This morning I had the race against Veronica that I have mentioned a few times on this blog. I have to admit that I was a little nervous before the race, Holley Mangold in particular had me a little worried by telling me about how tough Veronica was, and that she would do ANYTHING to keep from losing. But I stuck to my game plan and was able to win.
I think Veronica was actually ahead for about the first thousand meters, but after that I pulled ahead and ended up finishing about 30 seconds before her. My time was 7 min 24 seconds.
My plan was to try to keep a 1.55 pace until the last 500, then if possible try to speed up. This was based off my previous 2k PR which was 7 min 39 seconds. I was hoping to beat that, but I didn’t think I would be able to beat it by much, if at all.
Right at the start I found I was rowing faster than I had planned to. After the first 5 or 6 strokes I was at a 1.45 pace, I tried to slowly decrease the speed but stroke after stroke even though I was trying to let off the gas a little I stayed near a 1.48 or 1.49 pace. By the 1000 meter mark I was really worried about having started too fast, but I was able to keep the pace faster than the 1.55 I had planned on. As usual the third 500 meters was the hardest, but when I hit the last 500 meters was actually able to speed back up a little, and I was holding a 1.48 pace when I crossed the finish line.
I think my race strategy was about as good as I could have done. But my training the last 2 0r 3 weeks is what really made the difference. I had been rowing every morning, then running over lunch, but I decided to start training morning, noon, and again in the evening. I woke up every morning the last few weeks and rowed intervals, then at noon I ran (usually 2.5 miles), then in the evening I did more intervals, often doing 10ea 250 meter intervals with 1 min ret in between. Those are TOUGH.
Seven days prior to race day I started tapering by cutting out the evening workout. Then for 2 days prior I did no rowing or running, actually no training of any kind. I think the taper and the 2 days of complete rest worked really well, because I did a “test” 2k 5 days prior to the race in 7.58 and it about killed me. I felt SO much better on race day after the taper.
It feels good to make a plan, and have things work out perfectly.