Sunday June 10 – RCLDS #3At this event I ran my first 1500m race of the season. I had already kicked off my season with a 2:02.51 clocking in an 800m race in May, so I knew I had decent wheels, it was a matter of keeping it all together in the last 500m of this race. I went in with a seed time of 4:10 I believe, and what happened after felt very surreal.
After going through 800m in 2:15 (SLOW!), I managed to decimate the final 700m and dropped a 62 second last lap to finish with a 4:07.39! That's just a hair over half a second slower than my lifetime PB I set way back in 2001, when I raced my last track season prior to casting it all aside for years.
Friday June 22 – RCLDS #4: New Balance 1,500m NightFast forward nearly two weeks and my favorite race of the year is back. I had such a great time at this race last year ( Read my race recap here ). At this point I don't remember what the heat was like. I do remember it rained, only for my race, but I was moving so zen like that I didn't feel a thing. I knew based on my previous result that I'd be looking to PB in this race, and I was seeded at 4:07 so IT WAS ON!
I again went through 800m a touch slow, but held on tightly throughout the 3rd lap to position myself perfectly to hunt down the field in the final 300m. I didn't eat up very many competitors, but I managed to post a new PB of 4:06.07. Just a hair above 4:05, and that kind of stung a bit since I had aimed to clock a 4:05 that night.
Friday July 6 – RCLDS #5: Forest City 5kThis was my 2nd 800m race of the year, and after my stellar start to the season in May, I was expecting big things from this race. I was planning on going sub 2:00 in the race, and when I saw my seeded time at 1:58 I realized just how much I had to want this in order to dip below that magic mark.
The race was rather uneventful, and when I crossed the finish line, thinking I had finished 3rd in my heat, I was ecstatic to hear over the loud speaker: "What a stellar finish, and with the top 3 finishers under 2:00!". I nearly lost it, had I actually run under 2:00? Turns out I hadn't. I was 4th and finished with a 2:00.84 clocking.
Sub 2:00 would have to wait a while longer. I then laced up again an hour later and helped pace Leslie to a 9:45 split in her 5000m, and we went through just about perfectly...about 9:43-9:44.
Saturday-Sunday July 14-15 - Athletics Ontario Championships (Ottawa)I travelled to Ottawa for my first Athletics Ontario Championships EVER with some clubmates. The trip was great, though I found I had too much free time to get stuck in my own head. I had been dealing with a recent flare up with my knee and was worried that I wouldn't be able to make it to the start line, so that kept my mind busy as I whittled away the hours on Saturday.
First up was my favorite event, the 1500m. It was slated to run at 6:30PM in what felt like 1 million degrees and pure sun. I toed the line in the slow heat and was never in contention. I finished second last overall with a 4:14, well off my seasonal best of 4:06. It was time to understand what went wrong (just happy to toe the line, I forgot to race) and move on from it to nail my 800m race the next day.
After a quick dip in the Ottawa river we headed back home at 9PM, had supper at 11PM and I was in bed by 12:30. Back up early the next day, I headed to track focused on nailing that sub 2:00 barrier. I had to redeem myself and I only had one shot to do it, and less than 2 minutes to do it in.
Well, I went for it folks and it paid off. I came down the last 100m feeling pain I don't think I can ever recall feeling before. In the last few metres my knees locked and I slapped the track straight-legged, nearly sending me over board. I waited quite a while for my official result, and for the longest time all I knew was that the guy directly ahead of me was clocked at 1:59.76....it all came down to how close I was to him.
In the end the result was very satisfying. I had dipped below 2:00! I clocked a 1:59.94, just barely getting it, but getting it nonetheless. It was the perfect cap to a great season of track racing.