« Health & Fitness

2014 Meijer State Games

by Michael Louden

Last weekend I traveled up to East Kentwood high school to compete in the Track and Field portion of the Meijer State Games. I love running on their track as it is red and is in very good shape.

I was participating in the 800 m run and the mile run. I was going to wear my new spike shoes I got last week. They are lime green with orange laces. Spike shoes are lighter are your feet and can help you run faster.

The first race I ran was the 800 m run. It is a half mile in distance and is two laps around the track. Now this is not my best race as it combines both speed and endurance and speed is something I don't really have. When the gun went off I burst my way near the front as I found myself in fourth place after the first turn around the track and then another runner passed me and I found myself in fifth place. When I got back to the front stretch I moved back into fourth place and ran a 1:12 first lap. My goal for the race was to run in under 2:35 as this is my personal best. When I began the second lap I could feel my pace slowing and this was a concern as I wanted to run a personal best. I fell back to fifth place on the back stretch and continued to push as hard as I could. When I hit the front stretch I ran as hard as I could to the end and could see the time creeping toward 2:35. I stretched out across the line and finished with a time of 2:34, a new personal best and I took 5th overall and first in my age group.

Next came the one mile run about an hour later and this was a race I could pace myself in better. My goal was to break 6:00 minutes. I wanted to run the first lap around 1:25 which is what I ended up doing as I found myself in sixth place. As the second lap began I passed one of the runners and maintained the pace I had set for the first lap as I ran another 1:25 and was at 2:50 at the half mile mark, 10 seconds under the 6 minute mile. The third lap I began to slow up a little and I could hear a group of runners behind me as I was at 4:21, as I turned in a 1:31 lap. I knew at this point I was going to break 6 minutes as I was still nine seconds under the 6 minute pace. I got passed by three runners around 150 m to go and I was starting to run out of gas, but I gave it my all and crossed the line in 5:51 as I beat my goal of six minutes. I finished third in my age group and 8th overall.

I had a successful weekend and now I will go back to focusing on 5K races as my next one will be July 4th. I look to continue my progression toward the 19 minute mark.