Never give up, yes that would describe the outcome of the indoor winter cup this year. I skipped the 1500 at the masters meet the night before to run this on fresh legs -FAST. Sitting out that 1500 turned out the be a feather in my cap. Oh, yes, and I deliberately picked lucky number 13! Last time, I got it by chance, this time you could pick a number if you registered early online and paid an extra 5 bucks that would go to helping buy sweets for the kids when they finish. Last time I got 13 and thought it funny and then kicked ass. I guess it is "lucky" indeed! I was also feeling rather PINK. I decided to go with pink and some serious flower power for fun. I came into this knowing all I had to do was show up and run so as not to give up my 2nd place overall ranking in the series. Sitting out was still risky if by chance Nadya were to beat Lena for the win this time she would knock me back to 3rd so I decided to run on fresh legs just in case. Nadya is fast as we saw back in December, but Lena is a tough cookie and has the Monster Kick From Hell. The only way I have a chance with her is to do what Coach says and pound the pace from the get go and then it's whoever can hang on. My mistake was farting around running with the ladies til 400 or so to go and then Lena would get me. If I raced these ladies in a 200 or 400 I think I'd be toast, but I can go just a tad wee bit slower and keep pounding in hopes they will drop off.
Ok no farting around, stick to the plan go out no slower than 85-6 this time and PARK and or slightly pick up. That's just what I did. Nadya went out wicked crazy fast in 83 and I just let her. Lena was on my heels but at 300m I decided to just go and pull away. That's exactly what I did the only problem is that when I get out front, I no longer have any kind of rabbit up ahead. That's tough if you want to run a solid time. SO I just parked out in the 85/84 range on the 400s more like I was doing a workout. I was ordered not to look back this time Coach would be my eyes. After moving ahead in the first 400 he told me to surge just a little again and that did it-they dropped off. I lapped some folks along the way. I just ran the rest on autopilot to finish 8 seconds ahead of the next lady and 9 ahead of 3rd.
Here's the shocker I never would have predicted in a million years. Nadya ran most of the race in 3rd and after looking at midrace photos, she had dropped off of Lena quite a bit too. I just assumed Lena was 2nd. Even if she's feeling like crap, she won't give in without a fight. She has a serious finishing kick. Well, Nadya also has a kick. Hell, she nearly got me back in December after Lena and I farted around way too long until practically the final 200! Nadya clipped Lena at the finish! I definitely did the right thing sitting out that 1500. They were fresh too but I don't think I could have pulled away enough from them so as not to get swallowed in the final lap had my legs been tired from an evening race the night before as I did last yr. So, now this is interesting. Lena and I both have two wins,one 2nd, and one 3rd. It's a complete tie in the standings!!! I never would have expected that! In 2010, Anna and I split 3rd place when our points were dead even. The only possible tie breaking factor would be if they looked at our 4 times from each race and gave it to whoever posted the better times. That would lean in my favor without question. Both my winning times were faster than hers were. Actually, 3 of my 4 times were faster than hers. I only had one lazy lazy run in the opening race December 1st and Lena's winning time was slower than usual because we all ran super tactical. I seriously think they will just call a tie though since that's what has happened before. Seems fair to me. The awards banquet is in 3 weeks so we shall see.
I started running in this series in 2008 and I was still in the midst of that damn hole I had been in at the time for over a yr following a serious bronchial infection and other crap that took me out for a good year and a half. I struggled but, couldn't even break 6 at the time which for someone who without much preparation could always up and at least run a mid 5 was extremely frustrating and downright depressing. I got lapped and I got my ass kicked and handed to me on a silver platter on a regular basis. Lena used to lap me back then too. Still, Coach stuck me in these winter miles to try and get some of my speed back that was so far gone. I started moving up and even managed to finish 3rd in the standings in 2010. In the 2010-11 season I was out by default because the first race was super early in November that year-the DAY of 100K WORLDS IN GIBRALTAR!!! So, it was just going through the motions that winter and finishing behind ladies I may have challenged for a spot on the podium had I not missed the first race in the series. Last winter, I finished a solid 2nd as Lena and I spent the winter duking it out til the finish in each race. I never would have expected to continue getting faster this yr and tie for the win. Plus, this series has always been quite competitive in all the divisions.This is NOT my distance it's just a way to keep my speed from going all to hell while training for 100K Euros in April. Lena is a good middle distance runner, it's her strong spot where mine lies in the looooooooooong stuff. So there you have it, ultrarunners too have a need for speed!