The Leader of the Pack

Anna's final two track meets of the season took place this week. Since she now had a few 2400 meter races under her belt, the coaches decided to give her a chance to do a distance triple: an 800m in the 3200m relay, the 1600m run, and the 2400m run.

Avon & Lincoln Tri: Based on last week's conference meet  including Avon and last fall's cross country meet against Lincoln, Anna figured she wouldn't have much competition. And in the end she was right. That brought her to new territory: how to run alone from the front.

In the 4x800 she ran her slowest split of the season and wasn't pushed so she was just striding out. The problem here was that the race came down to a final sprint and lean from her teammate. Lesson to learn: the anchor is the only person in the relay that can give less than a full effort when running from the front.

In the 1600m, she had a 6:00 goal. We talked a lot about running an even first 3 quarters, then dropping the hammer for the last 400, not worrying about being behind in the first 800. She started off and paid attention to the pacing, but went a little faster than goal. Because she was a little fast, she eased up a bit too much in the middle 800. At the 1200 mark she thought she was on pace and gave a little fist pump and let it all hang out for the last lap. Final time: 6:07. She had done a very nice job of running a smart and controlled race with even half splits to set a PR by 7 seconds. She did learn what I've been telling her about controlling the first 400m, and that she had so much more energy left for the last 1200m.

We talked before the 2400m, and she told me she still felt really good. We set a goal pace and she was off to execute. They ran the boys and girls together so the first 200 was pretty a pretty rough pack with some jostling and moving around. Anna was a little below pace for the 400, had dropped a little below for the second 400, then slipped to right at 5 secs per lap below the goal pace. By the 400m mark she was running apart from the girls and passing some of the boys. From then on, she was running alone. She did bring it home strong for the final 400, winning by 300m, but was disappointed with a season low time: 9:45. However, time wasn't the complete objective on this night,  it was all about feeling out the triple and getting the win (and points for the team).

Eagle Invitational: There couldn't have been more differences between the Eagle Invite and Monday's tri. The teams we knew were coming on Thursday have some really fast girls. Coach told Anna he needed third place in the 1600 and 2400. And, while she knew that would be a challenge, was ready to give it her best shot. But alas, it was not meant to be. On Thursday morning she woke up with a sore throat and headache. She hoped that getting to school and moving around would help shake it off, but she only made it one period before needing to throw in the towel and come home. Season over.

She had really good season. She was able to run against some tough competition, staying with them for much of the race. She was able to get some wins and learn the importance of training out of season. The coaches are very excited to have her back next year as an eigth grader, especially if those lessons stick.

Artist for Song in Title: The Shangri-Las

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