I can still recall my first Masters Nationals in Charlotte in 06,sitting in the stands on Sunday morning watching the 1,500m finals,I knew then the following year I wanted to be out there running the metric mile and sure enough in Orono I finished 3rd overall by won the silver as the 2nd place runner was a non US citizen.
A year later in Spokane I won my first major 1,500m race,in high school I was runner up in 78/79 in my junior and senior years.
In Sacramento I won another silver but had to watch from the sidelines last summer in Berea as my anemia forced me to run 5,000m/10,000m at Nationals,that seems like a lifetime ago now.
Coming into Sundays final I had a seasons best 4.21.2 set three weeks ago in Oregon,it earnt me the #5 seed but I knew I could go faster if need be like I did in the 800m on Saturday,could I get on the podium?
On paper it came down to a head to head between the gold and silver medalists from Thursdays 5,000m Andrew Duncan and Francis Burdett and Saturdays 800m Landen Summey and me,add Daniel Monteau w/ the second fastest seed time 4.14. and there was the battle for the bling.
My feeling was Andrew Duncan was the pre race favourite and Daniel Monteau would go w/ him,if I could tuck in behind them and hang on for the ride I could be ok.
From the gun I tucked in behind them and went through the opening 300m in 52 seconds and the opening 400m in 70 seconds,it was all going to plan.......
Cue Francis Burdett and then Landen Summay relegating me to 5th by the 500m mark,this was not the time to panic.
2.05 at 700m and 2.22 at 800m a 70/72 split it was going to,plan split wise.
Technically I lost the race at the bell,I should,ve sat back in 5th as we went through 1,100m in 3.15 and maybe if I was in 4th I would've but 5th was 2 spots off the podium and it's possible I paniced.
I blew by Landen and Francis to reclaim 3rd,heard 3.30 at 1,200m for a 70,72,70 set of splits and began setting my sights on Andrew and Daniel.
W/ 200m to go I was already running flat out where as if I'd bided my time and kicked now I could've really made a splash.
w/ 110m to go Landen Summay blew by me and I had nothing to come back at him w/ but while his momentum nullified me it also carried him past Daniel Monteau who now began to unravel infront of me up the home straight.
I truly believe if I had another 10 meters I'd have caught Monteau for the bronze and I have the data to back that up,the difference between third and fourth was 6 100ths of a second,4.18.0-4.18.6,yes it was that close!
To have lowered my seasons best by 3 seconds is pleasing but to have missed out on a medal is gaulling,I pride myself on my kick finish but what I need to work on is when to kick for the third time since Spokane 08 I kicked too soon,this was the first time over 1,500m and I need to work on that.
There are those who say"you learn nothing from a loss"I think that's bollocks what I learnt on Sunday was have faith in my finishing kick and not to unleash it too soon,I relish the next 1,500m race whenever it is,trust me this defeat will motivate me long after the season is over.....