This article has photos & videos of some of my races. Everything below is listed in the UK Power of 10 rankings, which is all public information. No hiding or lying on Seed times (which is a whole different story!). (Pescara results are still pending at the time of this writing)
This is Part 3 of a multi-part series.
- The Journey & Realistic Goal setting
- The 10 changes I needed to do to avoid injury as in the past
- Race Report, part 1 (including the superspikes) this article
- EMAC in Pescara (part 2)
- Some changes for 2024 to prep for WMA in Gothenburg
In short, I broke the 2023 season down into a few series of meets:
- The first 4 meets, I wore flats, not spikes, for a 300-400-200-300m.
- local all-comers & league meets, both Masters only and Open (non-scoring)
- the UK (BMAF) Nationals in Derby
- the League Championships in London (final prep)
- EMACs in Pescara, Italy
May to July
As well as holding off with the spikes as long as possible, I would start using a 800m crouch start, then 4 point start with no blocks, and finally use blocks. I never got to the last stage this year.
In terms of spikes, I have 2 pairs, and always carry 2 pairs in case one breaks, which they are prone to happen. I have Nike Air Zoom Victory (ideal for 400-800m) and Nike Air Zoom Maxfly More Uptempo (100-400m).
But when I finally decided to use my spikes, the rain Gods weren’t with me for a 300m, as it was absolutely torrential rain, similar to the UK Open Nationals. I was soaked, including all my warm up gear. Time to invest in some GORTEX. This photo is a 46.01 doing the 300m freestyle. Welcome to England, Mr. Lee!
Aug and Sept
I finally turned M60 in late July, which means the real season has started. Everything before was just practice. Practice. Practice.
I did a 300-200 back-to-back in 44.84 & 28.20 with a one hour break, in good weather conditions, which was good training for fitness. This gave me the confidence I could run twice in one day. No injuries, and please how things are progressing considering 5 months of training (including a week off in late April and late July!)
I have no photos or videos of this race, sorry!
BMAF Nationals in Derby… 400-200
The drive to Derby took 6 hours door-to-door being a Friday afternoon and a train strike. Welcome to the UK.Nevertheless, still not an excuse. My 400m went terrible, over 1 second slower than 2 weeks before. Feeling sorry for myself, our team, the Worthing Harriers, went out for a group dinner, and I ordered a rack of ribs… and a beer. Why not? I just felt awful.
The next day, i woke up in one piece, and surprisingly, nothing hurt. As if I didn’t run. (You can argue a 66.96 was not even running!)
So onwards to the 200m, which was quite early in the morning. This means waking up at least 4 hours before your race. You have to wake up your CNS! As soon as the hotel restaurant was open for breakfast, I raced down for the coffee machine.
Being a championship meet, you have to enter several weeks before the meet. Then the Laws of Attrition shows up… those who are left standing, toe the line. We had 16 entries for the M60 200m, so I was expecting 2 sections of timed finals. I was surprised at the call room only one heat was needed, and there were only 7 men who declared, with only 5 at the start line.
They had live streaming, so I took the 14 hour recording and sliced 28 seconds worth for the 200m. I am in Lane 8, in a VAC singlet, and using a standing start (not good, too wobbly! Next time, get down on all fours!). At least we had live streaming for this meet, and it was good quality, too!
I did come 3rd and pleasantly surprised with a medal:
VAC – 200m only – the heat wave!
This race I’ll remember for a long time as it was 32°C and humid. Now I know how Doha or Tokyo feels. (No, I don’t). What was unusual is this track had a 132m curve, and 68m straightaway. I had Lane 2 and just tried to push the curve to keep up to my teammate Brian Steene, as he’s a 26-point guy.
But damn, it was not meant to be, trying to break 28. The conditions were good and hot. But at this point, on the long walk back to my warm up clothes at the start line, I felt for the first time all season, my left (good) Achilles. Not a good sign to get hurt just 2 weeks before EMACs, as I was so careful all season. Was Lane 2 the culprit? Or just wear & tear of using superspikes without proper loading? These shoes are stiff! They do not bend!
Brian won that race, as well as the 100m earlier that day. I’ll take the silver.
So 2 weeks to go… time to start planning everything I need in 2 pieces of luggage, Easyjet compatible. I’ll have to forget about the yoga mat & foam roller, as I don’t want to check my bags.
NEXT: EMACs in Pescara, Italy.