Saturday, December 17, 2016

A busy finish to 2016.

This week was the final week of athletics for 2016.  First on Thursday (2 days before writing this) was a regular meet, where I had 4 events - the 200m sprint, triple jump, 60m and discus.

The 200m turned out to be my best ever run, both in terms of technique, as well as time run.  I finished it in 26.71 seconds into the wind, despite taking the start a bit slower than normal as a precaution for a tight hamstring.

The triple jump wasn’t one of my better efforts, with a jump of 7.61m being my best, well short of my 8.26m PB.  I decided against running the 60m, with another meet 2 days away.  So the next and final event was the discus, where I threw 15.28m, over a metre short of my PB.  Still, not a bad day.

Today was another meet, but something different.  It was the regional multi-event championships.  I entered the pentathlon for this one, which comprised long jump, javelin, 200m sprint, discus and 1500m run.  For those who don’t know how multi event competitions work, completing each event earns a number of points, depending on performance, and the points are added to give an overall score.

First up was the long jump.  My first 2 jumps were well below my PB.  The third jump looked good, but unfortunately was a no jump.  Result was a best jump of 3.95m, scoring 198 points.  Next up was the javelin.  As expected, this proved to be my weakest event, with 2 no throws, and a final throw of 13.44m - close to PB, but worth only 75 points.

The 200m was my best opportunity for points.  Conditions were tough, with a stronger headwind than Thursday.  However, on the plus side, I had a strength advantage from my fire brigade competitions.  Finished the race first, in a respectable time of 27.24 seconds, scoring 430 points.

Discus is an event I have been spending a little time training before the sprint work.  I had hoped to throw a PB, but the best of my 2 good (out of 3) throws was 15.24m, which earned me 184 points.

The final event was a trip into unknown territory - the 1500m.  The longest I’ve ever run on a track was 800 metres, and even in cross country, I have never run 1500m, only 1k or around 3k.  I wasn’t sure how I would hold up over this distance under the difficult, windy conditions.  As it turns out, my fitness held up pretty well.  I kept a fairly steady pace, with a sprint finish in the home straight for a time of 5:57.54.  My score for the 1500m was 274 points, the second highest for any of my events.

I finished the day with 1161 points in total, while the winner in my age group scored 1369 points.  Looks like I need to work on my field events for future multi event competitions.  It was a very enjoyable day with some good results.  Now let’s see what 2017 brings.  I will be maintaining my training schedule over the break.

- Tony via Tumblr

Sunday, December 11, 2016

400m and shot put PBs

Saturday was back on the athletics track.  Had a busy program with 6 events total.  First up was the 100m - the first 100m event since my hamstring injury 5 weeks earlier.  Took the first 40m a bit conservative, just to be safe, before going all out to the line.  Ran a respectable 13.19 into a 1.9 m/S headwind.  Now that I am confident I’m over my injury, I want to work on my start and acceleration.  I feel I’m still a fair way from getting all my power to the track early in the race.

From the 100, it was straight across to the shot put.  As I had long jump to follow 15 minutes later, the officials let me have my throws at the start of competition in quick succession.  My second throw was 6.09m, a PB by 15cm.  I’m sure that will improve a lot with practice.

At the long jump, I had a fairly ordinary day, as my head was totally not in the right space for jumping,  My first 2 jumps were pretty ordinary (3.63 and 3.65m).  Managed to find a bit of focus for my final attempt, with a 3.95m jump, but that was still more than 30cm short of my PB.

As soon as I finished at the long jump, it was time for the 400m.  Despite not feeling in the right place for the 400, I quickly got into stride and settled into a good race pace.  Unlike previous runs, I was able to focus on technique and maintain pace right up to the finish line, resulting in a PB of 1:02.48 (0.03 faster) on a day when many seemed to struggle, despite reasonable conditions.

After a couple of minutes to recover (if you have energy left after a 400m race, you’re not doing it right! ;) ), I headed off to the javelin.  First throw was a no throw (didn’t hit the ground point first).  Second throw landed perfectly, though it was only a bit over 11 metres.  I elected to pass on my third throw, as it was time to head over to the 4x100m relay.

In the relay, I ran first position again.  Got off to a good start and built up some good speed on the bend, finishing the run with a good baton change to our second runner.  With a mix of age groups, we weren’t going to win or break any records, but we did finish a respectable race with all changes being good.

The relay marked the end of a very busy, but successful day.  This week, there are two meets - a regular meet with the alternate program, in which I will be competing in the 200m, 60m, triple jump and discus on Thursday night, and a multi event meet on Saturday, where I have entered the pentathlon (200m, 1500m, discus, long jump, javelin).

- Tony via Tumblr

Monday, December 05, 2016

Fire brigade season opener

Sunday saw the first competition for the fire brigade competition season.  This time, only my “C” team were competing, our “A” side were missing several due to illness and other commitments.

As usual, first up for me was the ladder race.  Managed 2 solid climbs (heat and final), with a final time of 8.11 seconds.  Following the ladder race was the hose and ladder 5s.  This event, with its long sprint to the ladder is the main reason I took up athletics, so it’s always a good indicator of progress.  Despite slowing down earlier than I needed to, we got a time of 23.99, a time that I would have struggled to physically get to the top of the ladder in, 2 years ago.  In addition, it turned out I was lifting water by the time I got to the top, but didn’t notice, so my overall fitness is far better too.  Track training is really paying off here!  Anyway, our time gave us second place, as one of the other sides put in a really good run.

Following the ladder 5s were the marshalls, the dry events involving hose work.  Due to injury of other team members, I was substituted into the 4 man Y and 2 man marshall at the last minute.  Ended up running 5th in the 4 Y, much to our surprise. :)

After lunch, the C section 4s were next, which we won.  I had a good run in pole, so looks like my hamstring is back to 100%.  Following the 4s was the hose and reel 6s.  Had another good run in the pole, but some issues in the middle of the run cost us a few seconds.  However, we still got 5th place.  After the sixes, I was rested for the champion 4s, to give a new guy, who has just come up from junior ranks more experience in the pole at his first comp.  They finished 4th in a time similar to our C section 4s, so he also had a good run.

Final event was the Y8.  With the new guy also very capable in the pole, my role has changed.  I now start on the back of the cart, put the first coupling onto the hydrant, then pick up the Y (left on the ground further down the track) and pass it to the third coupler while on the way to the base of the ladder.  For me, a much easier run which gives me more energy for the climb.  Anyway, although the time wasn’t our best, we ran second in the Y8, which was enough to give us the C section aggregate.

At the end of the day, we had a win and several placings, won the C section aggregate, second in the wet events aggregate and 4th in the grand aggregate.  Nice way to start a season! :)

- Tony via Tumblr