Having a competition after an 8-hour work day is always a bit of a challenge. But yet, that’s the reality of the Luxembourgish indoor championships, where I was running the 60m and 200m series on Friday evening, and looking to qualify for the finals on Saturday.
I was off to a bad start. Not just figuratively, either. My 60m start is often my weak spot, and in the series it once again seemed that I was reacting slower than everyone else. Consequently, I had a hard time catching up, and crossed the finish line in a disappointing 4th position. Needless to say that I was too slow to qualify for the final. My 7″53 was only the 11th best time of the evening, and that’s not counting a couple of foreign starters who were only allowed to run the series.
Of note in this series was that Tom Reuter (in yellow/black) had a much faster start than me but pulled a muscle in the final meters, as can be seen below.
The 200m series were a little better. I was in the same heat as Pol Bidaine, who’d go on to win the final. If I wanted to qualify for the final, all I could do was therefore to accept that someone was easily in front of me, and then try and limit the damage by placing ahead of everyone else. This worked to the extent that I finished 2nd and ran 23″50, an improvement over my previous 2016 best, but of course the gap was very noticeable.
The next day, I didn’t line up for the 60m final at 15:00 (I could have – there were a number of people who had qualified but decided not to run). But I didn’t know that in advance, and considering the state of my achilles tendon, it was already a stretch to do the 200m final a day after two races. Since I was still pretty fresh in my injury recovery, there was a fairly thin line that separated me from over-extending myself. Instead, since the wife and I had guests for lunch, I was able to actually stay home for the entire duration of lunch instead of heading to the indoor track while our guests would still have been eating.
Said lunch still influenced my 200m final however, because I probably had a little too much of it too closely to the 16:00 race. As if a full belly wasn’t enough trouble, my left foot was also problematic. While the achilles was holding up comparatively well, I was fighting some instability issues that have been cropping up quite often in recent years because I’m just not used to running in spikes anymore. This instability issue translates to pain at the top of my foot, and it was distracting enough that I was very concerned that I wouldn’t be able to start, or finish. In the end, I decided to tough it out, and ran the final, although in a distracted state. I crossed the finish line in a a disappointing 23″97, almost in last place.