Oct. 29, 2009
Indiana and MIAAs
Clay Martin, Junior
My last blog led you all to believe that I was pretty nervous before our race in Terre Haute, Indiana. It turns out that the nervous energy benefitted my teammates and I. There is nothing wrong with being nervous before competition. I see nervousness as potential energy that is waiting to be used up.
As we were warming up we noticed that the course was pretty muddy and very wet. The starting line had pools of water all around it. Ankle deep puddles of water seemed to be around every sharp turn and low point on the course, but we didn't care, we had a task we needed to accomplish.
When the race started Zach Layton, TR Purcell, Trevor Johannsen and I sat right behind the leaders for the first mile and a half. We were both holding ourselves back to not take the lead. It was very tempting, but we knew that the actual race began at the five k.
Zach and TR were leading the chase pack at the 5k while Trevor and I were hanging on the back of it. It reminded me of watching NCAA Division I nationals on ESPN because there is always a huge chase pack of 40 competitors all bunched up at the 5k and we were racing on the same course where NCAA division I nationals are held every year.
It was a cool feeling moving up through the pack, splashing through water, and sifting through the muddy starting area again. The course was two loops, so the 5k was near the starting line. The last two miles everyone seemed to move up well. Nothing beats the feeling of passing people with a teammate. With a half mile to go TR and Zach were charging into the top 10 and Trevor and I were making a push for the top 20. After the demoralizing 600-meter finishing stretch we all crossed the finish line. Zach in 8th, TR in 10th, I was 18th, and Trevor was 24th. Jared Walker was our fifth place finisher in 50th.
I had my best race of the season, running a pr of 26:17, while Zach and TR ran under 26:10. The race was then split into two different divisions, university and college. We took third in the college division and third overall out of both divisions combined. It was our best team performance of the season. The only teams to finish ahead of us were sixth-ranked Shawnee State University and Division I Purdue University. Since TR, Zach, Trevor, and I finished in the top 25 so we were able to bring home some cool dri-fit t-shirts and we were recognized on the fancy awards stand.
The following week, we were all pretty psyched to get back to training. On Tuesday we did a 1000, 4x800, 1600, 5x40 sec. interval workout on the practice fields. I did the workout with only Trevor and Zach because we had a scheduling conflict. Our splits were 3:06 for the 1k, a 2:28 avg. for the 800s', and 4:55-5:00 for the mile. It was a tough workout, but actually ended up feeling pretty easy.
The other workout we did for the week was on Friday. The whole team was together for this one. It was 10x2 min hard. It's hard to do workouts at first by feel instead of pace, so people can get confused on what effort to run. By this point of the season we all know that coach wants us to run the 2 minute intervals to where we are all hanging on for dear life and that is exactly what we did.
I felt smooth and strong for the first nine, but the 10th interval absolutely killed me. I was okay through 1 minute, but TR and Zach threw in a surge and dropped me like a bad habit. I hit the wall. I was very upset at first, but then I realized I did exactly what coach wanted me to do.
The week of the MIAA's we only had one real intense workout. We did a 1.5 mile fast then 3 sets of 2min, 1min, 30sec. The 1.5 mile was run in 7:15-16. Zach, TR, Matt Pohren, and I went through the mile in around 4:46, then the 2k in 6:00 in route to the 1.5 mile. We were pretty shot after this. On Wednesday we just did 2x 1000 and a few fast striders. This workout was a piece of cake.
The conference meet overall was kind of a disappointment for our team as a whole. TR and Zach were both MIAA honorable mention, but had higher expectations. I finished in 35th and Trevor in 40th. We were both disappointed with our time and our places. In addition to all of that, our fifth, sixth, and seventh runners have all been injured recently. Jared Walker was our fifth man at conference, but he had been nursing a pulled calf all week. Carl Larsson was our sixth man, but he had missed a week of running as well, due to an inflamed knee. Jake Henry, who is always in the mix, had to drop out of the race due to severe chest pains and an inflamed hip that has been bothering him all year. Waylon Martenson had a strong race to finish as our 7th man, earning him a trip to the regional meet with our team.
Looking ahead to the upcoming week of training and regional's the men's team is more focused and ready to make a good race happen in Abilene, Texas, on November 6th. I will post another blog about our training before regionals and the trip down to Texas.
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