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Inaugural Grand Prix Track Meet

Inaugural Grand Prix Track Meet

Racing the day after a long road trip is not ideal. Last year I tried to race a 5k after a day long car ride home from Disney and 5 hours of sleep. The key word there was tried.  I felt decent for about one mile and it was pure torture after that. It went from 5k pace to marathon pace to just finish.

We arrived home shortly after midnight Thursday night and fortunately had all day Friday to recover. The Inaugural Grand Prix Track Meet was Saturday, May 25 in Cabot and I was one of the event organizers so I needed to be there.  I knew it would be tough to race this soon after returning from a road trip but I couldn’t pass up an opportunity to run in a track meet! I was using this track meet as a workout for some upcoming races.

I had signed up to run the 3,000. I figured it would be good practice for the 2 mile and 1 mile race I had coming up.  The 3k was the first event and even though it started at 7:30 it was already blazing by then. The running weather on our trip to the northeast was perfect (Niagra was upper 40’s & 50’s!) so it was a bit of a shock to jump into mid 70’s.

The pace plan for the 3k was to run around a 5:45 pace.  I definitely wanted to run under 11 minutes but again, I just wasn’t sure what to expect.  I went through the first mile at 5:50. The pace felt really tough and I was running out of steam.  The next 0.86 miles was at a 5:56 pace. The hardest part was not having anyone to pace with or push to catch. There were others running this event but we were all spread out on the track and no one was running around my pace.

Official Time- 10:54.

My watch average was 5:53. I knew my work was cut out for me if I wanted to run a 5:43 average for 2 miles just 2 weeks later. Hopefully by then I would be acclimated to the weather and having people to run with would help push me.

It was nice having my race out of the way so I could then cheer for teammates and others in the Grand Prix racing. I loved the team atmosphere and different race setting. The Grand Prix has never had anything like this.

The last event of the morning was the 4 x 400 relay. Our ladies team consisted of Amanda, Allie, Gosia, and myself.  Gosia had the most speed so she was anchor. I was going to start it off and then hand to Allie.  I haven’t raced an all out 400 in 20+ years. I’ve run plenty of them in workouts but could I run around a 75 or 70? I just had no idea.

I started in lane 6 so I knew others would catch up quickly on the turns. As soon as the gun went off I focused on passing the two ladies to my right. At the 200 mark I could tell others were gaining on the curve so I kept pushing. Once we hit the final straightaway and I still had the lead I told myself I could keep it all the way through to the finish. It was the most painful 400m I can ever remember running but so much fun!  I passed off the baton and tried to recover! John told me my split was 68- what?! Our ladies did great and our team ended up winning the relay as well as the track meet all together!

It was such a fun event and I’m already looking forward to next years!

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