Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Odd Day at the Races

Sunday, June 11, 2017:

Just when the USATF Outdoor Masters Championships were scheduled to begin in St Paul this morning, a thunderstorm intervened.  USATF doesn't run in lightning!  They even have rules about when they have to stop and when they can start again.  After several hours of lightning, the morning of races became an afternoon of races.

I loved it though.  I've never competed in an outdoor track & field meet before, and I'm intrigued by the assortment of events.  Every running distance from 100m to 5km, plus long jump, high jump, triple jump, shot put, hammer throw (bring your own hammer), pole vault (bring your own pole!), and more.  It seemed there were at least as many people competing in the field events as in the track events. I'm learning a lot and having fun.

Finishing the 200m Sprint

I competed in three events: the 100, 200, and 400 meter sprint distances.  I finished last in all three of my heats, but I don't feel bad about that because all of the runners were younger, many much younger, and I finished first of one in my 75-79 age group at each distance.  In fact at age 76 I was the oldest competitor at the meet except for my friend Rick, 77, who competed only in the 1500 meter event and finished in a very good time.

My finish times:  100m - 21.07 seconds; 200m - 45.82; and 400m - 1:44.90.  These are OK times for an old marathoner just getting into sprinting, but I'd like to improve the 100m time by at least 5 seconds, 200m by 10, and 400m by 20.  I have time to work on it, so we'll see.

Here are some reasons to think that I might be able to improve:
  • Any runner could do better running just one of the distances instead of three.
  • I stumbled a bit on at least two of the three starts.  How can that happen? I don't know, but I can doubtless gain a second or two just by practicing the start.  Remember, this is all new!
  • Another day I might feel better - I wasn't at my best today, a bit lightheaded.  Hydration, food, something else?  Anyway it will get figured out.
  • I was also running injured today - having pulled something in my right glutes or hamstrings or the connection between those during today's warmup.  It hurts more now than it did during the races, but I might not have hammered quite as hard as I would have without the pain.
That injury has been lurking since I first did some crouching starts a few weeks ago, and I need to do whatever it takes to heal it.  I have nine days now before the next outdoor track meet - those days will help.

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