The week of the SouthEast Region Indoor Masters, was the week between Camp Gladiator camps. However, for those who had signed up for 6 months or a year, there were some extra sessions. I went to the Monday through Wednesday sessions. Wednesday seemed to be almost all legs and core. Zounds. My legs ached, really ached, the two days after. Saturday, I took a long trot-walk with the dog.
JDL Fast Track site's photo of track..
On Sunday, I arrived at JDL Fast Track in Winston-Salem about 10:30. My first event, the 60m, was at 13:20. I had a lot of time to warm up and work on the nerves. There were far more men than women checking in at this point. For a while, it seemed only the men were being checked in, so I had my spikes checked and returned to the women’s line. Only one person was doing the check-in (another was checking spikes). Finally, check-in began alternating between men and women. I greeted those I knew, then did some simple warm-ups. I chatted with Max Hamlin, up from S.C. and announcer Peter Taylor,
By now, some Piedmont Pacer people had arrived. I talked for a bit and dropped my stuff off. I watched, from beyond the Finish line, those running the 60m hurdles; head on is quite a different perspective. From distant specks to looming monsters, as the younger guys cross the Finish.
Time to warm up again. Men and women were practicing starts and warm-up exercises, swinging legs, lunges, etc. I like to watch and learn, while I am loosening up. Once again the worry was that I would do too little warm up (and not be capable of getting to full speed later) or too much warm up (and running out of steam during the actual race.) I practiced a few starts, not quite sure of my start stance. I managed to watch the women’s 800m races. National Outdoor Champions in their respective age groups, Lesley Chaplin (W55) (ATC) and Sonya Friend-Uhl, (W40), (ATC),, as well as my Piedmont Pacer Pal Mary Szymkowski were running this event. I apparently missed seeing Friend-Uhl at Nationals, but, wow, she sure sped around the JDL track on Sunday. Way out in front of everyone else. Of course, she was the youngest of the group; much younger in many cases. However, she has a smooth easy stride. She made it look deceptively easy.
Time came for my 60m. I was alone in my age group and so ran with five others from the next two lower AGs. I got into my starting position in lane 7, but, as I later realized, it was not quite right. Better than a standing start but not what I had used in Nationals. Why? Well, because I was so focused on trying to get some stamina by running 400s and 200s (okay, partially walking some of these) in weeks leading up to this event, that I barely practiced starts. Mistake! At the start, several of the ATC folks burst out, way ahead of me. The others were either even with me or a fraction ahead. The only thinking that comes into play in this short distance is: breathe! I did remember to hold my head up, I think. I managed to come in 4th of the group, in a time much better than I would have thought. But, still room for improvement, both in the start and effort exerted. Loretta Woodward (W60) finished first in 9:49. I came in at 11.14 (she was having tea by that time.)
Next up was the 400m. I watched Sonya Friend-Uhl as well as Toccata Murphy (W45) and Lesley Chaplin, all different age groups, tear up the track. When my time came, I was with four others, only one of whom was in my AG, Angela Staab, but running injured. I was not thrilled at doing the 400m. Would I crud out half way through? I think I was in lane 7 at the start. I had run a 400m on this track two years previously (in the Ultimate Indoor Runner) but did not remember the protocol well. However, it was explained clearly enough so I knew to stay in my lane until after rounding the far bend and passing the cones. At that point one could cut into lane 1. I think I was ahead of Angela (not sure which lane she was in) as we progressed within our lanes. I stayed behind the other three while we passed the cones and moved into lane one. Into the back stretch, Barbara Warren (W65) was ahead of me. I decided to try to pass. I moved into lane two and began edging up. I was worried that I would burn out since she held a good pace. I got by before the next, and final, curve and now was behind the two ATC runners. I pushed, keeping my head up, and got to the Finish five seconds after Nonie Hudnell (W65), who finished second. Susan Aderhold (W65) finished first in 1:27.82. My time was 1:36.99 (might as well say 1:37, eh?)
So, the dreaded 400m was done. I had not walked, gone into oxygen deprivation, or had legs turn to rubber or cement blocks. I guess, then, that I could have run a fraction faster. But I was happy. My time was far better than I had been having during any of my track or street practices. The longer races followed and I watched until it was time to warm up for the 200m. There seemed to be more Piedmont Pacers in some events than Atlanta Track Club. For sure, there was much Piedmont yellow and Atlanta Track Club red on the track. Of course, Carolina Track and Field was well represented with their four women aces (Kris Kazebee, Toccata Murphy, Anne Sluder, and Melanie Walker), Carolina Godiva was represented by George Linney III (M35), who though 10 years younger, could not catch Tim Meigs (M45) (Bull City Track) who ran a terrific 3000m (9:40.80). Linney ran a nice 4:56.41 mile. There were also many unattached competitors who ran and won their AGs in the mile.
My start for the 200m was a little better, but I think I had the wrong arm up. And so it goes. The actual race itself went well in that I seemed to have some energy remaining when I made the last turn. I think I was second in this mixed AG heat. I did come in ahead of the other two in my AG. The main thing was that, again, I was not gasping or having leg issues. That was a good thing. My time of 40.82 exceeded prior weeks practice times. Sure, when practicing, I run a batch of 400s (only because I have to) and then do some 200s and 100s, so I am probably worn down somewhat. And I was trying to run only at 80% or so. Psychologically that sounds good except that I never felt I could go any faster any way. Nonetheless, I need to improve before Indoor Nationals.
getting ready for relays
I ran one relay, 4x200m, as anchor with the Piedmont Pacers and I felt (key word, felt) much faster on that outing. Reality may have been different, but sometimes it is good to glory in the feeling. My fellow Pacers ran more relays than I did. Some of the women were injured but still went out and did more relays. I watched! (2/15 comes the freezing 4-mile Carolina Godiva Geezer Pleezer!)
Carolina T&F 4x200m relayers Melanie Walker pass to Toccata Murphy