A reason to run
On Tuesday I'd watched the 800 metre races at Interclub. Paul (another coach in our club) said "why don't you have a run in the slow heat?" I replied "No, I'd struggle to run 3 minutes", secretly thinking I'd probably run about 2:48. Besides, I wanted to watch two young runners from Calwell who were racing...
In the slowest heat, Sarah ran 2:44 and in the previous heat Tom clocked 2:30, both running with determination that belied their lack of experience. Watching all the 800 metre races at Interclub made me want to try one on Thursday night at Vets. As I drove home from Interclub I decided I needed to run. I stopped near Lake Burley Griffin with the plan of running around Central Basin.
It was still muggy and warm at 9pm. I put on the Frees and then sat in the car watching a group picnicking by the lake and some couples enjoying an evening stroll. I began thinking 'this is silly - it's late and I'll be tired in the morning if I don't get home'. I started the car. I didn't have a reason to run. Then I suddenly thought about writing 'nil' in my diary. I switched off the car for the second time, got out and started running.
I began the run with as much speed as my creakiness would allow, not wanting to do a slow plod. After a kilometre or so things loosened up and I found myself moving along quite smoothly. The 5.1 km lap of the 'two bridges' took me 24 minutes 18 seconds. I'd been running 'hard' but not 'flat out'. It was one of the best, most memorable runs I've had in ages and strangely, one that was ever so close to not happening.
I lined up on the outside of the curved start of the third fastest 800 metre heat on Thursday night. To my inside were mainly 'Team Moore' runners, one, Maureen, would run an ACT W55 800m record. I started well and fast but after 50 metres was quickly shuffled to the back of the pack. I was trying to run fast but I wasn't getting anywhere! I trailed Kathy by ten metres after 200 and tried to not drop further behind.
The first lap was 1:26 - depressingly slow. I kept running as hard as possible and tried but couldn't find any sort of a kick for the last 100 metres. I placed 9th (second last) in 2:55.70. At least I knew I'd tried hard as I was suffering the post-race 'burning throat' that is familiar to all 800 metre runners. My dismal performance didn't turn me off the event. I know they're 'fun' if you're closer to the middle of the field and have a little speed in the legs. When is the next one?