No Category selected Saturday, July 5, 2008

    Saturday, July 5, 2008


    RACE DAY – 6:40PM Olympic Trials – Alumni Stadium, Windsor, ON

    Sometimes I wish there was a formula that I could plug a few training stats into and the result would equal the perfect amount of pre-race preparation. Other times I am happy that athletics doesn’t work that way and that each athlete is responsible for the hours before their event. I entered the warm up area more than two hours before the 400m Hurdles were slotted to race. I felt ready.

    It was more than 30 degrees out, and the tension – as with many national events – was hanging almost as heavy as the humidity. I tried my best to ease my nerves by talking to some other trackletes, and to be honest I was feeling more calm than usual. Perhaps that was part of the difference.
    At 11 minutes after 6 P.M. the check-in area announced our second call. I was the first to marshal in: Heat 2 (of three), Lane 8. The girls filed in quietly. Sitting in my seat I watched as each girl uniquely began to prepare in their minds. Some were jumping around, some closed their eyes, some started to talk to anyone that would listen. I didn’t have much to say, my stomach was starting to churn; then they called out the first heat.

    By the time my heat was called, I was only thinking one thing – 63 seconds. That’s what I wanted to run, or beat. Heat one set their blocks, I paced around in the waiting area just right of the track. “A vos marques” – “prêt “ ….  

    I quietly practiced my reaction time with the starter. Heat one blazed through their race and we were called out to the track.
    Lane 8 can be a daunting position to start any race. It is way outside, and way up front. I have heard a lot of people complain about lane 8. Personally, I’ve spent a race or two out there, so I felt okay with it. I however, was not prepared, after having set my blocks, to deal with a certain news corporation picking up my blocks, moving them and forcing my lane to wait while they got settled. For the record, I refuse to have this seen as an excuse but it was a curve ball, and it rushed me for my on-track pre-race warm up. I took a deep breath and re-set my blocks.


    The race was going to be intense; our heat times were close in range. Each athlete was announced. The starter called us to get ready. There were hundreds of people screaming. My heart was pounding.

    Out of the blocks my mind went blank. This is a good thing. I was only worried about getting my ass around the track as fast as humanly possible. The first hurdle came as always (although Carla would later explain to me that I stuttered a bit, and likely didn’t set myself up for the best race because of that), the second through 5th were as smooth as ever, eight was when my body started to realize I was killing myself and nine and 10 were more of a blur of pain. Across the finish line the lactic acid took over everything; I was dead…. but could have I ran faster?

    At the time I thought I had ran under 63 seconds. I soon found out I did not. 64. 66 was the final time.

    o PB.
    No going to the final.