Wednesday, August 01, 2007

2007 USCAA Championship

Well, the meet is over, a culmination of a year's worth of training. Other than the setback I had with my hamstring not long after last years meet (which lasted several months), I feel I prepared as well as I knew how for this years events.

Ken's Event summary:

I ran all my events on Saturday 7/21/07.

Submaster Distance Relay (10:50 am) (3rd leg, 1200 meters) - This being my first race, I was pretty nervous, and wanted to make sure I was warmed up properly. We did fairly well with the first 2 legs, and when I got the baton, I was in second place - but, ran into someone who had stopped in my lane after handing off her baton. I didn't lose my balance, but it slowed me down enough that I fell to 3rd place. I camped out behind 1st and second, and we all ran about the same pace for 700 meters. At that point, I pushed the pace and used the curve to go ahead of both of my opponents. I just kept running hard, and couldn't hear the 2nd place person after about 200 meters. I finished the last 300 strong and handed off to our last leg. Although he ran a very good mile time, UNUM had a strong final finisher and beat us by 16 seconds. Our team placed 2nd, in 11:40.2 - 11 seconds faster than the 2006 time. My split was 3:28.7, which was slightly faster than my goal.

Executive Relay (11:50 am) (Anchor leg, 1600 meters) - My team always does well in the Executive relay, but this year we had some competition from Booz Allen Hamilton. Booz jumped to an early lead, and didn't look back - all 3 of the runners before me did well. I got the baton and was about 150 meters behind 1st place. I ran a strong first 400, and only made up about 15-20 meters on him, so I kicked back a little, thinking of my next race in an hour. After the next lap, which I had run slower, I realized I had made up another 15 or so meters, and started thinking I might have a shot at catching him. I picked up the pace, and by the end of the 3rd lap, was within about 70 meters of 1st place. I was pushing hard, and catching him - with 200 meters to go, I was about 40 meters off of him. By this point, he started kicking for the finish line - although I ran as hard as I could, I didn't make up any more distance, finishing about 35 meters behind him... in retrospect, if I had focused all my energy on this race, we would have won a gold. Our team placed 2nd, in 11:26.6 - 28 seconds faster than 2006. My split was 5:07.8, which was ok with the short rest from the previous race, but unsatisfying to me since I had hit a 4:55 this year.

Distance Relay (12:55 pm) (4th leg, 1600 meters) - One of my teammates decided on Friday not to join us in San Diego because of a medical emergency his mom had. Because of that, I was chosen to substitute on his leg. We were in 2nd place when I got the baton. My first 400 was respectable, but my next 2 were bad - I came across the 1200 on pace for a 5:30 mile. I finished with an ok final 400, but the damage had been done... the final leg was an 8 lap leg, and UNUM caught our runner with 2 laps to go. Our team placed 3rd in 28:36.2 - a full 2:40 faster than 2006. My split was an AWFUL 5:25.4 (I can run 5:40 repeats). I was beat, and didn't have anything else to put in the race, but it was still VERY disappointing.

Pyramid Relay (prelim) (2:25 pm) (3rd leg, 1200 meters) - The team was going to drop the Pyramid since they thought I was too beat from the distance relay - but, I wanted the people who had prepared for this race a chance to run, and since it was a prelim, there was no pressure on me. My split for the 1200 was 3:53.9 - I took it easy, and although this was a full 25 seconds slower than my first 1200 for the day, I was ok with it!

Team summary:
TI's first day wasn't as good as it was in the past, so we entered the second day needing certain events to fall in our favor. With 2 events to go, we found that we had won the Long Jump/High Jump 1st place, giving us the overall championship! 8 Championships in a row for TI!

Next Year's Goals:
I want to continue training hard, and focus on events from the 800 to the 1600. Running fewer miles and more "quality" work (Hard intervals, tempo, etc) seemed to place me in similar shape as running a lot of miles and adding hard work later in the season. I am also thinking I want to start training with a coach, to see if that will help me gain an edge. So, if given the chance, my stretch goals by the next track meet are:

400 - 57
800 - 2:07
Mile - 4:45
5K - sub-17:00
10K - sub-36:00
Half marathon - sub-1:30



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