It felt weird last year in Berea not to be running the 800m at Nationals,my first time not duking it out over 2 laps at Nationals and truth be told not only did I not think I'd not be running 800m this season,I didn't forsee 800s in my future period....then came a spectacular "crash and burn" in the 3,000m at Indoor Nationals which meant a serious rethink.
The simple truth is 800m has been my best event since the summer of 76 in my freshman year in high school,it just took me 36 years to realize that I'm a natural 800m runner....what can I say I'm a slow learner.....but not a slow 800m runner!!
Having easily advanced to Saturdays final w/ a comfortable 2.11.3. I was ready to throw down,w/ the 5th fastest seed time I knew I had to run above what I'd been running all season,the good news for me was I believed 6x600m repeats 14 weeks out of 16 since training for Outdoor Nationals begun had prepared me to do just that.
Once again I found the lane assignment a little cockeyed,my "reward" for winning my heat was lane 2 w/ heat one winner Landen Summay inside me in lane 1,I'd like to see Nationals adopt the Olympic/World C'ships policy of rewarding heat winners w/ middle lanes,Landen would've had lane 4 w/ me in lane 5.....I doubt we'll ever see that happen....but you never know.
From the gun the defending M45 champ Landen Summay quickly made up the stagger and took the lead,I knew his 2.03 seed time was not only "as advertised" but also a tad too rich for my blood as we broke from our lanes at the top of the back straight Michael Scholtz from lane 3 and William Mason from lane 5 got ahead of me to put me 4th but off the podium as we made our way to the 200m mark.
I didn't catch my split as I was more concerned w/ the distance between Michael in 2nd and William in 3rd but coming up the home straight I moved off the rail to the outside of lane 1 to set myself up to make my move.
61 at the bell which has been my bench mark all summer I overtook William to claim bronze at least and while I had said at my last meet in NYC on Aug 24th I'd willingly take a pair of bronzes in both the 800m and 1,500m I wasn't willing to just settle and continued my persuit of indoor runner up Michael Scholtz.
I did hear 1.31 at 600m which meant I was holding pretty much 30/31 second 200 splits which is not too shabby if I say so myself,rounding the turn for home I knew a third silver at 800m was mine for taking and to add icing on the cake my time of 2.06.1. was a seasons best by 2 seconds but also my fastest time since Feb of last year indoors at The Armory 18 months ago.
I'm thrilled w/ the silver and my time it's the culmination of four months of blood sweat,blisters but no tears, though there were days of sheer frustration on the track and getting to the races.
To put things in prespective on May 14th I ran flat out at a college meet at Swarthmore but could only muster a 2.11.7. and wound up DFL....Dead Fucking Last!!,fast forward 12 weeks and a lot of hard work and no shortage of self belief to a 2.06.1. a seasons best and a third silver at Nationals since 08,Seb Coe knew a little something about finishing 2nd in major 800m finals.....time to crack open my Steve Ovett biographies and read what it takes to win an Olympic 800m final and ready myself for next season!!!