June 18th will kick off the season for me in Los Gatos, CA. They run an All Comers Meet every week from the 18th up through August 6th. I certainly won't be racing there every week, but I hope to get a good 4-6 races in over that span. They have three age groups for each event - HS, Open, and Masters.
Coach and I were looking for a race a few weeks prior to June 18th just to get a time and for me to get my feet wet running this distance (as I have never actually raced an 800m before) What I found was an Open Meet (Pacific Association T&F Championships) this Sunday, May 24th. It's not a Masters meet, but I looked at the entry list the past two years and saw that although last year's top seed time was 1:53, there were several guys in the 2:05 - 2:12 range and a few guys in the low 2:20s. Back in '07 the top guy was 1:50, but again there were several 2:05 - 2:12 guys and the last guy was 2:15. I felt comfortable that I'd have some guys to race with, so we targeted the race this weekend for my "pre-season" debut.
Well, looking at the entry list for this year there are only 7 guys signed up so far and only one other guy is SLOWER than 1:53. Here are the top 4 seeds:
Essentially this is turning into the US Olympic Trials . . . . and me.
Needless to say w/o me ever having raced this distance before, I'm going to be very nervous anyway, but to run this race for the very first time w/ guys like this - let's just say this is not the experience I was looking for. Is it possible to get lapped in a 2 lap race?
I'll update the entry list if/when more guys enter (although tomorrow is the last day to enter unless you want to pay double on the day of the race) Who knows, maybe Wilson Kipketer will come out of retirement and throw a 1:42 up there! I'd like to have an up close view of this race, but it's sad to say that even though I'm going to be in the race I will be further away from the finish than 90% of the spectators!
On to today's workout - a bit of a race prep. The plan:
3 x 200m: 31-30-29 (60-sec rests)
500m: Simulation of first 400m of 800m race w/ 100m kick.
Target splits: 29.5 - 30 @ 200, 61 @ 400.
The 200s went: 32.0, 30.4, 29.1 - On target except for rep #1. (all done in lane-1)
I didn't run the proper splits in the 500m so it didn't quite go as planned. Also, I was going to set the watch to take splits at 200m and 400m, but 100m into the run I realized I forgot to set it up so I'd have to look down at each split myself - which is a pain when you're trying to concentrate on the task at hand.
200m split: about 28-flat (too fast)
400m split: about 58.8 (meaning the 2nd 200m was about on pace)
However, the total time of sub-59 scared the hell out of me. When I saw that time I figured I was done for - this caused me to inadvertently slow down for the next 30-40m. At that point I re-focused and surprised myself a bit when I was able to pick up the pace again and go faster. Unfortunately, the damage was done during the slow 40m and the last 100m came in about 16.7 (that's just too slow) giving me a total time of 75.6
I'm not sure how this translates to an 800m race, but I guess I'll find out in a few days. Tough to imagine running 300m more today w/ how I was feeling after 500m, but #1 I went out a little too fast, #2 no race day adrenaline, and #3 I obviously won't be running 3 x 200m before the race.
I really hope I have at least 1 or 2 guys in my pace range to race with on Sunday. I can't say as I'm looking forward to still being on the far turn when the rest of the guys are finished and congratulating each other - that's just plain ugly.
Mon, 5/18: AM: 4-miles @ 6:46 pace, then 50-minutes on elliptical
PM: CMT appt - focus on calf
Tues, 5/19: 30-minutes @ 6:44 pace (probably a bit too fast w/ a workout the next day)
Wed, 5/20: Race Prep: 3 x 200m (32-30-29), 500m (75.6)