I met all of my Oiselle Haute Volée teammates and we did a cool photo shoot. It was so much fun to meet them all. I feel very blessed to be a part of Oiselle. Despite our serious faces, we were all laughs between shots!
I spent time with all the ladies racing from CED and former Clevlanders Nicole, and Heidi as well. I loved getting to see everyone. I did get antsy, and taper/pre-marathon angry and had to apologize for being sassy! haha, sorry ladies, I love you (I know I don't have to tell you that)!
The day was hot. As we warmed up, I thought about how lucky I was to be pain free, and so excited to be able to race. I was thrilled to be at my 3rd Olympic Trials.
The gun went off, and we had a great group of gals together. The goal was to run smart, and NOT be the carnage that the heat was going to leave along Figueroa street.
Jess, Nicole and Ellie, toward the back of this pack in pink (Jess) and yellow tops(Nicole and Ellie), all would run well in the heat and finish in 58th, 71st, and 29th respectively!
Beth would run a stellar race as well and finish in 43rd.
Despite my best efforts, and being around some amazing gals to help pull me along, I simply did not feel like I could settle in on a pace. I was running 6:30's for miles 6-10 and still felt off.
I shifted focus to just trying to maintain effort. I was starting to really struggle and feel quite a bit of anxiety during the second loop. I was having a hard time believing I was feeling this poorly and we weren't even at the 10 mile mark yet!
At mile 11 I was certain I would not be able to finish the race. I took a second, let Ryan know I may have to drop out, shook it off and started running again.
The crowds were incredible. The Oiselle cheer section held some of the best spectators athletes could ask for. Screaming words of encouragement and making me grin. Seeing Ryan 10 times on the course was incredible, as well as my family, and so many other friends. The support was amazing, and I hope my smiles showed how much I appreciated you all out there...for so long!
When I saw Kelsi Nutter on the sidelines in her boot, I remembered how lucky I was to be out there. Injury is very prevalent, and I was so lucky to be "pain" free and running in this race. No matter how long it took to get to the finish line. I resolved to finish unless I would worsen my injury. I was feeling no pain in my butt. My legs were trashed, they felt beat up like they typically do around miles 20-22 by mile 10.
I had become part of the carnage, I had trained so hard not to be part of. Slow or fast, we pressed on. Around mile 22 I caught up with Lyndy Davis, and the 2 of us worked together to get through the last hellish lap. This was huge for me! Thank you Lyndy! I felt so uplifted by every cheer, every person spending their Saturday to cheer for us!
As I neared the finish line, I couldn't help but smile. 16 miles earlier I didn't believe I would be able to cross that line. After swallowing my pace pride, and making the decision to hang in there, despite things not going the way I had wanted, I felt proud to finish the race. 25% of the women who started the race did not make it to the finish line, due to the heat, injury, and many other reasons. The longest marathon of my life was completed. 3 hours 11 minutes and 37 seconds. 7:18 pace. I was disappointed yet proud.
I had a great time later that night, with some amazing ladies, and signing posters for all the people who poured their hearts into cheering us along earlier that day, and talking all things running, racing, and Oiselle. We are lucky to have such an amazing support group! Thank you to everyone who spent the day cheering us on, and supporting us, you are inspiring, incredible, and make running worth all the rough days!
Early the next morning, Ryan and I had to say goodbye to the sunshine and head home.
While I wanted a lot more out of this weekend in the way of faster results, and higher placing, I know better races lie ahead. I am thankful for this opportunity! I am hungry to get back out there, train smarter, work hard to get my core issues resolved, and with a little luck and a whole lot of work, I plan to give the 2020 Olympic Trials hell! On to the next one.