Clark Griswold-ing It To Outdoor Nationals

Tomorrow kicks off another national meet weekend.  The whole family decided to make this one into a road trip vacation, so 11 hours in the truck yesterday got us from Enola toLisle, Illinois.  Sounds worse than it actually was, Redbox was a godsend as the stack of videos kept the kids busy as the miles passed by.  Spent today ‘doing’ downtown Chicago – first time for the gang seeing Millennium Park, Navy Pier, and of course Giordano’s deep dish pizza.  Sure that’ll come back to haunt me tomorrow, but when in Rome….

Road Trip!

I’ve gone back and forth and back and forth about the weekend lineup.  I have really become excited about the opportunity to run with these other guys in the 4×800 Sunday afternoon, so much so that I have actually mulled over how I can balance my personal events with that effort.  I don’t want to show up for the relay dead in the water, but at the same time I don’t want to pass up one of the few opportunities I have had this summer to run on the track.  I have only run two outdoor races this whole summer (Drake/800, West Chester/mile), and while I admit I haven’t been as focused this season as I have in past years, I think that my West Chester mile and my Harrisburg road mile show that I still have a little gas left in the tank.  I am coming into this meet with very low expectations – I don’t think that Vegas would have me favored in any event, so I would be running as a “backside of the age-group” wild-card.  This lack of pressure could help me run a relaxed, fun race, which sometimes ends up resulting in surprising results.  I don’t think the recipe for success usually includes becoming an ‘underdog’ in order to seek ‘surprising’ results, but after spending three years ‘grinding’, this year has definitely been much less grueling (although the success of years past did make it all worth it….)

So, that being said, barring a terrible warmup or a change of heart, I am going to give the 800m a shot tomorrow.  I haven’t broken 2:00 yet this year (in my two tries), and I am hoping that chasing Scott Weeks and Lance Elliott will help me log an effort that will get the weekend off to a good start.  If I had to pick one or the other I would prefer to go after the 1500m, so my plan is to run the 800, then get a good cool down, stretch, ice, etc.  I’m hoping that resting up afterwards will allow me to show up for the 1500m ready to go and I can run a good race.  The relay will then definitely be run with the ‘edge’ taken off, but if I can run my leg with some confidence gained from the previous two races I hope I can manage to pull my weight.

That’s the plan at least – what could possibly go wrong?  Will update the days events tomorrow evening, hopefully it will describe a solid race with a respectable result.  A win?  They have definitely been harder to come by as the years have gone by, but who knows.  Lets just say that I doubt Michael Phelps’ medal tally record will be threatened by me this weekend…


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, Interval Training, Masters Running, Masters Track, Running, Uncategorized, USATF Outdoor Nationals and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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