I flew down on Friday morning, easy-peasy less than 2hr flight to Tampa, where my mom was waiting to chauffeur me around. Which she did, all weekend. It was even a little funny having her drive me to a 'meet.' I felt like I was back in high school!
The weather in Florida right now, as per usual this time of year, was G-O-R-G-E-O-U-S. I immediately went to the Southwest Recreation Complex for a swim. It was 75 degrees and sunny with not a cloud in the sky. I left the pool with a bit of a Speedo tan. Score.
My mom and I went to see Argo that night (highly, highly recommend this movie) before getting dinner where I ate so much that my stomach hurt. Winning.
The track meet was Saturday morning at 11am, but was very loosely organized and I didn't exactly know what was going on. Turns out they were using this as a practice for this year's team as well as for the parents since they were now hosting a meet this season. The old track (the one I ran on), was a six lane cement nightmare that had many cracks, sand, and grass growing through it. The school put in a brand new rubber track and updated all the field events areas - it is NICE! This is the first season with the new facility, which was one reason to have this weekend track meet.
They ran it just like a regular track meet with field events first, followed by all the running events. Track meets in general can be difficult to time properly with a warmup, and this one was even harder since I really had no idea what was going on. I went out and jogged for 15min, got a stomach cramp, and wondered who's great idea this was to try and run a mile all out. I also realized that it might've been smart for me to actually get on a track prior to this and run some 400's so I knew what they would feel like. Nothing I could do about that now - my original plan stayed. I was going to wing it.
I'm not sure if it was lack of getting the word out, or people thinking they would embarrass themselves, or what, but there weren't a whole lot of alumni who came out for this. That was a bummer. I was hoping to see people I hadn't seen in years. A few parents were brave enough to jump in some events, and of course all the kids were competing.
Anyways, they ran the 110 hurdles, 100 meter dash, and next up was the 1600 meters. Myself, several moms and dads, and a handful of students lined up. I'm smiling here realizing that this was going to hurt.
Okay, so I'm certainly in shape. It's not like I just decided to jump into a race at the last second not having done anything, but I'm not in shape to run a mile all out. Thursday mornings we do a run workout - a fartlek or tempo run on the bridle trails, but I haven't actually been on a track in many months. My goal was to break 6:00, which I was pretty sure I could do. I just wasn't sure how much lower than that I could go. Top end speed takes lots of hard intervals. I figured that if I felt good I could get around 5:50.
My first lap was 82 seconds. Certainly a little fast for someone who's goal was to break 6:00 (which would be 90 seconds a quarter). The first lap is always a little fast and I really had no idea how to pace this thing. I backed off a bit on the 2nd lap, knowing that there was no way I could hold :82 right now. I came through the 800 in 2:48 (:86), the 1200 in 3:46 (:88), and finished in 5:40 (:84). So overall, not that bad from a pacing standpoint.
No one was giving out splits, so I was glad I wore my own watch (pssst, timers, call out splits). I was super happy with a 5:40! I didn't think I would get that far under 6:00.
While I was running, the current coach said some nice things about me, talking about how I won the most state championships of any student at the high school - I actually didn't know this because I couldn't hear the loud speaker, but that's what my mom said and it was funny to have everyone clapping for me down the homestretch. Hard not to smile when all these kids are cheering for you.
I'm really glad I went down there for the meet. It was fun to see my old coach, the new coach, all the kids running for my high school this year and some of my former teammates who came out to run and cheer.
That night my mom and I ate a delicious dinner at The Columbia Restaurant on Sand Key. I love their 1905 salad - YUM! I flew out at 11:10 am the next morning, landed at 12:50 and was on my bike at 1:50. So still got some good tri training in even with the mini vacation.
Throughout the weekend, Marty kept me up to date with how he and Junior Awesome were doing with texts, phone calls, and of course pictures. Here are some of the ones I got.
This was after the long run on Saturday morning. I imagine Logan is making that face because he always wants Marty's phone. Also, he was scared of Kory's beard and almost cried.