Things have continued to progress over the past 3 weeks since my last post! After Chicago we had a pretty easy week of training with only one real workout, which for some reason was killer for us. I was struggling to hit 40's for 200m and just having an off week. I woke up that following Sunday with a sore throat and cold, so I took my first real day off in months. But after 3 nights of 10+ hours of sleep countless glasses of water and tissues later it was time to slip on my spikes for my final track meet of the season!
The conditions were less than ideal, but I thought I could race well so here is how it went! I got to the track early to watch Jillian, a University of Akron Zip take to the track in the 2nd heat of the women's 5k. Jill raced smart and came up about 1 second shy of a PR despite strong winds and chilly temperatures. Then after watching the CED guys race I went to the car to get warm! I enjoyed a cup of coffee and some tunes while I waited on my teammates to get Jesse Owens Stadium. About 6:30 Jess and Nicole (our cheerleader for the evening) arrived. At 7 we went for our warm up, and we were pretty giggly and chatting about the races earlier in the day. We made the decision to tuck in an wait as long as possible not to have to deal with the wind. Back at the track we did a few final preps, and headed to the line. The gun went off at 8 right on time! I let people take the race out for us and for the first 400 meters the entire field was together in 81 or so. On the 2nd lap the lead pack began to form and pull away from the field so I got around a few people and tucked in at the back of that pack. We were still pretty slow through the mile about 5:23, then for the next 3 laps through 3k we stayed slow, around 81 seconds a lap until finally Jessica took the lead with 2k to go and began to push. I followed after her and Juli Accurso of Ohio University and pushed as hard as I could. I had a good push for 2k and ended up finishing 3rd in 16:47.01. Jess won the race, and had a hell of a last 2k to do it. Something along the lines of 6:22 I believe. I was very pleased with the way I raced. I thought I did all I could have to finish well and ran a decent time. I feel like I am in better shape than 16:40's, but that is what the day yielded and I was really happy with the last 2k in 6:35 or so.
Nicole is racing at Stanford this weekend with hopes of a fast 10k and with the way I felt at 5:24 pace, I think she will race very well and come away with a new PR, and hopefully a chance to race at the USA Track and Field Champs this June! She races pretty late on Sunday, but I might have to get up and watch it, I have a feeling I wont be sleeping well knowing she is racing!
My focus now is on getting into half marathon PR shape so that I can make a run for top 10 and sub 1:15 in Duluth Minnesota in June. I had a solid workout on tuesday and just another step toward becoming the athlete I want to be. The workout was a tough one, but my coach reminded us prior to the start that if we want to reach the goals we have talked about this was the way we were going to get there. It made the workout more fun being reminded of the dreams I was chasing after!
A little picture from the race thanks to Jinger Moore, our awesome photographer!