I must first apologize for the tardiness of this post but yesterday was a hectic day and I didn't get round to it.
Secondly, and most importantly, thank you to all those who have been wishing me well and sending their congratulations. I can feel the support over here and it is great to know that people are following along with my racing.
And now for the race report:
This race had a completely different dynamic to it than Monday's 1500m did. To start I was a fair bit more nervous, feeling that I would have to replicate or improve my placing or time from the Harry Jerome. My legs also didn't feel as fresh - my hamstrings were tight, a factor that preyed on my mind through the day. However, by race time I was fairly buoyant: I knew had prepared as best I could during the day and my Ipod pump-up playlist had done its job well.
From the gun a pack of 6 jumped out into the lead and put a gap of 2 seconds on me by 400m. I knew they were going out pretty fast, too fast for me, thus my decision to hang back was a good one, yet I had a sinking feeling as I knew how much work it would take to reel them back in. I was heading the chase pack and no one seemed likely to bridge the gap for me, so I knew it would a tough go. This gap maintained itself, possibly expanding by a second as we went through 800m (the leaders in 1:55-56 and myself in 1:58-59) and even though it was just a smidge faster than Monday's race, it was uncomfortable to say the least. Rounding the bend with 600m to go, all I could think was "bare down and grind" and I started to raise the tempo. One of the rabbits had stepped off by now and another runner had come back to me, so tackling the lead pack didn't look as daunting. With a lap to go at 2:43-44 there was still a gap but I knew I could pick off at least one or more. Down the back stretch we went, and with a final effort over 200m I pulled myself into 3rd place and shook off fellows who had been breathing down my neck for the previous 1400m. My kick finish was not as dramatic as Monday's, rather, it was a more drawn out, protracted effort, and I while I was coming back on the front two, on this day third was the best that I really could have hoped for.
Crossing the finish line and even before the results were posted I knew I had pb'd as this was the first time I had been close enough to the line to see 3:39 on the race clock as I charged down the home stretch. Yet I felt absolutely drained, both physically and mentally. My hamstrings were aching enough to drop off and the 200m walk to my bag and water was an effort in itself. Compared to my elation after Monday's race I felt strangely despondant and 'blah' and while seeing my name and time come on the big screen had a cheering effect on me, for some reason it took some time for me to realize the significance of my race. Looking at the race now, while happy with the time, I most pleased that I had to (and was able to) work hard over the middle of the race to reconnect myself to the leaders. Alot mid-race strength has come from the tempo work that Kev and I have put in over the past 4 weeks.
Unfortunately, I can't find the race video to post and alas, there is no interview for you to try to interpret! I'll finish this blog for now and will recap the rest of my last 2 days later!