One of the dilemmas of sprinting and pursuiting is optimising recovery between heats, in a limited time frame. We had a bit over an hour (may have been closer to 2, don’t actually remember!) between the heat and the final. Appetite is suppressed so I made up some Endura Opti (which tastes revolting for the first few mouthfuls, but works a treat), jelly dinosaurs, staminade, some dried fruit. I couldn’t stomach anything harder than that. I kept the fluids up, got in some calories and carbohydrate with a bit of protein on the side. I am never sure if it’s enough, but yesterday, it would have to do.
I started in the front straight for the final. After mentally rehearsing the start for the back straight, I had to switch views to the front straight, but once out of the gate, it’s the same, no matter what side you’re on, job is the same. I was actually a little nervous for the final, even though the job sounded pretty simple: at a minimum repeat the heat and keep Julie in sight, at best, catch her. I also wanted to slow down the first couple of laps, because I wanted to have something left for the final laps. At last year’s states, I was on the way to catching Julie halfway through, blew big time and lost. I wasn’t prepared to repeat that.
Out of the gate, and lap one was 0.12 faster than in the heat (I didn’t find that out til later), with the hand signal the same. I didn’t panic, not wanting another 19 sec lap 2. The next 2 laps were a second slower than the heat, so I was on plan. On paper, those laps like good, but in actuality I rode them poorly. I was very twitchy, anxious to get Julie in my sights, but not wanting to literally blow my chances. I wasn’t as smooth as in the heat, and kept surging then having to pull it back fractionally. In other words, it took a long time (too long) to get into a rhythm. It wasn’t until into lap 4 that I had Julie in range. Looking at the lap splits later, it was at that time my laps settled and stayed steady until the final lap, which was 0.5 sec slower, despite my efforts to lift!
Lap 5 I began to think about lifting, but my body blocked – there was no response. I was also worried about blowing up and even though I had a bit of time up on Julie, it was still possible to lose with 3laps to go, if I hit the wall. 2 laps to go and another attempt to lift, and again nothing, no response. Final lap and my breathing began to get ragged, and I again tried to bring it home stronger than the previous lap. Nothing was happening, but it didn’t matter. I crossed the line with the first gun shot mine. I was hoping for another PB, but it wasn’t to be. But I know I am on track, the training is working, and all going well in 12months time should be hitting targets.