Saturday, February 2, 2013

Bittersweet

I thought I'd catch up on a few thoughts from the past week today, picking up from where I left off last Saturday.

video
Mile from last weekend

I broke four minutes in the mile for the second time in my life at Arkansas, running 3:58.66 against a field that had six go under the barrier.  Breaking four and Leo Manzano's school record was awesome, but these days in the NCAA, you aren't totally happy unless you've run around 3:58.0 or better.  This year's top - 16 qualifying procedure hardens up the number going to nationals but introduces uncertainty into the time required, making the whole thing a little stressful.  Last year, 33 broke four minutes in the mile (I was the 33rd on the list) and I think just as many or more will by the end of last chance weekend in late February.

Speaking of being on the bubble, our DMR ran a nice time of 9:31.82 that would make it to NCAAs every year since the dinosaurs went extinct, but you just can't trust things anymore.  Wait, dinosaurs are still around?  No - I mean our DMR making it with that time.  Anchoring the relay, I saw 5:32 on the clock when I got the baton.  I looked every lap, needing to run 30 second 200s with a fast close... at one point I had about 1.5 seconds on the goal of 9:31, but running alone I faded slightly and ran 3:59 for 1600.  Good, but maybe not good enough.

So the weekend was bittersweet.  Like 72% cacao.

Last week saw some other great stuff happen.  Saturday, January 26 was perhaps the greatest day for US indoor track and field ever.  Watching Galen Rupp almost break the American indoor mile record in front of a packed track at Boston University was incredible, especially combined with his post race workout.  Then there was Mary Cain running 4:32 for the National High School Record.  She's awesome, just watch this interview.  Meanwhile, Duane Solomon broke the American 600m record in Glasgow, and Cas Loxsom nearly re-broke it hours later at Penn State.

For a track athlete and fan, the tidal wave of results every weekend is overwhelming.  More importantly, it's exciting.  And makes me want to race.  This year there's a special kind of energy surrounding the indoor season.  It seems there are crazy things are happening every weekend, all over the country and planet.  I hope the buzz is contagious.  It's a fun time to be involved in it all!

Back to Texas: yesterday we ran the six mile cutdown workout that I blogged about a few weeks ago again.  Let me just say this: racing gets you in shape.  Across the team, guys felt smoother and stronger running times well ahead of where we were before.  The workout atmosphere was unbelievable between the great weather and amount of people out on the track watching and hanging out.

Next weekend we're headed to Seattle for the Husky Invite.  I'll be racing the 3k, going for a nationals time.  It'll also be a little Princeton reunion, as my former team mates Donn Cabral and Brian Leung are entered in races, along with current team mate Trevor Vanackeran entered in the mile.  Will be a lot of fun and good material for a later post.


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