What a weekend! As you may have noticed I have been getting a little excited and it has been flowing into my blog posts! This weekend took my excitement to a whole new level!
First things first, last week was a down week because we had a race Friday and we will race again on Sunday April 7th. So our mileage was down to 65-70 and we had a relatively short workout on Tuesday. The real excitement of the early part of the week was hearing Barb Broad, a Cleveland Elite Development Athlete, re-cap her USA Masters Championships weekend for us. Barb started the weekend off with a National Championship win in the 60-65 age group 3000m. She followed that up with a 6:06 mile effort to bring home gold only 4 seconds away from an age group world record! Finally she closed off the weekend with a new age group American record in the 800m with a stunning time of 2:41! So needless to say we soaked up her experience on our cooldown with giggles and comments of her incredible fitness level in the face of age! I can't really explain the pride it made me feel knowing I get to share the track with her, and learn from someone as ageless as Barb. Such an inspiration!
The latter part of the week held it's own excitement when Thursday morning 4 of us ladies headed to Raleigh to chase down some times of our own! We had an uneventful trip down and lots of laughs. Once finally in Raleigh it was time for some sleep. Friday started off right with coffee and then we headed to the track to get things underway. Aubrey, our 25 year old goofball, was the first to go...knowing that she had a PR of 18:50 going in, we all were aware that would soon change! Aubrey ran a very smart race moving up the entire time to crush her PR by 30 seconds running 18:20! Now if that isn't starting off on the right foot, I am not sure what is! Then a heat with some of the ladies on the University of Akron team went off, and both Akron girls raced well and came away with a PR for Jill 17:51, and a season (including indoor) best for Marissa 18:18! Next up was Heidi, our honorary team member from just south of Canada, she is probably the mature gal of the bunch, which means she thinks before she speaks around here! lol! Heidi is a newby to the distance side of the track world and in only her 2nd 5k she ran like a veteran, slowing moving up through the other athletes and nearly pulling off a win in her heat! She managed to take 35 seconds off of her PR and run 17:18! Needless to say I was a little giddy to see so much giddy-up out there!!
We went back to the hotel and got in a nap since Nicole and I wouldn't race until 8:30 and 10:00 pm. After a nap and some food we were back at the track! I was next to toe the line. Unlike my teammates, I didn't race as smart. I thought 5:15-5:16 pace would be good for the first mile and hoped to go from there. I was a little fast though 6 laps and it came back to haunt me a bit. I was able to hold on better than I ever have in the past and pull off a PR by .26 seconds...but who is counting! 16:46.56 to finish 20th in my heat! It was another great step in the right direction. 18 seconds faster than last month! My first PR since this exact day 3 years ago!
Finally Nicole took the track. I was probably more nervous to watch her than I was for my own race, but I quickly could see she had this one under control! She clicked away 81-82 seconds a lap for all 25 laps with the exception of lap 1 and lap 25 which were 79's! 33:55!! 5 seconds from the USA B standard and over 1 minute under her previous PR!
I couldn't help but feel my heart swell with pride for this team! Things really seem to be coming along! I think I can speak for us all when I say I think this is only the beginning of the things we are capable of doing! I am pretty sure my heart swelled a little too much because the next morning I promise was one of the tougher 4 miles of my life! My rib cage and triceps were killing me, at 8:45 pace! haha! I haven't stopped thinking about how exciting all of this is! We are being careful to stay healthy, and trying to continue to improve on our fitness looking forward to the upcoming weeks!
Check out the results for the USA 8k Club Championships Sunday as we will be back in action in Chicago!