I'll preface this post by noting it has been 6 years since I ran a 3k and 6 years since I ran on an indoor track at all. I've forgotten 3 things: 1) how you get that annoying indoor track cough after the race, 2) how much non-banked tracks suck, 3) how to go to the well. I'll explain...
It was a disappointing night for the Sub15 duo at Cornell's Southern Tier Collegiate Invitational. A 3k time trial which we expected to land us firmly under 9:00 paid off no such dividends. Sam set a good pace through 1200meters (splitting 35's and 36's), but the wheels began to come off from there and we proceeded to drop to 37s and 38s. The mile was 4:52 and I realized just before 2k we needed to shift gears to have a shot at 9:00. I took over the pace-setting from Sam and was able to bring the splits back to 35's and 36's, but the damage was already done. I rolled in at 9:04, and Sam clocked a 9:15.
I will let Sam recount his feelings about the results in his own post, but I do believe both of us are feeling frustrated. There was some grumbling on the cool down about re-learning how to race. Sam referred to it as "Going to the well". I like this metaphor. I think it describes what we have to do in the coming weeks. Its time to relearn how to dig down when things start to hurt and muster a gutsy last 1,000meters. This is something I tried to do tonight actually, but when your middle 1k sucks it doesn't matter a whole heck of a lot what you do for the last 5 laps. On a positive note, I felt that I had the stamina to hold this pace for another 1k. What is lacking is the extra gear to go 8:50. Hopefully we'll develop it in the next month.
If anyone has some good workouts they think we could use after this dismal performance we'd love to hear 'em.
1/10/11 Edits (Sam's Notes): After the race, Natalie and I drove down to New York City for a rejuvenating weekend of seeing friends and, for me, doing some AMA and work-related activities. After the dismal 3k, I appreciated the change of scenery, particularly where running was concerned. Saturday I did a short run over the Brooklyn Bridge, and Sunday I did 16 miles--mostly loops around Prospect Park.
As for the race, there's not much good to say about it besides the fact that I don't feel like I'm that out of shape. I was expecting to run about 8:50-8:55, and obviously that didn't happen, but if I had to guess, I'd say it was more a result of not being used to the whole indoor track environment (I've run zero laps on an indoor track) and being way too focused on the number of laps we had left. Compounding the latter issue, I didn't have contacts in, so every time we came around the finish line, I was squinting at the clock. This is not the best way to run a race. Basically, I've moved on rather than looking at this race as an indictment of our lack of progress. Looking forward to doing something hard on Thursday.
71 miles last week for me.