T-Minus 16 Hours and Counting…

The “Days to Worlds” counter has officially been reduced to a fraction as I have established base camp here in Rancho Somewhere, CA.  I finished my quick FedEx trip last night, then caught the overnighter out here to Sacramento.  Picked up the rental car (pocket-sized SUV) as soon as Enterprise opened and drove over to the cross-country course to catch Greater Philly’s Chuck Shields run a nice race over a hot and dusty course.  I then made my way over to the Sacramento State University track facility, the same venue as last year’s outdoor national meet.  Having been here before was a little bit of a help as I got my credentials and assorted freebies and then worked my way over to the warmup track.  20 easy minutes around the infield to shake out the travel kinks, then some easy striders and drills.  Having taken the last two days off (not counting spin class) didn’t make things feel particularly fresh, but I am counting on that being the case when I start ratcheting things up the next couple days.

Heading out now to dinner with Chuck and Kevin Forde, then to bed at a decent hour to try to complete the body-clock re-alignment.  There are 48 entrants in the M40 800m.  It’s going be just a little bit more competitive than the indoor world meet last March in Kamloops, where only about 10-12 showed up for the final.  Included in this year’s number are at least 13 guys who (at least claim to) have run under 2:00 – by far the most stacked field I have ever run a masters event against.  4 heats tomorrow morning (10:24am), top 3 in each heat and the next 12 fastest times advance to the semis.  I don’t have a lot of experience (once) running trials, so I will probably err on the conservative side if push comes to shove.  The object is obviously to expend as little energy as possible and still advance, but after what happened in Eugene I will not be diving through gaps or leaving much to chance down the home stretch.  There is almost 36 hours until the semi-final round, then 48 hours til the final – plenty of time to recover from a little 2:00 jaunt around the track, so I doubt I end up splitting hairs trying to stay fresh.

I will try to update this at least from the phone following tomorrow’s heat (no pun intended, but it is 94 degrees here at 5pm) – hopefully it’ll be boring news of “mission accomplished” and plans for round 2 on Saturday.  The less drama the better – the work has been done, now it’s time to hopefully enjoy the fruits of my labors…

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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, Masters Running, Masters Track, Outdoor World Championships, Running, USATF Outdoor Nationals and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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