Once Northport's Brigid Brennan steps on the track, it doesn't take long for her to assess her progress.
"I can tell if it's going to be a good race right when I start," Brennan said. "If I'm thinking positive thoughts, it usually turns out to be a pretty good race for me. If it gets to the end and I'm still thinking positive thoughts, that's when I know that I'm really going to have a good race."
Brennan felt nothing but positive vibes as she entered the final lap of the championship mile at last weekend's Yale Track Classic, held at the New Haven, Conn. Ivy League school. The senior won in 5 minutes, 4.13 seconds, breaking her previous school record of 5:08.43, set last season, coach Beth Zebuth said.
"I started out in the back for a little while," Brennan said. "I felt really strong with about 800 to go, so I started to move up then. I was in second for the last three laps. The last lap is when I kicked. I went for it at the end."
It was the second time Brennan had broken her own record. She set the school standard with a 5:09.90 in 2012, Zebuth said.
"It's great to be part of a program that has such great runners," Brennan said. "I always look at the record board and look to see what records I can break. I hope that, in the future, girls will do that to my record."
Despite her occasional record board gazing, a school mark wasn't in the forefront of her mind when the race began. In fact, it never is.
"I usually don't think about breaking a record," Brennan said. "I go in there looking for a good race and usually the times come after. The time will be good if I've raced well. The time comes with the race."