Monday, April 25, 2011

Thunder Road

The athletes were called to the start line with the hot Arizona sun beating down on their slim, wiry frames. They would have 2 laps of the oval to complete in the dry desert air, breathing would be difficult. As they took their positions, you could already see the sweat beading down their bodies. At first glance, most of them looked calm and collected as they stood in their lanes, awaiting the familiar commands. But, it was inside, just below the surface, where the anxiety and excitement was coming to its climax. For most of them, it was a feeling they knew all too well; the anticipation and uncertainty of what lies ahead. But, for the curly haired competitor in lane 3, it was a feeling that had been absent for a very long time. It was an emotion he had looked forward to feeling again since the last time he felt its presence.
This was the moment he had been waiting for. It was finally here; he was ready.
 “Runners take your marks, BANG!”
And in an instant, it was gone…

It had been exactly 365 days since my last race, so it was definitely nice to get out there and mix it up again. Aerobically, I’m probably not quite ready for a 1500m yet, so we decided to start off with an 800m. I was through the first 200m in 25 high – 26 flat, a little faster than I wanted to be, but there was a strong wind at our back. I was sitting in 4th place as we moved into the home straight and I came through the 400m in about 53.5. Ellerton moved past me on the backstretch and I, in turn, moved past an ASU runner who was starting to fade, hitting the 600m in 1:21 low. I passed another ASU kid in the final 80m and found myself watching the battle between Ellerton and Geoff Harris as they sprinted to the line. I ended up 3rd in 1:50.89. I would have been really happy with a 1:49, so 1:50 isn’t too bad for the first time out; especially considering that I’m less than 5 months out from surgery and I was still walk-jogging at the beginning of February!
I don't feel like I tied up too badly, but when I went to kick, there just wasn't that next gear or two there yet. I wasn't even that tired at the end, I just couldn't respond. My fitness isn't where I’d like it to be right now and it would have been nice to win. But, realistically, it’s probably a pretty good start.

After the race I got in 7 miles and a lift, so the Sunday run felt a bit sluggish. A crew from the University of Victoria is here for 10 days, so it was nice to have some fresh faces to hit the trails at ASU with.

The NHL playoffs, as always, have been great so far. Nashville actually won a series and the Vancouver/Luongo Implosion is almost complete. Can the Sabres really knock off the Broad St. Bullies?(hopefully!). And if only there was a way for the Habs and Bruins to both lose their series…

The site has over 5,000 views in less than 3 months, so thanks to everyone for the continued interest!

   - Linc

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