Now that the Dust has Settled…

The last couple days have allowed me to wrap up the loose ends from the weekend and return to reality.  The whole Albuquerque experience was a mixed bag – the win on Sunday made everything worthwhile, but I certainly had higher hopes for the trip when we made our plans.  It not only would have been nice to give the mile a shot on Sunday, but being sick also made the travel seem longer and harder, and put a damper on what we ended up seeing and doing in town when “off the clock”.  Think it would have been a funner trip without the stroke of bad luck, but what are you going to do.  No regrets – you only get so many chances to compete in national meets so even though we got thrown a curve ball it will still certainly be a weekend I will remember.

Finally cracked the code on the video camera and was able to upload the race to YouTube – will put the link at the end of this post.  Looking back at the race with a little more time under my belt, I am still pretty happy with the way it all worked out.  I had conceded before putting my spikes on that this would not be the race I would “pop one” time-wise.  I had a plan, and was able to follow it almost to a “T”.  Not only was I able to follow it, but I was lucky to have some competitors who almost seemed to be helping me along the way.  The race went off perfectly for me – I’ve ranted and raved before about how open/college races always seem to be ruined by a couple guys without a clue how to run smart and hard, not just hard.  I’ve said I wish those guys could take lessons from the seasoned masters guys – this race was a perfect example.  The race was highly contested, but ran clean and hard.  The guys passed and got passed without feeling the need to be diving in and out, and people found their pace/place and stuck to it instead of trying to do something they knew they couldn’t do.  It was ran the way it should be, and I think everyone benefits when that is the case.  Thanks guys!

I can’t say that I really felt the effects of the illness or altitude during the actual race.  I’m guessing that they both probably had a little effect on the actual time, as did the target pace.  As I mentioned in the post-race blog, when I got passed with 200m to go I did not panic because I did not feel physically stressed yet at that point.  The 30sec/lap pace was not too fast under the circumstances, and I was able to do what I needed to do on the last lap to win.  This bodes well for the future, because I am a little bit frustrated that the indoor season has progressed to this point and I don’t really have a quality 800m result that I had hoped I would have.  I think that if I consider the couple little factors that went on in this race I am still in the shape/position to turn in that “good” 800m time.  I am not making excuses for this result because it was exactly what I had hoped for – I just think that I don’t need to panic about my times thus far because they will come.

I also got pointed towards a comment concerning my earlier description of our race vs the rest of the meet’s races.  I did not intend to infer that there were no other good races or performances at the meet by saying that our M40 race “had more action”.  I stand by what I said, although it may not have been totally statistically true.  The M70 800m run was decided by only .13 seconds – a true photo finish where my old buddy Sid Howard was nipped at the wire.  That race, our race, and one other where the only 3 races out of the 61 male and female contested “distance” races that were decided by less than a second – 3 out of 61 (less than 5%).  Granted I may be biased, and I certainly did not sit through all 61 races, but with the 4 lead changes and the sprint to the finish line I think our race was definitely one of the most memorable.  Congrats to all the competitors though – I know there were a ton of great performances turned in in Albuquerque and I know each of you probably would rank your race as the “best” (and I don’t blame you one bit).

That being said, I consulted a neutral party (my mom), and according to this judge below is the link to the “real” best race…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kD6SRsiCLpU

Albuquerque is now in the rear view mirror.  Without going into detail about how the travel home was miserable (sure I am not the only east-coaster with a story), lets just say my wife and I pulled into our driveway at 3:57am Monday morning.  With the late arrival, lingering cold, being a post-race day, and with a laundry list of things to do before heading back to work, took the day off.  Hit the road Monday night, ended up in Appleton WI on Tuesday morning.  Got out under pretty clear skies and logged 7 easy miles along a new trail along their riverfront area and local park.  Unmemorable until I was getting down off of a sidewalk to cross the street and a car apparently did not get the memo that the world revolves around me and my run.  I had to jump back up on the sidewalk (totally my fault), and in doing so caught the edge funny and twisted my foot/ankle pretty good.  This happened around the 2 mile mark, I kept on going after a couple tender steps.  I iced it upon return, was definitely sore.  Hopefully it won’t swell up, will have to wait until tomorrow to see if I sprained anything.  Stupid me…

Appleton – Memphis – Flint MI tonite.  Joy.  Storm coming through, don’t know what kind of weather/conditions I will see tomorrow so I am glad I got outside today.  I am back here on Thursday, so I am expecting the 6-8″ of snow they are anticipating to bugger up the local roads and trail.  We’ll see – if the ankle turns out to be only something minor I will be more than happy to deal with being couped up indoors.  Spring has to be getting close – Yankees box scores are starting to re-appear in the sports pages.  Finally….

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About Nick Berra

I am a 45 year old masters runner from Central Pennsylvania. I have been participating primarily in track events since turning 40 in 2009. This season has produced marks that I have not run in several years, I believe primarily due to starting a strength and flexibility program here at Elite Athletic Performance - I've felt stronger and faster than I have in a long time. That, coupled with lots of underwater running, has kept me healthy and fit - at this age those are things I no longer take for granted... I run USATF events with a team out of Philadelphia, the Greater Philadelphia Track Club. They are a great group who have played a big part in making the sport enjoyable for me again. I also run local races for HydroWorx Track Club, supported by HydroWorx here in Harrisburg PA. Their underwater treadmills and training center has proved to be a crucial part of my training, rehabilitation, and recovery programs. I set personal records in the 800m (1:56.06) in 2010 and in the 1500m (4:02:63) and mile (4:23.48) in 2011. Despite the fact that I am not getting any younger, I nearly PR'ed recently and set the M45 indoor world record in the 800 meters at the New Balance Armory in New York City. I ran 1:56.10, besting the 9 year old record by less than a second. I feel like there are still more big things to come... I am married and have two daughters. I am an assistant XC coach at my alma mater, Cumberland Valley High School here in Mechanicsburg PA. I am also a 1991 graduate of the US Naval Academy, currently working as a pilot for FedEx after serving 10 years on active duty flying in the Navy. Beat Army! Beat Army!
This entry was posted in Competitive Races, Cross Country Running, Indoor Nationals, Masters Running, Masters Track, Running, Running Injuries, Track Sprints and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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