At the end of every hard earned day
On Thursday I had a rough goal of running under five minutes, fifty two seconds. I'd worked this out by doubling my 800 metre time of 2:56 from the previous week. This calculation provides a reasonable relationship between 800 and 1500 times. If you run 2 minutes for 800 you should run about 4 minutes for 1500.
As I warmed up my confidence grew as my legs felt like they wanted to work for a change. In this regard I think only running 8.4 rather than my usual 12 to 16 kilometres on a Wednesday made the difference. Also, I didn't feel 'dead tired' in spite of working nine and a half hours that day. I stopped in at Calwell and then drove to the track thinking of some words from a Bruce Springsteen song: "Still at the end of every hard earned day people find some reason to believe". I wasn't going to let a tough day at work spoil my race!
I lined up on the outside of the curve with Geoff and when the gun sounded I ran up the back straight and found a place in the middle of the group. I was behind Kathy and Charlie and happy to stay there as the pace seemed about right. I passed 300 metres in 68.6 (5:43 pace) and felt okay. Going up the back straight for the second time I sensed the girls were slowing so I went ahead.
For the rest of the race I concentrated on trying to get closer to Katie. She'd opened up a big gap with her usual fast start. After 2 laps I noticed Geoff had drawn level with her but they were still about 50 metres ahead and 30 metres or so behind Gary who would eventually win the race in a PB of 5:17.02. I clawed back some metres from Katie in the third lap (my second and third laps were about 94 seconds each). I summoned what only I would call a 'sprint' in the last 200 metres to place 6th in 5:47.89. My last lap was 90.2 seconds. Katie had run 5:41.54 and Geoff improved a huge amount with 5:23.65.
Overall, I had positive feelings about my race. I'm sure I can run faster - hopefully well under 5:30 towards the end of the year if I can get some specific 800/1500 training happening. The important thing is I've rediscovered my love of middle-distance racing. Times don't really matter if the racing is fun!