No clear reason why, either. The weather was perfect for a track race, and I was better rested and felt fresher for this race than I did for the road mile. In the end, I think it was just an off day. We all have them. And better for it to happen during a summer race at a distance that's not my focus.
Warmed up with 3 miles easy jog, plus some drills and strides - same as I do before all my workouts. Only thing different between this race and my previous mile was that I didn't do a "first interval." (in track workouts, the first interval is always the hardest for me, while the second feels better, and the third even better - so sometimes I like to do a "first interval" before the race per Jack Daniels, to get the slow one out of the way). But I really can't say that that made the difference.
I didn't do anything stupid in the race --I went out at a controlled but honest pace - I wasn't running slow, but I felt well in control. Then, I just flowed forward a bit more each lap.
For the first lap, I was running in a group, and even got boxed in for 100m or so. I just waited patiently, as I figured the pack would fall apart very soon. And it did. In fact, after the first lap, everyone fell apart and I was on my own, holding my own pace. I guess it would have bothered others to be running solo - I actually didn't mind that much, as I don't mind leading or running on my own. So I just flowed and focused on running my own race, which was easier without distractions from others.
My plan was simply to run hard but relaxed, flowing forward a bit more, and then really starting to push at the last 200m. Stuck to plan, but when I tried to really sprint for home, I just didn't have an extra gear. I heard people cheering the kids that were sneaking up to me, but all I could do was hang on as the kids passed me in the home stretch. It wasn't a matter of not wanting it enough - if I could have stuck my hand in an open flame to keep those kids from passing me, I would have. But that wasn't an option for me.
Obligatory overanalytical bit: I wore my HR monitor for this race, as I do for all my races. And, HR peaked at 179, which is the middle of my tempo heart range. Same thing happened during my last mile race. I cannot figure out for the life of me why my HR doesn't go higher in these short races - 5.5 minutes is certainly long enough for it to rise. I see the same thing in workouts - for some reason my HR always goes much higher in tempos than in interval workouts, and my HR never gets high at all during the first repeat (even though that's the toughest one). Weird. And it's not like I'm not tired at the end of these races -- there's no doubt in my mind that I gave what I had to give in the race, HR notwithstanding.
I'm not going to worry about it too much - in the end, I care about my race times, not my race heart rates. But it is a bit odd.
- Used a puff of the inhaler an hour before, and another about 20 minutes before
- Wow, my lungs really hurt after this one. I may not be able to get my HR up in these shorter races, but the lungs make up for it by getting scalded.
- Despite my disappointment at today, these races are still a lot of fun, and I'm looking forward to the next.
- Trying to figure out if I'm getting sick or something. My throat is scratchy, but there's two logical explanations for this - a) it took me a while to catch my breath after the race, and that may have irritated my throat; b) someone else mentioned that a sore throat was going around, and that may have been enough to trigger my latent hypochondria. So, I'll just toss back some Zinc, rest, and let it pass. I don't think it was a factor in the race, though. I just didn't run fast.