Hey guys, a general update on the progress of Athletics and just how the day progressed for LUCA Indoors this year! 25th of November rolled round very quickly for it was the (early) beginning of the indoor season for many uni athletes.
After spectating a few heats, it soon became the time to warm up for my first race.
60m was a race I felt more confident in and was the race I wanted to focus and succeed at. Block starts and accelerations felt good during the warm up, which did calm the nervers. I ended up running a 8.40, 2nd in the heat, but extremely happy regardless because it was a massive improvement to my PB of 8.76!
Not long after the 60m heats came the 200m heats. I was moved up a heat from the original heats which was unexpected and got placed in lane 6. Lane 6 on an indoor track means you're running at such an unnatural angle and requires a lot of strength to get back up the bend at the 100m mark. Yet, with practice a few weeks prior, I felt lane 6 was ideal, even though I did struggle to get up the bend. I ran a 28.15, 1st in my heat, which was also a massive PB down from 28.75 outdoor and 29.46 indoor.
So the original plan was just to perform at my best and make two personal bests and making a final would be nice but it wasn't the end of the world if I didn't. I qualified 2nd fastest for both the 60m and 200m, how that happened I don't know.
200m. I drew lane 4 which I didn't think was too bad. It ended with 28.21 (glad to be consistent and the heats wasn't a fluke) coming in 2nd, and I was quite upset as I lost it in the last 10 metres. The 200m final was after the 60m final (which will follow) and I think all the running took a toll on my legs.
60m. The ultimate race that was more my discipline. The finalists were all sitting in call room but it had still gotten delayed as the photo finished had to be adjusted from a previous final. Getting into blocks after 'on your marks', all I could think was "this is it, you made it this far into the final, you've got to perform'. 'Set'...and we were off.
Dr. Dan was filming the race on his own phone at the end of the 60m stretch and it looked like I made top 3 so I definitely made podium, but it looked likely to be 3rd place. After an anxious wait, the results appeared on the wall and my name was at the top. 1st place?...It took a few seconds for it to sink in. From starting athletics last year, no track experience, without a coach and not even owning spikes. Running a 8.89 and not qualifying for finals to coming 1st. Despite it being a restriction to a competition to London universities, it was a huge step forward for me. On another plus, I ran another PB of 8.37 that was later rounded down to 8.36.
During the medal ceremony, I was told that I was ahead by 3/1000ths of a second! The dip really made all the difference. So what can I take away from this experience? Don't always trust the times that are on paper, I shouldn't have made finals according to the times of others, but I did and podium'ed on both!
Relays, the final race of the day but the part I most enjoyed. You train together with you teammates, but ultimately you're trying to improve your personal best. When it comes to relays, it's only time that actual teamwork is required. The leg positions were announced a few weeks prior and I was so nervous about running 1st leg because the pressure was definitely on. The relay ended really well with King's A placing in 1st place, breaking the King's and LUCA record!
Song recommendation: For this week, rather than a single song recommendation, I'm recommending a playlist that I was asked to make to create a competition atmosphere for LUCA.