So as you know from my previous blog going into this weekend I was not at all sure what to expect. I'm not much for putting my goals out for others to see but I can fess up now. The goal for the race was to hit 33:20. I'm not going to lie I kind of thought there was no way I was going to hit that. All day long poor Ali had to listen to me say how crazy this was, how I really didn't want to run on the track, on and on. My plan (Scott was not informed of this yet) was to run this stupid track thing, hope i hit 33:20 which would give me the Olympic Trials B standard and hope that was good enough to get me in the race. Lucky for me I got to go after my friends. Earlier in the day Janelle Martinez ran a great PR in the 5k 16:58 in her first track 5k for Oklahoma State. Than just before my race Ali got on the track to run a seriously inspiring 5k. She ran a PR of 15:24and finished 4th in a stacked field. Watching as much of her race as I could fit into my warm up and preparation was just what I needed! I got to see a bit of how it works on the track how she tucked into the inside and went along for the ride. I dont get to work out with Ali too mich since we live a couple hours apart but i do get to go down on occasion and hit some hard days with her. Just a week before the race i had the pleasure of doing our 400 workout together. So seeing Ali do so well helped calm me, the workout i did with her went great so i knew i was just as ready as she was. (Lets make it clear though i was ready for my pace no way in hell i can do her pace ;)) But most importantly as I was walking onto the track Ali grabbed me and said "you've got this, you are more prepared than you think." I didn't ask her later but I assume that comment came from the fact that neither one of us thought we were going to be able to go as fast as we wanted. This calmed me down and made me put my game face on!
I had asked Scott on my way to the track if I should aim for a certain pace. His response was just to get in the pack and not to worry about it just run the race. There were a lot of things I was nervous about, my ankle, running in spikes, being in a large group of girls, being able to handle the pace the list is pretty long. But as soon as the gun went off I zoned in. I did my typical get to the front (oops) and ran behind one girl the first couple laps. We ran 75 not exactly what I was expecting. It felt easy but in my head I was thinking oh man this could end up being a long night! Luckily we settled in and started hitting 78-80 for the next 19 laps. The whole time I thought I was at the end just keeping contact but after watching the video i see i was some place in the middle of about 20 girls. My only focus was to not look at the lap counter and keep contact for as long as I could. There was a lot of jostling so I made mistakes of slowing down and speeding up to avoid being involved. Next time I know I need to just hold my position to avoid wasting energy of speeding up and slowing down. I was feeling pretty comfortable the first 19 laps and promised myself I wouldn't count over all laps. I only allowed myself to count to a mile 1, 2, 3 look at watch at 4 to get mile split. First mile 5:14.....yikes, second mile, 5:16, oh man....3rd mile 5:16 5k 16:25 WHAT?!?!? This was a new 5k PR. I had to tell myself it was ok. You feel comfortable so the numbers don't matter! Just keep running.
With 6 laps to go the pack had dwindled down to about 14 (and I know this because the announcer said "the pack is picking it up with 6 to go" Ah thanks?!?!). It was insane to me! People started pushing and moving all around and than they started to pull away. In my head I thought ok you are starting to work now and you are about to lose them try to just focus. I did good holding my original plan pace of 80's for the next four and than a girl caught up to me so I glued to her and ran a 79 for lap 24. This is where 10,000 is fun! I allowed myself to look at the clock as I passed to start lap 25. I tried to do the math and just couldn't get my brain to work. At first I thought I was going to run a 33:10 so I picked it up thinking what? I ran all 5 first miles under 5:20 how In the world. But when I hit 200 I realized what I can get under 33? GO, Go, Go! My legs were tired and my body wanted to just hold pace but I finished with a 76 and a 32:57!!!! At the time I was pumped! I had just run 23 seconds faster than I thought was possible and I got the B standard almost the A!
This only lasted until I realized I was 13th. Place in the race really didn't matter to me what mattered to me was this......the 10k is not like the marathon. Hitting the B standard is only provisional, they allow24 women into the race on June 22nd and sadly 12 women just ran faster than me TONIGHT. There will be faster girls on April 29th on the same track, some women have already run faster than that last year :( So my mind set changed. I will be back for the meet on April 29th I want to run the A! Will it be easy? No way! Sure 12 seconds is only 1/2 a second a lap but honestly I think I gave all I had this weekend. Can two solid weeks of training mean 12 seconds? There are for sure things I can do to be a smarter track runner like not letting up, no surging when it's not necessary, and can I make that move next time? Watching the video I think why didn't you? Part of it was being scared, part of it was that maybe I wasn't ready. But for the first couple laps they only picked it up a bit. So maybe I should have pushed through the pain, but myself in that scary hurt locker and held on maybe a couple more before they started really hammering the pace down. I know for sure I was not ready to make the moves to the end but maybe if I could have held on a couple more laps someone else would have fallen off with me and helped keep me on pace. Don't get me wrong I am so pleased with my race! It was a 1:06 10k PR in my first ever attempt on the track I am only thinking of ways I can improve when I try again. And believe me I will be trying again! It's so funny what one race can do. I went in thinking I had no speed, I wasn't ready and had a bad attitude toward the track. Now I am hungry for those 12 seconds and my auto birth into the trials. Until than I'll train my little ass off and cross my fingers that my current time will be enough.
Before I cut out of this long blog I do have to give huge props to my coach Scott Simmons! I can not say enough for how far he has brought me and my teammates! I still have no idea why he took the chance that I could be good at this but I am so grateful! I don't know why not everyone is knocking down his door to coach them, I don't know that there is any secret ingredient to making a runner good other than really hard work, but I'm pretty sure Scott's play book has to belretry darn close to the best! Just some examples of my improvement since I started with him at the end of June 2011
5k- 16:52 down to 16:25 and that was just on my way to a 10k
10k-34:25 down to 32:57
Half marathon- 1:17:?? Down to 1:13:46
Marathon debut 2:34:25
Numbers don't lie he is doing something right :) and that's just my times. Ali has been getting great PR's Joseph Chirlee got a new 10k PR this weekend and I can not wait to see what Adrian, Shannon and Tommy do at Penn and Mt Sac. I have a feeling we are about to see a lot of new PR's in the American Distance Project!!!!