It was a cold day in New York City. It felt like 18 degrees with the wind chill. My family and I started the day off with a taxi ride to the notorious Armory track. When we arrived, we joined the crowd of runners and coaches, attempting to find our way around the facility. I was able to find Ben Ewert and his father, who were very helpful and even gave us advice on where to sit and where to find a place that was quiet. We finally settled in for a while until it was time to warm up. I warmed up outside for approximately 15 minutes. Upon returning to the facility, I did drills and strides and almost instantly it was time to race.
The gun went off and I immediately hopped up to the front. However, about 400m into the race, I found myself within the pack and inconveniently boxed in. I knew this race was going to be run fairly tactical through 800m, but coming through the line in 2:09 at 800m put me off. I'm not used to running tactically. People generally know I try to avoid tactical racing at all costs, but in this race, I found myself slipping bit by bit to 6th place or so. When the "real racing" began, I felt like I simply couldn't hang with the foot speed of my competitors. Even after running a 2:03 for the second 800m, I didn't manage to gain any ground and ran around a 4:12. It was not the most comfortable race I've ever had, nor a tactic I favored, but this race taught me that certain races call for adapting to the competitors, the surroundings, and the hype around the race. It also taught me that I need to learn and understand how to manage a pack.
Dustin Horter finished in a competitive 8th place among many of the country's best milers.
My coach and I decided to train through the indoor national meet in New York. The week before we put in a few days of tough intervals and another tough workout two days before the meet. Although this is not an excuse for my performance on Sunday, I'm more focused on the bigger picture of things than indoor nationals. The indoor nationals are very important, but I'd rather save my "peak" for the Ohio State Outdoor Meet and outdoor nationals. It was a hard decision for my coach and I, but indoor nationals was simply icing on the cake for a good indoor season. We're looking to move on to outdoor and really go all in this season in events spanning from the 800m to 3200m. It should be a very fun season, and I can personally say I'm excited to see what my team and I can do this upcoming season.
Dustin Horter is hoping to accomplish some big goals during the 2017 outdoor season.