Since I started to really focus on steeple, I haven't gotten to run other events as much as I would have liked.Steepling is definitely my forte and my love, but I've never gotten a chance to really figure out whether my strength is mostly in the mid-distance or distance realm. I'm a pretty big fan of the 800 and 1500, but I only get to run them once or twice per season. Most of the group going to Princeton opted not to race at Dartmouth, but I knew if I sat out that meet I wouldn't get to run the 1500 this season and I didn't want to miss out on a chance to lower my PR.
Unfortunately, my (over a year old) PR put me in the slow heat. Knowing that I was in shape to run significantly faster, I prepared myself for a time trial type race like I ran at the Tufts indoor meet. My only real concern was that the wind speeds were around 22 mph and if I ran out front I wouldn't have anyone to block the wind for me. But I decided to not worry about that and just run.
I set a pace that felt pretty comfortable from the gun and no one went with me. I guess I got a little too excited, because I hit the 400 about 2 seconds faster than I was supposed to. I intentionally eased up a bit on the second lap, but misjudged the pace and ended up backing off a little too much. Beginning to feel the strength of the wind, I wasn't able to pick up the pace on the 3rd lap like I wanted to. I managed something resembling a kick, but the strong headwind on the homestretch made it a definite struggle. I won my heat in 4:53.48, a new PR by 5 seconds and good for 4th overall. This time also qualifies me for the D3 New England championships, which was the primary goal for the race. I'm sure I probably would've run faster if I had been in the fast heat with people to push me and block the wind, but I really can't complain about a new PR and I could take another crack at it at D3 NEs when I really need a break from steeple.
Up next: the seeded heat of the steeplechase at Princeton's Larry Ellis Friday Night Races 4/22 followed by the 800 at our home meet on 4/23.