This web log was created to keep you up to date with the athletic pursuits of Blake Boldon. It will be updated regularly with competition schedules, results, and photos.

Friday, March 09, 2007

ISU Last Chance Recap

Last Saturday was another good step in my running career. Coach Ihmels and I decided a few days in advance that I'd run the mile to try and help Brandon Rooney and then later pace the 5k for Guor Majak. Guor is a red shirt freshman who finished 6th in the Big 12 in the 5k & 3k. Brandon is a sophomore who was 4th in the Big 12 mile. Both of the guys were just off of the provisional qualifying marks for NCAA nationals and they're certainly both fit enough to run that fast. Our Australian steeplechaser, Jayden Russ, volunteered to set the pace for the mile and he did a fine job. Unfortunately, I was running so horribly that I didn’t really see the benefit of his work. Maybe a little more background is required. The night before, another post-collegiate runner, Rob Duncan, stayed at my apartment. Rob, my roommates and I all went out to dinner and I just had this feeling that I was on the precipice of something big. The nerves weren’t bad but I started putting a lot of pressure on myself because I knew that based on my fitness anything slower than four minutes would be a failure. That night was mostly sleepless as I tossed and turned and had nightmares that I couldn’t run 67 for a 400. I woke up in the morning feeling like I’d already raced. I went for a shakeout run and then the waiting began. Thankfully the race was scheduled for 12:15 so the torture wouldn’t last all day. On the warm up I felt like crap and it was just an awful crescendo of distress until about half way through the race. While I was finishing up my warm up I looked into the bleachers and saw three people. That’s right, THREE! It was a good feeling because one of them was my mom. She had braved the icy & snowy roads to come watch me run. Not only was I comforted by her presence, there was some solace in also knowing that not many people were there to see me fail at my first indoor mile in 3 years. That was the most positive thought I could find during my warm up. A few minutes later, while all my competitors were at the line waiting for the final instructions, I was around the corner with my head buried in a garbage can. Every ounce of my breakfast was finding its way out and I just turned to Coach Ihmels and said, “Here I am puking like a little bitch.” He said something like, “Blake, you’re so fit that 4:01 is going to be easy.” Then I trotted over to the start line and the race was off. Fifty meters in I told Jayden that he was too fast but thankfully he didn’t listen to me. He was right on pace but I felt like total garbage. By 200 meters Brandon had wisely gone around me and was in hot pursuit of the pace that Jayden was setting. I continued to fall off the pace and by 400 I was 62 seconds and 2 or 3 seconds behind the two leaders. Throughout the first 400 I contemplated dropping out but I had told Brandon that I would help him out once Jayden stepped off so I’m pretty sure that’s the main thing that kept me going. I was thinking that I could at least help Brandon crack 4:04. At 800 I was 2:02 (almost 2:03) and I hadn’t really closed the gap much on Brandon. Knowing that I told Brandon that I would set the pace from there I picked it up and caught them right before the 1000. This was unfortunate timing because Jayden was sliding out to lane 2 to get out of Brandon’s way. I was coming up too fast and I knew that he didn’t see or hear me so I had to swing out to lane 3 to avoid a potential collision. I saw 2:31 for 1000 meters and knew that I had my work cut out for me since I was going to have to lead the rest. I went past Brandon with too much speed and he wasn’t able to come with me so I had to run alone the last 600. I heard a few other splits (like maybe 3:01 for 3-quarters) but I don’t remember thinking about the time as much as just thinking “Keep running.” With 100 meters to go, it was a familiar sight because I’ve done a lot of my speed development sprints indoors this winter. I just thought to myself, "This is like I’ve done a hundred times – just run 13 seconds." The only thing that I remember about crossing the line was looking up at the clock. The clock had been stopped at 4:01 and some tenths and I thought to myself, “at least I got a pr” but only a few moments later the correct time flashed on the screen. I stumbled over and gave my biggest fan, my mom, a big hug. After a short cool down I got a quick rub down from the man, James Brockway and was off to re-hydrate before pacing Guor in the 5k. For the 5k, I had hoped to make it 3200 in 8:56 but after the African from UTEP went around me at 2600 I dropped out. My pace had been good but I was tired of fighting him for the lead. We tossed a few angry words back and forth shortly past the mile and so I wasn’t too anxious to hurt myself to help him out. The first few laps felt EASY but after the 4:27 first 1600 I started realizing how tired I was and I didn’t want to hurt myself. Big thanks to Kevin Born from the ISU team for the photo. My best guess this is at 1400 meters but it could also be at 1100. It's a little blurry but I'd like to credit that to my amazing speed rather than the photography. Hopefully this is my first of many sub 4 miles but thanks to all of you who have called or emailed your support. Special thanks to all of you who are actually still reading this long rambling.


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