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Comox Valley Road Runners Online Discussion Forum • View topic - 2016 Americas Masters Games

2016 Americas Masters Games

Taken a road trip for a race or a run? Let us know how it went!

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2016 Americas Masters Games

Postby WayneC » Fri Sep 02, 2016 8:52 am

The Masters Games were a blast! We had a good crew of CVRR runners supporting one another throughout the various competitions which made it a lot of fun. I was perhaps a little over optimistic about my ability to compete in multiple events over the course of five days. I decided to look at it as a training exercise towards the goal of Chicago Marathon in 5 weeks. I competed in a 10 km road race on the first day and then an 800 meter track race at noon and a 400 meter race at 3 pm. The field for the 10 km was small and there did not look to be much competition in my age group. We ran 4 x 2.5 km loops on the UBC campus. Quite a bit of the course was on concrete and it was quite turny, but the setting was very nice. There was the advantage of passing the other racers several times so that I could see where I stood in my age group. We all had to wear bib numbers that identified our AG so it was easy to pick people out. I soon realized that there was no one near me and did not need to push the pace. Thoughts of two more races later that day were definitely in my mind. I stuck with Danny until 9 km and then he pulled ahead. (he did not have more races later that day) It was a hard effort, but more like marathon pace with a finish time of 41:40 and average pace of 4:11. Gold Medal! The next goal was to get in some nutrition in preparation for the afternoon events.

We relocated to the track which was a scene of high energy and almost giddiness as racers prepared for their events. After a 3 km warmup I put on my spikes and reported to the marshaling area for final instructions and lane assignments for the 800 meter race. We then had 5 minutes for some strides and final warmups prior to being called to the line. It was all very serious. There was then a READY and after what seemed like an eternity, the BANG of the starter's pistol. I blasted off the line and around the first curve. As we came off of the curve everyone collapsed into the inner lanes and the race was on. I found myself in the middle of the pack and felt quite comfortable with a first 400 meter lap of 74 seconds. Haha, I thought. NO PROBLEM with running a 10 km in the morning. That was right before my legs started to feel like burning lead at around 500 meters. I was in fourth place at that time and in striking distance of third. It wasn't to last as I began to fade and two more runners came by me as I tried to hang on. 7th place. :( What was I thinking? Running a 10 km only 3 hours prior to the 800 was suicidal. Now I had to refuel and get ready for a 400! :shock:

I put my feet up and relaxed for a while before going through the warmup routine once again. My lane assignment was 8. DAM. I would be running BLIND. And then there were those starting block thingies that were in the lane. After a few bobbled attempts I elected to just brace one foot against the block and use it to push off. I had some advice from one of the speedy guys regarding race strategy in the 400. ACCELERATE, FLOAT and PUSH were the key words for the three phases of the race. This was a semifinal with the three fastest going through to the final. How hard could that be? The gun went off and I made an attempt to accelerate, but half way around the curve the runner inside of me had already made up the stagger. CRAP! :x Now for that float thing. Okay, that was pretty good, although two other people went by me. I was now in fourth. It was time for the PUSH as I came off of the curve with third place a few strides ahead of me. PUSHHHH I screamed inside my head as my legs refused to obey. I felt near collapse as I slowly closed the gap to the cheers of my teammates in the stands. With bare meters to go I slipped into third as we crossed the line in 71.5 seconds. As my legs were near buckling I could not be sure if the privilege of putting my body through this the next day was actually a reward. The process repeated itself the next day, although I probably did not need that 8 km run in the morning. I drew lane 8 again. Dang! I was hoping that the day of rest would do me good. I definitely felt fresher as I lined up at the start line. I was refocused and ready to accelerate off of the line. The gun went of and I pushed hard causing me to stumble a bit and do a stutter step. So much for acceleration. I pushed hard and picked up speed and then floated down the back straight as I saw most of the other racers pull away from me. I began the PUSH with one guy in my sight, but he must have had the same strategy as I put my soul into those last meters but still got nosed out at the line. Finishing time of 70 seconds flat, 6th place. An improvement and in spite of the suffering, lots of fun. It was great to see the comradeship as everyone congratulated each other as we all crossed the finish line. Me, I was ready for a rest day. Buttt, of course that was not to be as I had a 5000 meter track race in the morning. :shock:

The grouping for the 5000 was 60 plus, so all of the speedy guys would be running in the first heat. That was good, and bad. Nobody else was willing to take the lead, so silly me, I go to the front. Mistake number one. A couple of runners tucked in behind me and went along for the ride. One dropped and then there were two of us. I looked back and recognized he was a medalist in both the 400 and 800. CRAP! I thought that my only chance would be to push the pace so that he would drop off and not be able to use his kick. Seemed like a good idea, but after the first couple of km at 3:50 pace and I let it drop off. He politely just tucked in out of the breeze as we began to lap some of the slower runners on the course. As we came into the final corner the inevitable happened as he blew past me down the finishing straight. Silver medal. :( 20:14. Pretty slow, but I had a boat load of excuses.

Okay, so the next day was actually an off day in preparation for the Half Marathon. It began at 7 am so I was up very early to get some breakfast in. The course overlapped some of the 10 km route and then did two out and backs on Marine Drive. Slightly downhill on the way out and uphill on the way back. There was a cool light breeze and the showers were beginning at the race got under way. Perfect race conditions. I assumed that there would not be much competition as per the 10 km. The plan was to try and hold marathon pace and make this a good training effort just the same. Danny and I paced each other through the first 10 km and things felt pretty good. After several km I noticed someone tucked on my tail and noted he was in my age group. Must be my magnetic personality I guess. At 12 km I moved to the side as we were heading up the incline and suggested that it was his time to take the lead. He took that as a signal to surge ahead. Unfortunately I let him go. By the turnaround at the top of the incline he had 100 meters on me. I was convinced he was working too hard however and that I would catch him on the way back down. I began to push and over the next 4 km of gentle decline I caught him (and Danny), giving him a "how's it going" as I went by. It did not last though as after a couple of km my nemesis and Danny started pulling away, working with each other to push to the finish. (some teammate hey!) I had worked too hard catching up and did not have any reserve after my busy race schedule. I was not able to will myself to push harder and ended up slowing a little as the tank was empty. Oh well, Silver medal again.
It was a fun five days. My body is definitely tired and will need a little recovery before the final push for Chicago. Some aches and pains, but overall doing ok and looking forward to the next five weeks.
Doc :D
FIFTY, THE NEW 26.2
WayneC
 
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Re: 2016 Americas Masters Games

Postby Kiwi Keith » Sun Sep 04, 2016 1:31 pm

"my legs started to feel like burning lead"

Ha ha ha ha, I know what you mean!
"Aint nothin gonna breaka my stride, I'm running and I won't touch ground, oh no I've got to keep on movin."
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Re: 2016 Americas Masters Games

Postby CGP » Tue Sep 06, 2016 8:45 am

Hi Kiwi. Curious, how did your Masters track meet go for you ?
[b]A cure for cancer[/b]; OA, AIDS: hepatitis A, B, & C; for diabetes, ALS, MS, the common cold, no wars in the Middle East, a change of B.C. Govt, cure for bipolar disorder...praying that Trump is never U.S. president. I'll be a happy poster here!! :)
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Re: 2016 Americas Masters Games

Postby Kiwi Keith » Tue Sep 06, 2016 1:57 pm

"Aint nothin gonna breaka my stride, I'm running and I won't touch ground, oh no I've got to keep on movin."
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