Well, I'm not sure how to start this....CIS was quite disappointing to be sure, although perhaps in light of what kind of season I had leading up to it, maybe not. The 4x800 was a debacle. Similar to last year's attempt, I'm quite sure that every man put in their best effort, unfortunately we came up short...quite short. I can only really speak to my own leg: seeing the deficit, I knew that we were out of any sort of medal hopes, but there was still a race in front of me. I stormed out of the gates and made good ground on the teams ahead of me. I slipped past 2 teams along the rail (very very sneaky!) and with Guelph in my sights I thought I was ready for a barn-burner. That's when the fat man jumped on my back and it all went pear-shaped. I must have misjudged my pace significantly because my legs became leaden and I waded through peanut butter for the final 350m to an ignominious finish.
Alas, the boys were shattered but what could we do? I had to shake it off for the 1500m the next day? This race went out much more comfortably. First of all, I got off the line without a hitch (minor personal victory) and then settled into 4th place. Boorsma got a jump on the rest of the pack right from the gun, but we were hitting 30sec laps nicely so I assumed he would come back to us. Well, Boorsma slowed down, but so did we in the chase pack, and I was trying to keep a good position as the pack mixed around me. And then we came to 1200m (myself in about 3:04-5) and I realized that my legs were stuck in the steady state they had been for the past 6 laps. I just didn't have that jump, that pop, that usually manifests itself in the final stages and takes me away from my competitors. I ended up 6th in 3:51.5. Boorsma won in 3:47. Now, it must be said that I ran alright; my time isn't all that bad. I was 2nd in 2008 and 2010 with times that were only 0.5-1.0 seconds faster than this time. But the competition had upped the ante and when the medals were up for grabs, I wasn't able to make my claim.
Disappointing to be sure, but when I consider that 3 weeks prior, I was contemplating packing in the season as I had been unable to train with any sort of intensity or consistency, I can't be all that upset. I got in the mix (in the 1500 anyway) and came away without doing any damage. What's more, I now have 5 more reasons to work a little harder, a little longer and a little smarter in training.
As we speak, I'm taking a week off completely from running to let my mind and body settle. Then I'll ease myself into running: building up the miles slowly and gradually adding new elements to my training. I'm not sure about the race schedule just yet, but I'm sure that once I'm fully fit and raring to go, Kevin will have something up his sleeve.