Sunday, April 21, 2013

A first in years


This past weekend I did something that I haven't done in years- I toed the line for a 1500m race.  While the 1500 was my forte in college, since graduating I have only run the race a handful of times so my expectations were quite low.  Added to the fact that my most recent races were ten times the length- "rusty" could have adequately described my experience.  I forgot how quickly you had to get off the starting line to get position and by the time I had realized that the gun went off, I was already deep in the back of the pack.  With such poor positioning comes the trick of moving through the field.  Again, I was "rusty."  Being used to road races where I could go anywhere on the road to pass or strung out track races, I was not prepared for a large pack of runners moving at the same speed.  Finding myself stuck, boxed in by people all around me, I had to sit and wait for my opportunity to weave my way to the front.  Luckily, with roughly 600m to go, I was able to find an opening and finally begin to race.  I pushed hard the last lap and was pleasantly surprised to find the leg turnover to be able to win.  With the training and races that I have been doing, to be able to race fast and close hard in such a short race just proves that strength equals speed.  The 1500m was a great first track race of the season, a rust-buster to clean out the pipes and while the time was not extremely quick, it was a great indicator of fitness coming off World Cross Country.  Serving as proof that the leg speed is still there after the long hard grinding races of this winter, this past weekend's race is a nice confidence booster to the track season ahead.  It is going to be a good year.

Until next time,

Ben

Sunday, April 7, 2013

The last of the oranges


With the snow melting and temperatures raising in the Upper Valley, it is time to load up the car, pick the last of the citrus, and return home.  The end of winter means the return to the quiet serenity of New Hampshire and the farewell to blue hairs and planned communities of central Florida.  Boy am I excited.  While Florida has been warm- devilishly hot at times- and an escape from the running misery that is wintertime in New England, I have longed for my return almost as long as I have been away.  But for some reason, the powers to be seem to want delay my return even longer.  The culprit: a major oil leak in my truck and sole mode of transport north.  Great.  But never fear, the delay will be but momentary.  

However, through all my complaining, and the monotony of a thousand miles run on a single ten mile stretch of dirt road, my training this winter has been productive.  The endless miles lay a base for the season to come and stands for a testament that you can train anywhere if you set your mind right.  With only a few hundred miles to go before I get back to the bliss of New Hampshire, I will put my head down and finish the final touches of my winter prep and get ready for the start of track.

Until next time,

Ben