As you can probably tell from the title, I have exciting news!! But I’ll get to that. First I have to provide context.
So, because of Tropical Storm Karen, our last scheduled invitational was cancelled last Saturday the 12th. I was disappointed because that’s a fast course and we hadn’t run any fast races yet this season, so I thought my PR would stay where it was (not good) instead of dropping 45 seconds like I thought I could. (Our conference and regional meets are on a not-exactly-speedy 3-mile course, not a 5k course, and the state meet course is slow)
However, my coaches brought up the idea of entering our girls’ and boys’ varsity teams in an elite invitational scheduled for yesterday. We all agreed and carpooled down to the meet yesterday at 6 am.
We were missing our usual #3 runner, and the two best teams in the state were at the meet (we were 3rd). We knew we had to try extremely hard to make up for her absence and secure that 3rd place spot, or maybe even battle for 2nd.
The gun went off and for probably the first 1200 meters, there was serious pushing and shoving and general aggression going on. The course was fairly narrow, and with over 200 girls trying to get in a good position, it was a war zone. I lost contact with my teammates #4 and #5 but did not let myself freak out too much (I might have muttered a certain profane word that begins with F). Luckily, I channelled some aggression of my own and managed to regain contact with them. I resisted the temptation to look at the clock at the mile mark, and at some point during the second mile, I realized with surprise that I felt awesome. I reached the two mile mark and regained contact with my teammate who had surged ahead of me. We came out of the woods to the sound of probably 400 people cheering, which provided me with a burst of energy. My teammate and I battled it out for the next kilometer, then I surged slightly in front of her with about 800 to go. At this point, we had no idea how our #1 and #2 were doing. The last 500 or so meters were a flat stretch, which was mentally terrible. My teammate put a slight lead on me with about 200 to go, but I managed to stay right behind her. As we kicked it in to the finish, I looked at the clock and realized:
I HAD PR-ED BY 44 SECONDS!!!!!!
After we crossed the line, I was so happy that I didn’t collapse, crawl, and/or put my hands on my knees like I normally do. Instead, we were high-fiving and hugging each other because my teammate, who had finished one second ahead of me, had gotten a 29-second PR. We both felt elated.
We found our #1 and #2 runners and discovered that they had placed 8th and 9th and had both PR-ed as well. We were feeling amazing as a team and were hoping that we had defeated the #2 seeded team, but our 5th runner hadn’t had a great race and we didn’t quite have enough depth to defeat them, especially because their top 2 runners had placed 1st and 2nd. We secured third place by almost 100 points, however, and celebrated with orange slices, bagels, lots of pictures, and a trip to a pretty disgusting diner afterwards!
Overall, I would say that this trip had a great effect on my mental focus. I did exactly what I thought I had the potential to do, and PR-ed by almost more than I could have hoped. This is a great push going into conferences in two weeks. I defeated some girls that I could only dream of defeating last year. And the girls that I was running with last year- well, let’s just say I feel as though I’m on a whole different level this year!
I hope everyone has experienced a runner’s high or the amazing attitude that comes with a fantastic race at some point during their lives. There’s really nothing better ❤