Friday, July 8, 2011

What lightning?

I have had quite that last few months, having officially graduated from PA school, passed my boards and now have the sole daily task of finding a job :( finalizing wedding plans and training :) As newly graduated and currently unemployed, I realize now what it would be like to have running as my full time job and it is pretty sweet. Although, it is a testament to everyone who works and runs because I have lived both and it takes a truly dedicated runner to run after a long day at work, or get up before the sun rises to get your run in. So hats off to all my employed friends!
I ran my first 5k since Club Cross a few weekends ago and it was bittersweet. David and I went into the race with a plan based on current fitness and I ran right on pace. While I was happy I ran to plan, it was hard to see my final time and realize how far I am from my 2008 year. I know that I have to start somewhere and now I know where that is. Thanks to Andy Rinne and his garmin for pacing me throughout the race, it was greatly appreciated!
Wanting to work on some speed I planned on running the Boulder Track series 800m last night. I left from the Springs and it took about 3 hours to get to Boulder due to pouring rain, flooding and rush hour traffic. I stressed the entire way up to the track and became increasing disappointed as I realized I was going miss my race. On the drive up I heard from Jay that they had postponed and were waiting till 6:45 to call the meet due to lightning strikes in the area. I had a glimmer of hope that I could still race after driving for so long. However, as I pulled up, the track officials were packing up and my heart sank. As Jay and I stood discussing the situation in the drizzle, we met a gentleman who had also driven up from the Springs who was hoping to run the 800 in preparation for the Master's World Championships next week. I told him I was considering jumping on the track anyway, I didn't see any lightning and we were here weren't we? Upon discussing my racing goal, he offered to pace me, as did Jay and his coworker. The track official then walked up and started to lock up the track and for the second time that day, I was crushed. However, our new friend talked with the official and convinced him to leave one gate open which we promised to lock up as soon as we were done. We left for a warm-up and on the way, met another rain soaked runner and invited him to our little race, he agreed and we proceeded with our warm-up.
Before toeing the line, the guys and I discussed my paces and who would be in front, next to and behind me. We started off with a plan. I haven't run an 800 competitively since high school but it was like I had never left it. The 800 is beautiful because it's tactical and fast and it brings out the competitive runner inside. We raced around the track, ran pouring down, spikes slipping on the flooded track but surrounded by 3 wonderful strangers and my fiance. This is what I run for, for these moments that seem surreal. As I hit the last backstretch, I went, and it felt so great that by the homestretch I picked it up, arms swinging, water flying, guys urging me on and came in under goal! I called David (my coach) and told him that I wanted to integrate quicker races into my schedule. I realized tonight that I was built for this, and while 5K's are fun, they are nothing like the thrill I get from the 800 and 1500. Thank you to Mike Wolfe, the Runner's Roost guy, Jay's co-worker Ryan and to Jay, who is always there for me when I need him. We'll see what future training brings, hopefully some new speed, continued health and maybe some PR's. Happy running!

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