Friday, July 8, 2011
Thursday, July 7, 2011
yep, January. For someone who would race every weekend if possible its been a tough year. Coming back from multiple foot surgeries hasn't been the easiest thing I have ever done. But I do think im a LOT stronger physically and mentally from the experience. I literally worked my butt off in the gym (its WAY too small right now!) in my time off and its paying off big time as I get into the full swing of marathon training. I didn't lose nearly as much fitness as I expected.
I know a lot of people don't think cross training does much but I'm a believer. I guess we will find out come August 27th.
Wednesday, July 6, 2011
I spent this year’s 4th of July the same way I have the past 2 years – strolling 10k down Peachtree street through the heart of Atlanta with some of the fastest runners in the world. The Atlanta Peachtree has been my favorite event by far since graduating college and this year’s edition didn’t disappoint. I’m not sure if it’s the southern enthusiasm for the 4th or returning to the state I went to college, but I always seem to turn a corner at this race. This year’s Peachtree didn’t exactly go as well as the previous two, but I still came away satisfied with the result.
During the first half of the race, I was extremely worried it was about to turn into a disaster. Unlike 2009 and 2010, my legs just didn’t feel quite right from the start and the conditions were triggering my allergies. By 5k, I had lost considerable ground on the lead Americans and was probably around 35th place overall. The second half of the race is mostly uphill and really saved my day. The leaders were long gone but I was able to catch a decent amount of people and managed to sneak in the top 10 US finishers. Although I don’t feel as though I had a particularly great race, I was very pleased with where my strength was. I think I’m in decent half marathon shape and am now looking for a race to see if I can pr.
Working up to this race I was having the best workouts of my life and feeling amazing. Since Stanford I focused on training with two small races that served as workouts to keep my racing mood fresh. My best workouts were 12x300 and 6xmile. The 300 workout started at 57 and worked down with the last one at 49!! That was the fastest I'd ever run a 300 at sea level so I was a bit shocked that I hit that. The mile workout was the one I posted about previously that wouldn't have been possible without Cody, David, and Adrian. The week before the race I ran a mile on the track at Boulder, which I was hoping for a really fast time but it wasn't so I had a small panic moment that I wasn't ready for Eugene. Apparently, I was fine but I turn into a head case at times.
I flew to Eugene on Wednesday and hung out with Ali and my friend Ed from Charlotte. I ate dinner with the Charlotte crew and enjoyed a peaceful night at the Super 8 (unlike Ali's night that you will have to ask about, crazy story) in Springfield (supposedly it's not the nicest side of town but no one tells you this until it's too late). Thursday, race day, was the normal routine of a shake out run (on the Prefontaine trail), sitting in the hotel catching up on crap TV, finding food, and napping.
The Race. I felt amazing before the race except for a few tears from nervousness and uncertainty. On the line I knew I was ready for a great race and to be competitive and I must have been thinking too much because the gun went off and I ended up near the back of the pack. Ahh! I about panicked at 200m since I was nearly last, but remembered that there was still 24.5 laps to go and that David told me NOT to be too fast on the first few laps. So I slowly worked to the middle of the pack by 500m. I was worried about my position again after the next lap when many of the girls I typically race with were 10m meters ahead and separating from the group I was in. I listened to my splits and decided I was ok and going to stick to the plan on 78-79s laps and let the other group go. The group I was in was stacked with good girls too and we've worked well racing together before and with so many laps I had time to adjust later. I was a bit fast at the mile at 5:10, but was perfect at 5k with 16:27. Up to this point the race seemed to be a bit physical with girls jostling of positions, bumping, stepping on the inside, trying to pass on the inside, and clipping spikes. When did the 10k become so violent? Anyway, the pace was consistent and the second pack of girls came back to us. With a mile to go a few of us broke off and tried to thin the group. At 600m to go I picked up the pace and with a lap to go all I could hear was David yelling that I had to go. I finished in a 73 (which felt like a 60) to get a personal best of 32:55!!!
I was thrilled once I could stand straight again and comprehend what just occurred. I couldn't believe I just placed 8th and broke 33 minutes. Wow. I felt like I was living a dream and couldn't stop smiling for a few days.
It was so nice to have so many friends, teammates, and previous coaches at the race cheering me on. Thank you all!
Congrats to Ali, Nicole, and Kristin for having great races too!
It was also really awesome to have Eron and the Adidas crew up in Eugene too. They provided the AdiHaus to hang out at, which was decked out with tv's, video games, a pool table, a basketball game (ask Ali about this too, she add a new competition with the McMillans - we may have to have a shooting contest), basketball court, couches, and snacks. The decor was cool since it was posters of the Adidas athletes and the new Adidas apparrel. We got to meet many of the Adidas staff and athletes. The had some fun runs as a group on Friday and Saturday. The Friday run was "Run with the Pros" for local high school runners, which they all kicked Ali and I's butts as we slowly trotted with post-race legs. Saturday was "Girls Run" with Jen Rhines leading it and it was in honor of Grete Waitz. Both runs adventured through the Pre Trail, which was very pretty and soft. Thanks Adidas for everything!
P.S. I have pictures to post from the race, Eugene, and from the AdiHaus, but I'm having computer issues so it may be in a separate post.