Custom Search

Saturday, July 30, 2016

All-comers track meet

On Friday night I dragged myself out to Metairie for the New Orleans Track Club's final free-for-all track meet of the summer. It's the only one I've made it to this year, unfortunately. It's really an excellent event: when else will slow folks like me get to participate in a track meet?

But the timing was really bad. First of all, I worked late because of a particularly obnoxious patient family member. I know this person from prior dealings, and she refuses to believe that her husband doesn't have drug coverage through his Medicare...because he never signed up for a part D plan. She gets very irate, shouting at me that Obama gave everyone insurance, so where is her husband's? I explain how to enroll in Medicare part D, but she never does it, and every time her spouse is hospitalized, we go through the same thing. This time she refused to leave the pharmacy until I gave him his "free drugs" and threatened to call her congressman. I finally persuaded her to purchase the most important drugs on a discount card, and left with only half an hour to change, drive to Metairie, and warm up for the mile.
Second of all, you know how Hanson's plan is based on cumulative fatigue? Well, I'm cumulatively fatigued alright. I had a tough tempo on Thursday and ten tired miles the morning of the track meet, and I was sore just walking by the time I got to the track. My legs just felt heavy, dead, tired, sore...anything but fast and fresh.
To make matters worse, I didn't have enough time to really warm up. The first race is the mile, and I would prefer to warm up for a mile and then do some strides, but I only had time to run to the bathroom, grab some water, and jog around the track once before it was time to line up.
Since I didn't take pictures, here's an artists
rendition of what went down. I should
considera new career in courtroom art. 

The field for the mile was large - over twenty people - but they didn't want to run two heats. I immediately got boxed in behind children and teens going slower than my goal. I couldn't escape, and the first lap was 1:38! Finally, at 100m into lap two, I scooted around one child and sort of got clear, although I wasn't fully free until the 800m mark. But that whole race just sucked. My legs hurt so much and I was working way too hard to end up with a ...wait for it...6:13. I mean, what?! I can't even break 6 minutes?! Ugh! I had a moment to catch my breath and wonder what went wrong while they ran the 100m - obviously not my event - but all too soon the 800 meter was lining up. I was super tired, but I came out to the track meet to run! I wasn't just going to do the mile and go home. So I lined up. And I actually did well in this race. A very fit woman was in front of me the whole way, and I heard her talking before hand about running the 800 in college, but I actually managed to out-sprint her into the finish, and basically leaned at the line to beat her! Still slow (2:48), but at least I remembered to race at the end.
The 800 was followed by a kids race, and even though my legs were literally shaking with fatigue by that point, I lined up for the 400m. I had the inglorious distinction of being LAST in my heat at 77 seconds, but I was glad I made myself do it. The free summer races are one of the perks of being a New Orleans Track Club member, and I like to take advantage of them when I can. Since this was the last track meet of the summer, I'm happy I did it, even though I think I ran personal worsts at all distances! I guess now I know what it feels like to run a mile race on top of 55 - 60 mile weeks with ten miles earlier in the day!

1 comment:

  1. I used to love going to our All-Comers track meet, though I sucked at every distance. Usually they'd do a heat just for old ladies, distance runners, or people who just thought they'd be over X time. The meets were always big, with a full heat for sub-5 min milers, plus at least 3 or 4 other heats. But I haven't gone the last couple years for whatever reason. You've inspired me to try again next year!