I learned a couple of valuable lessons in my 800m joggling world record attempt on Saturday:
1) Don't slow down on the second lap.
2) Don't drop the ball with 50m to go.
Pacer extraordinaire Jay Brecher – who runs a sub-2 800m – agreed to go out at a 32 first lap and 65 for 400m, but I lagged behind a little too much and hit the 400 in 66 or so. The third lap felt pretty good but I was still a couple of seconds behind schedule at 1:40. The good news was that my legs and cardio felt relatively fresh heading into the final 200, and I still thought I had a good shot at a 2:13, with a 33-second last lap.
Down the backstretch, I made a solid move, and started to gain on Jay, who was still running on a 2:12 pace. Coming around the final bend, I put the hammer down, but my leg turnover suddenly fell out of synch with my juggling and one of my tosses went too high. I tried to regain the pattern, but moving at a 4-minute-mile pace, this proved impossible and I dropped.
By the time I scrambled around to pick up the ball and start up again, I lost about four or five seconds. Looking at the clock as I finished, I dropped again just as I was crossing the line, which I also did in my joggling marathon record, but in that case I had a couple of minutes to spare. In the 800, every second – and every catch – counts.
I'll try again in an outdoor race, and maybe even take a crack at the mile record of 4:42.