Sunday, January 24, 2016

Victorian Country Athletics Day 3

Day 3, the final day of the Victorian Country Athletics Championships started with packing all my gear up and checking out of our cabin, then off to the track.  My first event, the 200 metre heat was scheduled for 11:31, but as luck would have it, 4 out of the 10 entrants withdrew, which meant that the heat wasn't needed, and I would instead be running in the final at 3:45 PM.  So most of the day was spent watching the competition, cheering on club members, chatting and keeping up to date on Facebook. :)

Finally, my 200m final came around.  I was a little concerned about my left hamstring, as there had been some tightness there all day, but it didn't seem to be too much of an issue during the warmup.  However, I did take the start a little slower than I might otherwise have, knowing that the relays would follow soon after.  However, once up to speed, everything felt good, and my second half was probably the fastest second half of a 200 ever.  Finished in 27.48, missing out on a PB by 0.01 seconds.

Next was the 4x100m relay.  I had the second leg, down the back straight and into a stiff breeze.  This went well with a fairly clean change to take the baton, a strong sprint into the wind, and a quick batton change to the third runner.  We narrowly missed out on a medal, finishing 4th.

My final event for the championships was the 4x400m relay.  With the longer distance, I knew I would have no issues with injury, but I was concerned that my endurance might not hold, after the preceeding 2 events and the previous day.  The day before, in the 400m events, I did struggle to maintain pace for the last half of the race, and conditions were identical for the relay.  Again, I ran in second position, taking the baton in a clean change in my lane, then ran my usual 400m strategy of accelerating hard for the first 40-50m, before settling down into my cruising pace.  Around the back, I had to cut in to the inside lane.  By the halfway mark, I felt surprisingly good, and became aware of someone not too far behind my from the noise of the crowd, so I pushed hard and maintained my pace.  Unlike the solo race, my pace held right to the end, where I passed the baton on.  We finished with the silver medal and proceeded to the dais for presentations after the race.  That was a good note to finish the weekend on.

As time was tight, I headed home as soon as the medal presentations were complete, after saying a quick goodbye to club members and others I knew that I encountered along the way.  Since getting home, I've contemplated the weekend, savoured the weekend's successes, reflected on how far I've come and how much further I have to go, and started looking at what I need to work on to gain more speed.  However, other than a local meet this coming Thursday, athletics now takes a back seat, as the fire brigade season is about to hit its peak.

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