States!!

This is going to be a long post, since I’m recapping three days.

Indoor season is officially over!  We arrived back from our fabulous states trip tired, stuffed, and satisfied.

Day 1:

photo 1-7

Hanging out at a rest stop in the middle of the drive

We left on around noon on Thursday and drove three hours to the meet facility, which was not as nice as the one where our invites, conference, and regional meets were held.  It didn’t have any windows and the air was stuffy and hot.  😦  We went for a 20-minute run down the road next to the facility and then drove to our hotel where we braved the freezing pool.

That night, we went to Olive Garden to carbo-load, even though none of us would be racing for more than two and a half minutes each the next day. (We were running girls’ and boys’ 4x800s.)  Being the typical pig that I am, I devoured a plate of spaghetti and meatballs that was four times as big as my head and probably about 1500 calories.  How do you eat slowly? I finished it in about ten minutes…

After dinner, we went back to the hotel and finished up the t-shirts we’d made.  Our team isn’t exactly well funded (even though we win more meets/championships than any other team at school!!! but let’s save that rant for another day), so our t-shirts were cheap white ones from the crafts store that we’d tie-dyed and Sharpied our names onto the back.  Still authentic, still a team-bonding activity.  We then watched 45 minutes of cat videos before going to bed.  We also took pictures like this:

photo 3-8

We’re the coolest people I know.

Day 2:

Friday was race day, but we weren’t racing until 8 pm (groan), so we had the entire day to waste.  We ate breakfast around 8:30, and I stole some food from the hotel breakfast bar because I have to have PB&J on race day.  It’s a thing.

photo 4-7I spent about an hour and a half working on vocab in order to feel semiproductive, then organized my food stash.  I had quite a collection of snacks.
photo 5-1 Pre-race bananas, post-race banana and Dove dark chocolate, orange, almond butter packets, trail mix, oatmeal, race-day English muffin, PB&J fixin’s, an apple…I also had cheese sticks, Greek yogurt, and Gatorade in the fridge below the counter.  I’m nothing if not prepared with food 😉

Two of my teammates and I went for a walk to the shopping center across the street in order to escape the hotel.  We went to Trader Joe’s, but I didn’t buy anything because I wasn’t so desperate for boysenberry jelly that I would buy a whole jar for one sandwich…

At 4:30, our coach called the four of us racing for a pre-race pep/strategy/let’s-get-serious talk, and I started to have serious nerves.  I’m really not an 800 runner (not because I’m bad at it– I just focus on the mile and two mile instead).  My coach had chosen me for the states relay over my friend who actually does run the 800 because I’d had a better season; I had absolutely no idea what I could run or how to even really race an 800.

We headed over to the track around 5:30 and got there around 6.  We warmed up and checked in, then had a team huddle.  The check-in/pre-race area was in the gym across from the track, so we all had to walk to the track barefoot in order to not scratch up the gym floor.

There were three heats before ours, so we had half an hour more to wait.  I looked around at the other team’s lineups and started internally freaking out when I saw who was running their third legs.  Our team’s lineup is always: 2nd fastest goes first, then 3rd fastest, then 4th fastest, then the fastest girl runs the anchor (meaning I was the third leg).  But some of the other teams had their fastest girl running the third leg, which was a tiny bit terrifying.

The gun went off and my teammate was immediately tripped and almost fell on her face.  Whoops!  After a shaky start, she ran a solid leg and put us in fourth or fifth place.  Our second leg ran phenomenally to put us in a tie for second/third.  I lined up to get the baton, and I realized I was going to get the baton in between two girls who run at the national level.  Eeek!

Snapshot 2014-03-02 17-27-53

In other news, look at my shoulder definition! 😉 Those lifting sessions are paying off.

Since I had no freakin’ clue what an 800 was supposed to feel like, I just tried to stick with the girl in front of me.

k-1

It was fast.

800s are faster than miles and twos.

(Well, duh.  How insightful.)

Anyway, I ran as hard as I could and handed off in fourth place.

Snapshot 2014-03-02 17-35-33

The hand-off wasn’t nearly as awkward as it looks–it’s just that I’m left-handed and she’s right-handed.

My teammate ran a great anchor leg, even though she wasn’t satisified, and we ended up finishing fourth, setting a school indoor record, and recording a US top 20 time!!

Satisfying?  I think yes.  (I also set a 6-second PR, which sounds impressive but remember, I don’t run 800s.)

After the race, we went to yet another pasta restaurant because my teammate (the one pictured above) was also running the next day.  I inhaled yet another giant plate of pasta in 1.56 seconds, and I challenged the boys on my team to an eating contest (but they wouldn’t take it).

Day 3:

One of my teammates and I went for a 15-minute early morning shakeout run to end our season, then came back to the hotel and ate breakfast.  We went back to the track to watch our other teammate race, and she ended up getting second place!!!!  We then hit the road and arrived back home in the evening.

All in all, it was a satisfying, busy weekend, but now I have a ton of homework to do.  I’m now on a ten-day running break, so along with going stir-crazy from exercise deprivation, I’ll try to post about my eating/homework plans for the upcoming week.

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