Monday, July 17, 2017

Day four - 2017 USATF Masters National Outdoor Championships

I spent very little time in the stands watching but I did watch some of the 100m finals.  I was happy to have been in the stands when Julia Hawkins, whose daughter lives near me on the mountain, ran her world record 100m dash.  Julia is 101 years old and she was out there in her team USA uniform, in the 100+ degree heat, with a flower in her hair.   And she really ran it.   I was with Cheryl and Lorraine, and I said.... "that HAD to be a World Record."   I've seen other 100+ people "run" and well, they're not really running.  More of a fast walk... but Julia did run.  It was amazing.  Just to be out there in that heat, but to run 100m at age 101?   So inspiring.  I thought Walter Dix, Olympian would be inspiring to watch, running his first masters.... but Julia was awesome.  Her story has gone viral... world wide... Washington Post, UPI, Reuters, CNN, Chicago Tribune, etc....

Well, I thought I was ready... but not.  Apparently a 7 week training cycle after taking 3+ weeks off in May didn't get me back to where I should be for a championship race.   It's odd to run some of my fastest times indoors then 3 1/2 months later run some of my slowest times outdoors.  It's so inexplicable, I even thought about seeing my physician to see what might be wrong with me.  But I know... it was a lack of foundation, strength work and late cycle over training, trying to cram too many workouts in near the race.

A lot of my colleagues ran well and didn't medal, especially in the really competitive M50 age group.  So, winning a Silver is not a total fail.

My 200m final was simply embarrassing.  I've never run a championship race that slow: 25.75.   It was even slower than my first 200m split in the 400m final indoors in Korea.  I haven't run an outdoor 200m this slow in years.   I was feeling sluggish on Sunday, but ok save for a little soreness in the groin.  My plan was to get out fast and relax and try to catch the guys ahead on the straight.  I actually did get a decent start but relaxed and slowed way too much, allowing Rob to pass me.  And I just didn't feel the usual power halfway down the straight when I went for it.  It was a complete disaster.  I was stunned at how poorly I had done.

Since Indoor Nationals, I've run six 200s in 25.0 or less: 25.07, 25.05, 24.92, 24.86, 24.84, and 24.82.   The 24.84 I ran on a crappy college track in Sewanee would have medaled in this meet.  That's how far off my game I was.

Running 56.7 in the 400m, OK... I've got some work to do but I'm not that far off.  It was like a season opener type race.  But that 200m, was just on another league bad.  Whoever looks at these results will probably wonder what happened to me.  I can't really explain it ... but it is what it is.  Grade F fail.

Feet and groin are sore today, as I went out with my club at the end of the meet and ran a 4x400 relay in the M45 group.  We won and I put in about a 57 I think, it felt ok.  Didn't kill myself.  I deserved the punishment of another 400m after such  a shitty meet (for me).

I was really disappointed with the track.  It was the worst so-called Mondo surface I've ever seen.  It was dried up, hard as a rock, chewed up, and provided no spring.  Kind of reminded me of some old tartan tracks like the one at St. Andrews School.   It was heat damaged, so they say, and scheduled to be replaced.   The spikes made a clackity clackity sound when running on it.

NCCWMA Toronto is coming.  It leaves just 3 weeks for training and a taper.  The way forward won't be easy and I haven't much time, but I'm up to the challenge.  I'm determined to do what it takes to get back where I was in March, some redemption is in order.  That means a lot of serious work and respecting my recovery days.  I know what I have to do but sometimes I wonder if more than one peak per season / year is too much to expect?  It's going to be hard, painful, especially in the summer heat... but this is the last race of the season and once it's over, it's over.   I need to give it my best shot.  I'm hoping Corey will come, we had a great race at Nationals but I didn't deliver my A game.  I'd like to race him again.   Jim will be there, and he's always good solid competition.

On my feet all day working around the house, so my feet are pretty tired.   My training will resume tomorrow although I may or may not go to the track, I may just do weights.  I'll be in training in Sewanee this week, and Mobile the week after for a few days.

I've often though I have to work harder to get the same result as others.  This will be a test, I'm going to see what I'm made of in the next few weeks.

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