These past few weeks have had some pretty exciting events in my running career. Two weeks ago, I completed my long awaited first 1500m steeplechase and on Bank Holiday Monday, I raced over the 7.5 laps for the first time! I’m very happy to report that I enjoyed both events and am pretty happy with how I did, particularly for my first time!
1500m Steeplechase – YDL Reading
Along with my first steeplechase, this was also my first experience at a YDL as we did not do them at my old club. Reading was a bit of a trek (although I’m sure it won’t be the longest journey we have this season) but it was worth it – the whole event was excellent (aside from them being a bit behind schedule but that was expected). I didn’t run until 4:30 so I was pretty nervous throughout the whole day – but also excited as I had wanted to do this race for so long! After warming up and fortunately finding a few hurdles to practice on, we were called over for the race. I was very surprised to see that the entire start line was full! I knew that they ran U17 and U20 A and B strings together but I had only expected there to be about 7 or 8 people max…not 15!!
I had decided that it would just be best for me to focus on getting over the barriers rather than actually racing so I planned to run as wide as I could for the barriers just to ensure that I could actually see them. As soon as the gun went off, I settled into what seemed like a decent pace in what seemed like the middle of the pack…but all my focus was on the barriers!
Fortunately, I was able to clear all of the barriers and my technique was…let’s just call it decent. The water jumps also went well – although they got progressively harder each lap!
The strangest thing was that I really didn’t notice the race going on around. All I could think about was the next barrier so I didn’t notice myself speeding up or over-taking people – I just ran (and jumped) which was quite refreshing.
However, it did mean that when I crossed the line, although I was pretty tired, I felt I could have ran a lot quicker. My time was 5:43 which my coach was very happy with for my first time – at this exact moment it puts me 16th in the country which isn’t too bad at all!! But I know there are a lot of things I can work on! For one, running the whole race in lane three may be safer, but it is certainly not the smartest approach and wearing long socks is a definitely no with the water jumps as every time I stepped out, the felt ridiculously heavy. And next time, I will definitely remember to bring a towel!!
3000m -Herne Hill Harriers Open
Naturally, I would run my first 3000m on the hottest day of the year. As much as I loved the weather, it wasn’t the best for my debut 7.5 laps and it certainly added to my nerves. We arrived early and got in a good warm up before being called to the line. I was in the second race so I got to watch the very fast guys pace around the track before I ran.
My plan was to be as consistent as possible with the two 1500ms. I really wanted to get under 11mins but I knew in this heat, and for my first one, anything under 11:12 was pretty good. The pace settled down nicely and I highly appreciated the fact that it was considerably slower than 1500m pace. I ran right behind another U17 girl for the first half of the race before nervously deciding to overtake her at half way. This worked well for me as I really didn’t want her to catch up with me again so I pushed on a bit harder.
With the heat intensifying, the last 3 laps felt very hard. On the last 200m, I really felt it put managed to kick down the finishing straight to finish in 11:12! I was absolutely exhausted – which was actually nice as I usually struggle to push like that in a race. For the rest of the day, I had a terrible head-ache and felt light headed due to heat exposure, but it was worth it!
I really enjoyed the 3000m! I liked the fact that it was slower than a 1500m and that the laps felt a lot shorter. I am stronger at endurance than speed so it should suit me quite well. I am pretty certain I can break 11 with some better conditions – and I can’t wait to do it!
Because I am writing this so behind schedule, it is currently the morning of the first day of the Kent Champs. Today I am running the 1500sc at 4:30 and, although I am nervous, I am very excited to see if I can improve on my last performance. I am feeling fairly confident as, on Thursday, I ran what I thought was a comfortable race to win the Borough Champs and somehow ran 5:04…which was completely unexpected as when I ran a much slower time at the Tonbridge Open, it felt awful! So hopefully, my speedwork is coming together!
Depending on how I feel after today, I am also due to run the 1500m tomorrow…which should be interesting! That will cap off my week of 4 races – having done 4 different events in one week (all except the 800m which I am desperately trying to avoid until my coach makes me haha).
Anyway, thank you for reading and I will try to make sure I get an update on today’s races up soon! I also just uploaded an Energy Snacks Review so you should go and read that!
Hope you have a good weekend and good luck to anyone competing,