By Jess Palmer
I still can't believe I got in this race. I had been told by the meet director that unattached and non-D1 athletes were the lowest of low priorities, so seeing my name on the heat sheet Thursday morning was a welcome surprise. I might have even yelped in delight (think Howard Dean, circa 2006). This meant getting to race on a banked, fast 200m indoor track for the first time. And after growing up in Nebraska, racing at the Husker facility was fandom feeding goodness.
Brad's plan was 35 seconds per lap for 2K and to then attack the last 1K. The field was single file after lap 2 and I quickly found myself near the back-- but right on pace.
Patience is tested when sitting that far back.
Hit 1600m at 4:40 (yep, still 35s like a robot) and considered moving up, but thought better of it and relaxed a couple more laps. At 2K I still felt good, still hitting splits, so started to move. Passed a few guys and then moved up to the next group. Passed a few more. Didn't even mind spending a little time in lane 2 on that banked surface. Just kept matriculatin' my postition round the track. I moved from 17th to 7th in that last 1K and finished with a shiny new PR of 8:41.
A happy end to my indoor season, looking forward to rolling into outdoor with the rest of the Hudson crew.