My 4x100m final at the Victorian Relay Championships, courtesy AthsVic TV.
- Tony via Tumblr http://ift.tt/2gHaDG3
Yesterday, the 2016 Victorian State Relay Championships were held in Melbourne. This was the first time I’ve competed in these championships, as I didn’t put myself on the list to go last year.
With the championships being in Melbourne, it meant an early start and a 2 hour drive to the stadium. I was in two events, the 4x400m and 4x100m relays, running in first position. Checking the provisional timetable before leaving, I was to run a heat of the 4x400 around midday, before the final 3 hours later. With fewer entries, the 4x100m was to be a final only, around 5PM. With that in mind, I planned to arrive around 10AM, to allow plenty of time to sort out any administrative issues. As it turns out, I arrived just after 10, and met up with the rest of the team. Just before 11, an announcement came over the PA that there would be no 4x400m heat, so now it was to be just the 2 finals.
The cancellation of our heat left plenty of time for lunch and to watch the action from the other events. It soon became pretty obvious that this was a big step up from local competitions, and the times would be very fast.
After a full warmup and checking into the start area with officials, we were lined up for the 4x400m relay. As first runner, I setup my blocks and waited for the starter’s call. Shortly after the gun went off, it was obvious the competition was very fast, well beyond my capabilities (for now ;) ), but I stuck to my race plan, which went well, other than a minor bit of hamstring tightness at the 250m mark. The run was very similar to last week’s 400m race. I handed the baton over at just over a minute into the race, and my 400m time (the changeover happened several metres before the 400m mark) would have been very close to last week’s time as well. We finished 7th, with a time around 4:15, with everyone running pretty well. The winning team finished in 3:36.
About 90 minutes later, after a short warmup and some practice baton changes, we were back again for the 4x100m relay. Again, I was in first position, starting the race. With the shorter distance, this was the biggest test of my hamstring, The start went well, and after a cautious transition into full flight, I got up to full speed without any issues, and maintained speed until the changeover. Hard to say what position we changed over in, but we were definitely close to at least some of the other teams. We finished 5th in a little over 51 seconds (winner was around 45). We were pleased with that result.
After the 4x100, I said my goodbyes to everyone and started the long drive home. As for the day, it was a real experience competing against the best in the state. I’m not at that level yet, but it is early days, and I am still developing my potential. It was also good to have great teammates to run with. I will definitely be back next year.
My hamstring recovery is going steadily. I’m able to manage at least 95% effort, though I haven’t given full acceleration a test yet.
For the track, I had a choice of 100m, 1500m and 400m, as the events I’d attempt. After a brief discussion with my coach, who confirmed my own thoughts, I opted for the 400m only. With the state relay championships only a week away, I didn’t want to risk a re-injury in the 100m. I figured I could take a slower start in the 400 and focus on technique and fitness to run the race.
For the field, I had entered in shot put, long jump and javelin. First up was the shot put. Already, it was obvious that I was going to have some serious scheduling issues. Without the benefit of a full warmup and 100m sprint before the shot, I decided to drop the long jump to allow for some time to warm up. Anyway, shot put was a bit ordinary, with a best throw around 5.45m.
Even without the long jump, events conspired to severely limit my warmup for the 400m. As a result, I knew I would have to take the race carefully. However, weather conditions were perfect, with the temperature around 28C and almost no wind. I took the start a bit easier than normal (though apparently at least one spectator didn’t notice! :) ), and maintained pace in the back straight. From there the idea was to hold on as best I could. Unfortunately, in the middle of the bend, my injured hamstring tightened up and I slowed down slightly to play it safe. Luckily, the tightness only lasted a few seconds and I was able to push on towards the finish. Finished the race in a PB time of 1:02.51.
Final event was the javelin. Here, I wasn’t expecting any miracles. I’m still in the early days of getting my technique sorted, and the usual advice of “It’s like throwing a tennis ball” isn’t the most helpful, because I’ve never had a good throwing action. Here, I’m in unexplored territory (which is one reason why I’m interested in working on the javelin more). Anyway, I got two good throws in, including a PB around 13.5m. :)
Next week is the Victorian Relay Championships. I’m looking forward to running a few relays, teaming up with other locals.
This week’s track and field was a bit different to recent times, due to my slightly strained hamstring. As a precaution, I didn’t run my usual sprints and ran an 800m event instead. The 800m is an event I’ve always found challenging, with my last attempt in August at around 2:45 no better than this time last year.
My first event was the triple jump. Although I had previously entered, my decision to go ahead wasn’t made until after a test jump, which proved my hamstring would handle the jumps. I jumped a couple of 7.80-7.80m jumps - over 40cm short of my PB, but good, given that I was being fairly conservative.
Next was the aforementioned 800m. My main goal here was to keep my fitness up, but I also wanted to break my long standing 2:45 PB. However, weather conditions were tough, with a strong headwind in the final bend and to a lesser extent in the back straight.
I got off to a good start, and had to push the first run down the back straight to merge in to the inside cleanly. From there, I settled back into what I figured would be race pace in second position. Got passed late in the first lap, leaving me in third place at the end of the first lap with a split of around 1:16-1:17. Maintained the pace and position in the back straight and around the final bend. By this time, the first placed runner ran out of steam and fell behind, leaving me in second place as we left the bend. At this point, I figured I had something left in the tank and opted for a sprint finish in the home straight. Easily won my heat with a new PB time of 2:39.21.
Next up was discus. Despite some good practice during the week, my performance was a bit disappointing. First throw didn’t come out right, and ending up around 12 metres. The second throw was better at 14m, but still well short of my PB, while the final throw was wide.
Final event was the 4x400m relay. Following after the 800m, this was a test of both my hamstring and fitness. I ran the second leg, taking the baton in my lane, then moving into the inside lane in the back straight, similar to the 800m. Unlike my normal 400m run, I accelerated carefully to race pace, to avoid any issues. The biggest challenge turned out to be following up the earlier 800m with another longer run (for me). The run went well, and I handed the baton on to the next team member. Our time was roughly 4:33.
Anyway, another mostly successful day with an emphasis on fitness. I’m looking forward to when I can get back into the sprints.
Here’s my GPS log of the race.
Back on the track yesterday, after a particularly busy week, physically.speaking. Even on my rest days, I had some physically demanding chores to get out of the way. Also, fire brigade training has now hit full stride, making for some full on training nights.
Anyway yesterday, I entered 4 events - 200m, 60m, triple jump and discus. The 200m was first. Like the previous times with this program, there was a strong headwind. I managed a strong start and bend and ran 27.41 - a decent time under the conditions. Next was the triple jump. My run up issues still seem to be plaguing me, but at least this time, I was short, rather than long, hitting the board up to 40cm short. Even so, I still managed 8.15 metres, 11cm short of a PB.
After the triple, it was back to the track for the 60m, into the headwind again. Despite a minor hamstring strain in the last 10-20m of the race and not feeling like I reallt got into full stride, I ran 8.41 seconds, 0.14 better than my previous PB. That ended any chance of taking part in the relay later.
My final event was the discus. I’ve actually had a chance to do some training with one of the women in our club who is a strong in discus, with my regular coach adding his pointers as well. The result of this little bit of training is already showing, with my PB increasing by around 4 metres to 16.66m. :)
Well, now it’s time to revocer and get myself back running. I will be entering some middle distance events next week, in case I’m not ready for sprints, as well as discus, which I’ll be using my downtime to train for.
It’s looking like I may become a thrower after all, something I’ve never considered before. :)