles
YTD Total: 402 Miles

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Weekly Log: February 20 to 26

After states, it's a whole two weeks to new englands. Then 6 days after that until nationals. I'd prefer that the two week gap be placed between new englands and nationals, but either way, it's nice to have a weekend off. While awaiting to see whether or not I made the fast heat, a pretty normal week of practice.

Monday: 7 Miles. Hilly Hopkinton roads with sam. Enjoyable run on quiet roads in Hopkinton. Decided to run maxson hill somewhat hard and was surprised to take the segment. This run, at least the maxson hill section, took a lot out of me and I wasn't fully recovered from states. Cool to run here for the first time and will certainly be back.

Tuesday: 7 Miles with sam again. Ran from the Pawcatuck river trailhead (short out and back trails to the water) and explored roads like river road and osbrook point. Very enjoyable and peaceful with many great views. Felt much better than I had on Monday.

Wednesday: 8 Miles, light hill workout. 5xNarragansett. First Narragansetts in several months. Enjoyed not doing park, but felt very weak the entire time. Difficulty: 3/5.

Thursday: 6 Miles, track workout. Started out with 6x400 at 1:45 w/60s recovery. They were a little tiring, but overall not too bad. Hit around 1:43 for most of them. Felt pretty smooth, but was nervous I may have something brutal after that. 4x400 at 75s w/45s recovery. Felt really good and coasted easily. Difficulty: 3/5.

Friday: 8 Miles. Warm (60 degrees in February) run through northern westerly. Felt hot and tired running up a few hills at first, but eventually got much more comfortable and increased the pace without getting really tired. Felt great throughout the rest of the run and mostly enjoyed it.

Saturday: 6 Miles, another track workout. 6x200 at 35s w/30s recovery. Low recoveries made it a little tiring but overall the pace and distance was so light that it didn't take much out of me. 4 minute break before an all-out 1200. I was really nervous for this and wanted to hit between 3:12-3:15 (64-65s per lap). My coach had two other distance runners run the first 600 and the second 600 with me. I went out fast and felt comfortable, but got tired in the second half (and was unable to beat the 2nd 600m runner or pass people I had been chasing). 3:17. I wasn't thrilled because I should be able to run faster but I didn't think it was bad either, because it would be pretty good 1500 prep (if I could close in at least 50 seconds for the final 300) and was faster than my previous 3:25 best (run in practice awhile ago). After only 2 minutes to recover after that, I had 8x200 at 37s w/30s recovery. While the pace and distance was light again, I hadn't recovered from the 1200 and my chest and lungs really hurt. I got them done without much difficulty, but was wheezing and gasping for air inbetween. Difficulty: 4/5.

Sunday: 11 Miles. Pachaug trail loop. Wasn't expecting to go so long, but since I was feeling good and the pace was very easy, I didn't really mind. Group of 5. Hung in the back for the most of it, so I actually don't remember most of the trails as I was looking at people's back and not the trail ahead. Not quite as awesome as the first time I went here, but definitely some cool new terrain. Glad to get back to the usual Sunday routine of trail recovery, now that the snow has finally cleared up.

Weekly Total: 53 Miles
YTD Total: 363 Miles

A perfectly normal week of training. Apparently, we're still going to have practice everyday which is disappointing to hear because I'm so tired of doing distance runs from the school. This was a nice week off, but next week will be important. Mid-week, I'll find out if I'm in the slow or fast heat of the 2-Mile at New Englands and whether or not I'll be doubling. Practices should be pretty easy, but New Englands certainly won't. Still looking for a time in the low 9:20s. As happy as I am to finally finish up the PCTA meets for the season and to run at some new tracks, I can't wait to finish the season out.

Monday, February 20, 2017

States- Weekly Log: February 13 to 19

The indoor season has gone by very quickly and states is already here. Really nervous for this one, and suddenly race day rolled around. I wanted to run around 8:45 in the 3000, place top 3 and second if possible. For the 1K, I wanted to run 2:36/2:37 and place top 6.

Monday: 7 Miles. Hill workout, 7xPark Ave. Really bored of these and have been exhausted during them recently. Didn't put as much effort in as usual and still felt a great amount of tiredness/pain. Ran one of my slowest average paces ever on the hill. Difficulty: 4/5.

Tuesday: 8 Miles. Pretty tired in the last few miles, but overall an enjoyable out and back to chase hill. Felt good running sub 6:40 pace for most of the run and got in a decent elevation gain.

Wednesday: 6 Miles, track workout. 5x400 at 69s w/90s recovery. Tightened up quickly but was mostly able to complete without too much difficulty. Track had been cleared in lane one halfway around, so the 400s were out-and backs with a slow turnaround. 5 minute break after that, then a 450 with 250 all-out, then the returning 200 at 34s. That last part was hard. Difficulty: 3/5.

Thursday: 6 Miles, another track workout. Wasn't thrilled to have this second one, since it was states coming up and I would prefer to take two easy days rather than one. It was short, but still fast. 6x200 w/90s recovery at 30s. Felt pretty good. Difficulty: 2/5.

Friday: 7 Miles. Recovery run through white rock/springbrook. Felt a little heavy but mostly good. Tried my best to take the pace really easy and mostly succeeded.

Saturday: 4 Miles, State Meet.

Super nervous and waking up with sore hamstrings didn't help. I was able to shake some of the soreness out with warm-ups and stretching but legs certainly not feeling 100%. Not heavy or tight, but perhaps would have preferred to be. Used the bathroom frequently but had trouble eating my breakfast (nervousness?). I had about 2.5 hours before racing from when I got there, but that time passed quickly and again I soon found myself in the nerve-wracking situation of awaiting the call to the start while watching the final events before my race. Only this time, the pressure was unreal. I was expected to PR on a much slower track where I'd possibly have to do much of the pacing myself, all while trying to hold onto 2nd place if not 3rd at the state level. The expectations were actually higher than last year, yet for some reason I wasn't nearly as nervous. It was about 5 minutes before the gun for the 3K went off and a bizarre and crazy situation was created. During previous heats of the 4x200, the gun had misfired many times causing delays, but it was nothing I hadn't seen before. During the second to last heat, the gun was misfired, but a second fire indicating that there was a misfire and that they would restart did not happen and girls ran an entire 200 meters before the race was started again. The 3000 ended up running 15 minutes late and my legs were not benefiting from it.

First Mile
Gun went off and ben drezek took it out and had the lead. I was caught up a little at the start, but got out and ran with him through 400, which was 71. I was surprised DJ wasn't there, but tried to focus on my splits. My coach wanted me to run 35s so I could go through the 1600 in 4:40 and have a chance at PRing. Ben was already running a 36 on lap 2, so I had to pick it up and get the pace down to an even and fast split. Ben stayed right there, but it seemed it was just us. The splits were pretty right on. Soon enough DJ came up with us and started running alongside me. I was feeling pretty good but was concerned that Ben was still right there. Went through 1600 in 4:40 like planned.

Through 2K
Suddenly, I was no longer feeling great and the pace took a significant decrease. I started hitting 36s instead of 35s. I wanted to pick it up but was struggling as I had already pushed through so many laps at 35. I wasn't sure how the rest would play out, but a little off going through 2K at 5:54.

Final K
Without about 5 to go, I hit a wall. I had gone from a little tired to completing dying. It felt like someone had turned on a "feel terrible" switch. My splits were starting to suffer and I felt both extremely weak and terrible. At 800 to left, DJ made a big move to pull away. He succeeded easily and was soon gone. Ben did the same soon after, but pulled away more slowly. I knew I wasn't in for a good time, but was really hoping to hold onto that third, all-state spot. The final three were absolutely brutal, running the slowest splits of the whole race, feeling like the most pain of the entire race, and everything indicated that I would get passed from behind in the final 200m and lose my spot. A repeat of my awful XC state meet where I lost my first-team spot in the final 600 meters of the race. It seemed my chances were slim as someone called out "Max" (freshman Max DiMuccio) right as I passed the finish line with a few to go. The last lap was scary, but someone it didn't happen. I crossed the line in 9:00.68, another horrible time but somehow managing to get the place I wanted. I was simultaneously devastated and ecstatic.


While I had plenty of recovery, the bad time from the 3000 wasn't giving me much motivation for my next event, and I was extremely nervous for the 1K. Distance runners had been having bad days all around, and I definitely didn't see anything happening for me in 1000. I originally had little confidence I could place in the top 6, and now I had none.

1K
There were plenty of fast runners in the 1000. Some fast 2:38 and 2:39 guys struggled in the slow heat, and while still producing fine performances, only one guy broke 2:40 running a 2:39. I knew that if I got top 6 here, it would likely beat that time and get me top 6 overall. From the gun, DJ and Mars pretty much took off right away and I never focused on them after that. I found myself in the chase pack, 6th in our heat, behind Hope's Elijah Akindolie and NK's Ethan Wyllie and Jack Perreault, both of whom I narrowly lost out to the last time I had faced them in the event. I was able to get around Ethan and into 5th place. Coming up on 400, I tried to make a move around Jack but really wasn't feeling strong and couldn't do it. My legs were feeling weak and I was wondering if I'd have another bad race feeling crappy just 400 in. Fortunately it was just my legs and I never felt the awful weakness I experienced in the 3K. Jack and Elijah went back and forth in the third lap, but Elijah eventually came out in front. For a second, it seemed I'd be able to move up but was never able to complete a strong enough move. It was really encouraging to go through 600 in 1:33, where I knew I had a chance at 2:36/2:37. I wasn't really thinking about placement. Elijah started to pull away from Jack in lap 4, and I was able to slip by him as well before hitting that bell lap. Elijah had a really good kick and pulled far away. It looked like I went through 800 in 2:05/2:06, and I definitely thought I had a solid shot at a PR. I felt that I was running strong on the last lap, but Jack passed me back with 120 to go and like last time, I stayed right on him but narrowly missed beating him. 2:38.67. 5th overall. Absolutely thrilled with the place, and at the time just happy not to run poorly again.

To say that I have mixed feelings about my results at the state meet would be an understatement. Place wise, I'm absolutely thrilled to move up to all-state and also score in an event that isn't my best, but time-wise I was way off what I should be capable of and didn't get the 1 to 2 second PR I was hoping for in the 1K.

My 3000s at PCTA this year have all followed a similar pattern- run really well through 1600, but fade badly in the second half, especially in the last 1000 and finish in a disappointing time. I was hoping states would be different, as it was the most important, but the same pattern not only took place, but I faded worse than in any other meet. Overall, my indoor season has been near perfect in the other events, but my 3Ks have been way off, except for my 8:44 at Yale. This entire season I have
been tired and weak in events often, but nothing comes close to the feeling I experienced at the end of the 3000.

Overall, here are my pros and cons of the meet:

Pros
  • Made All-State in Track for the first time
  • Scored in the state meet for track for the first time
  • Was able to hit consecutive 35s while doing the pacing for the group for 8 laps
  • Was able to run a successful second race, while many others struggling in the 1000
  • Have the option of running an alternate event at New Englands
  • Beat out fast 1K runners who have better PRs than me
Cons
  • Lost to 3000 runners that I have faster PRs than
  • Faded badly in the second half of the 3K
  • Did not hang with leaders as they picked it up in the 3K
  • Ran 15-20 seconds slower in the 3000 than expected
  • Ran progressively slower and slower in the 3000
  • Lacked a kick in the 1000 and 3000
  • Didn't PR in the 1000
It was a weird day. More than satisfied with place, but not all with times. Normally, it's just the time I care about but states is the one exception where placing is really important. The 1000 wasn't that important, but I'm definitely mostly satisfied with that. It was disappointing to fade so badly in the 3K and be way off on time, but I think my happiness of getting top 3 outweighs that disappointment. The biggest reason why I wish my time was a little faster is that I may not get into the fast heat at new Englands.

I'm glad to have a few weeks off. Right now, I'm not extremely nervous for my two remaining meets: New Englands and Nationals. I'm actually excited for both, as I finally get to get away from PCTA (not that its a bad track, just that I've run there so many times) and run on some quality banked tracks. I want to run around 9:20 at new englands, and I'm really hoping my time can get me into the fast heat of the two-mile. It'll be tough otherwise.

Sunday: 0. Day off was nice, especially with the four weekend.

Weekly Total: 38 Miles
YTD Total: 310 Miles

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Last Chance Meet and Final Week Before States- Weekly Log: February 6 to 12 (w/Rest of the Season Outlook)

Only a quick break after class because Tuesday is the last chance qualifier. While I've definitely qualified in the top half for both 3K and 1500, my 1000 isn't where I want to be and I have a chance at getting in the seeded heat. We're also trying to qualify a westerly 4x800 team for states, so I'm running that again. With lots of recovery (and no 1500 this time) inbetween the two events (practically first and last), I should finally be able to hit the 1000 I've wanted to for so long- about 2:38. My goal originally was to hit 2:36 by the end of the season and my times at division and class have been a little slower than anticipated, so I think to have a chance at that I'll need to hit 2:38 on Tuesday. While my main goal at states is top 3/all-state in the 3K, placing in the 1000 would be great as well. As for the 4x800, I just want to a fast time but could care less about PRing. Hopefully a little more consistent than Saturday's effort.

Monday: 7 Miles. Track workout. Was feeling really sore and wasn't thrilled that we had a workout. I knew it wouldn't be anything brutal, but was still worried considering my legs felt like crap and I was feeling weak on the warm-up. 6x400 w/just 30s recovery @71s each. Not too fast, but certainly a hard breathing effort. Legs felt really smooth, but a little tired in the last few. Overall, not bad at all and actually felt better coming out than I did going in. Difficulty: 2/5.

Tuesday: 4 Miles, Last Chance Meet.

Arrived at 5:00, ready to warm-up for a 5:30 meet as we were the first event. I was nervous as I felt a little full and we likely would not get in our full warm-up routine. The meet ended up not starting until 6:00. The strides were not quality as the track was so crowded that we constantly had to swerve out of the way or slow down. We ended up being rushed as we thought girls went first and suddenly had to prepare to race. I was also changed to lead-off leg at the last second, which I didn't really want to do.

4x800
On the line I could see that there were at least two good competitors, Ben Drezek and Ed Golas. Ben said he was going for about 2:05, so I suspected he'd be right behind me. The start was a mess and I got boxed in terribly. Ben got out well as he and a Portsmouth runner were up front with a 15 meter gap pretty quickly. I managed to get out of the middle of the chase pack and started going for the front. I had to use a lot of energy in the first lap, but was right up there with them. I pushed for the lead lap two and held it in three. I was feeling tired at the end and was repassed by ben with 150 to go. Based on the clock, it looked like a 2:05, which isn't bad but a little slower than I was looking for. A few of our other runners were a little off time-wise, and we ended up running 8:44, not quite matching our 8:40 from the other day. We ended up qualifying for states easily, which was the team goal here. My split was 2:04.1, not as bad as I thought.

1000
I had a long wait before the 1K and became more and more nervous throughout. I felt really terrible after the 4x800 as I was throwing up and coughing frequently. It got better as I went on and I was feeling much better in an hour. Both Mars Bishop and Nathan Coogan were running the 1000, so I knew going out too slow wouldn't be a problem. I didn't know whether or not I should try to hang with them or if that would be too fast and may cause me to blow up. In the end, I didn't want to risk running too slow and decided I'd go out with the lead pack. I was extremely nervous at the start. The first lap was a bit of a mess with many fighting for position but I managed to stay behind Nathan and went out in 30, about 4th place. I was right on the top guys at 400, along with Ben Drezek and Jack Perreault. Jack passed me and Ben as Ben started to slow up. The top guys started to pull away. Ben conveniently pulled to the side and I was able to pass with ease on the inside. As much as I wanted to go after the top guys, I was feeling comfortable right behind Perreault and stayed right there. I was right on him and thought I could pass him. I waited too long and made an attempt to go around in the last 50, but was unsuccessful. It seemed like Mars and Nathan were too far ahead and I didn't know if I'd be under 2:40, but soon saw 2:34 when I could glimpse the clock. I kept looking at it and it looked like I crossed in 2:37 or 2:38. 2:38.25. Definitely happy with the time, but was unsure if I ran the right race and if I should've tried to stay with Mars and Nathan longer. Ended up 7th on the performance list, which will get me into the fast heat at states.

Wednesday: 7 Miles, 7xPark. Felt terrible the following day as my minor cough turned into an annoying cold/cough and I got very little sleep. My legs were completely trash and even the warm-up was hard. My splits were pretty terrible as expected, but I was just glad to get it over with. Difficulty: 4/5.

Thursday: 6 Miles. Waited too long and had to run in the middle of the snowstorm. Blasting wind and stinging snow made for an unpleasant experience, especially when going against the wind. Could barely see anything. There were slight breaks in the harsh conditions, but overall a brutal run.

Friday: 8 Miles. Around the pond loop. Nothing like the brutal storm conditions, but not exactly a fun run. Roads were either icy all around or snow took up the entire shoulder of room between me and the car. Had to slow the pace down many times for lack of traction. Annoying wind the entire way back made it cold as well. In a way, nearly as brutal as Thursday's run.

Saturday: 5 Miles. Bummed out to have practice, but it ended up being fairly simple and easy. I was worried I'd have a distance run, which would not be fun running more icy roads, especially ones I don't care to run on. It ended being a hill workout w/some 200s and the warm-ups and cool-downs were either outside in the parking lot or in the babcock gym. Not hard, but somewhat boring and glad to get out of there. 5xPark + 4x150 on the road. Felt decent, but still sick which made my breathing a little off. Kept them pretty consistent, which is my goal now rather than running them really fast. 150s on road were really hard as the traction wasn't great and it didn't feel smooth running that fast. Difficulty: 2/5.

Sunday: 7 Miles. Really great roads in Charlestown with Sam. Mostly quiet roads that were very smooth and comfortable to run. Felt much better and not as congested as the previous.  Early 7:30 start time was nice as well. Definitely want to return, hopefully incorporate the beach and trustom pond trails in as well. The only enjoyable run on this four-day weekend.

Weekly Total: 44 Miles
YTD Total:  272 Miles

Rest of the Season Outlook

Week of: February 19

This week is states (Feb 18), which I'm pretty nervous for. I'm more focused on the 3K, where hopefully I'll come close to my 8:44 effort at Yale and place in the top three. This is one of the rare instances where I will value place over time. I'll have plenty of recovery before the 1K, where I want to hit a new PR in the 2:36-2:37 range. Since I made the fast heat, the conditions should be right to hit a fast time. I don't know if anyone in the slow heat will even end up cracking 2:40. I'm hoping for a top 6 finish, which will be tough with such a stacked field. See final performance list here.

Last time at PCTA this season.
During the week, I'll probably have light but fast workouts and normal distance runs, perhaps slightly shorter than usual. I'm hoping either this week or next, with less people at practice, practices will only be held on workout days so I can explore new roads rather than running from the school on my distance runs.

Week of: February 26

I have a week without meets after that, which may include some hard training and its very unlikely I'll have practice every day. I'd probably prefer if New Englands was a week earlier, but the two weeks off will be really nice.

Week of: March 5

This will be New Englands week, held at the Reggie Lewis track. I enjoyed running there last year, but didn't run very well and my eating routine was way off since I ended up running about 3 hours later than expected. The best part was probably the track itself, and I'll be running the two mile. Hopefully, my time at states will be fast enough to get me into the fast heat at New Englands. My 3K at yale converts to about a 9:24 two mile, so the competition will probably be stacked (at least 3-5 people capable of running that range). I hoping the fast track and competition can get me under 9:20 or as close as possible. This will probably the hardest (fastest?) effort I have left in the season. It'd be great if I could get top 3, but I definitely want to be at least top 6.

Very excited to return here.
As for practice, same routine with less/no practices on distance days, shorter distance runs and shorter workouts.

Week of: March 12

I was fortunate enough to qualify for New Balance Nationals, which I am very excited about. I'm looking forward to running on the famous Armory track. Right now I'm signed up for the championship 5K (8:48.9 3K time required, which I ran at Yale), which is held Friday, March 10th (3-day meet 3/10-3/12). I'm excited to run the 5000 on the track, as the competition will be great and it's likely I'll hit a huge PR. I could care less about place, but am hoping to run 15:20 or faster. I'm also very nervous for this, as the 3K/3200/2-Mile already feels long with 15/16 laps and the 5K is 25. Hopefully the other runners will pace well so it can be a comfortable race. Have no idea how practice will work or if there will even be practice that week. The Emerging Elite 2-Mile is that morning, so I'm not running that (qualifying time 8:52.0), but if I run fast enough at States/New Englands (8:40.0 3K/9:20.0 2M) I can get into the championship 2-mile which is on Sunday.

Armory Track in New York.
Plenty of races and hard efforts coming up.