I was relaxed all day - keeping busy with some physics homework, a few emails and figuring out my way to the stadium. I met some friends of mine at the track when I got there and chatted with them and then went on my warm-up. Almost got lost on my warmup in the park but luckily ran into a friend also on his warmup and he pointed me the right direction. I was thinking: "Heck, I should be really nervous right now but I am too busy enjoying myself" I couldn't help myself: I was at this international calibre track meet with the big names and upandcomers in Canadian athletics, in a beautiful stadium with 100ft evergreens towering over the track on one side and a mountainous vista on the other, and as one of the last seeds in my race, feeling like I have nothing to lose. Then, 2 minutes before my race I hear the women's 1500m results over the loud speaker - 4:10.01 for Douma-Hussar. Then my world fell apart and I thought "what if I run 4:10 and stagger across the finish line dead last?" I could feel my heart rate jump and my breathing quicken. I had barely enough time to collect myself before we were called to the line and BANG.
I find myself in the lead, about 2 yards behind the rabbit. I'm not known for my starts but there I was leading the international field and not having the slightest sense of where the rest of the pack was behind me. Not wanting to be the sacrificial lamb I held a comfortable pace - fast enough to allow for a decent time, but slow enough to try to entice the others to pass me and do a little work themselves. At 700m they did pass me and by 900m I was in 6th position. That first 700m I had been telling myself to retain focus once I get passed and jump on the train as it passes by. At 400m I felt power in my legs and at 200m I knew there was a chance. I started to make a move outside on the bend but the guys in front were doing the same...so I jumped on the very inside of lane one, an unorthodox move as it holds the risk of being boxed in - but a classic go-to move in my books. The 5 ahead of me were strung out across the lanes so I picked my gap and made a smooth and relaxed surge down the homestretch..... that's good coaching. And that's the race in a nutshell.
Post race I was absolutely elated. Boggled that I had just come 2nd, yet slightly disappointed not to have run faster, and thinking that somehow I might have been able to win it if I had thought about it earlier. I then had an interview with Flotrack....I can barely understand myself. Is that how I always sound? I think I made a reference to splitting the sea like Moses.
Following the garbled interview I had a nice cooldown in the woods (didn't get lost this time), a chat with some friends who had come out to watch as well as some fellow runners, a pit stop at Subway, and then a cab ride home with a very interesting South African driver who also happens to be a professional stuntman (legitimate - we Googled him). A delicious trifle and a couple episodes of The Office topped off the night.
Big thanks to Emily who came to watch (as well as for making the trifle) as well as Mik, a friend of mine from Australia and who is now living in Van, and her boyfriend Aaron (nice to meet you) who also made the trip to watch the spectacle.
Today is a recovery day. I had a nice sleep in, and then got up and went for an easy 15min shakeout. I have to catch the ferry to Victoria this afternoon, which will involve a 1.5 hour trek across town consisting of bussing, training and walking to get to the ferry terminal. I'm just a small town boy. Wish me luck. Will be staying with a friend of mine in Vic and then I race tomorrow evening. Stay posted and thanks for all of your support!!