First 3200 of the year

Yesterday was my first time racing the 3200 since last year at outdoor states where I died dramatically and finished dead last in the faster heat.

Great memories.

Yesterday’s meet was a polar bear meet, so it was outside.  It was also in the 30s and pretty windy.  Not as cold as last year’s polar bear meet, though!

The meet operated on a rolling schedule, unfortunately, so we weren’t sure when our races were.  The running finals started at 12:30, so our coach told my race buddy and me to get there at or before 2 because he figured we’d run around 3.  I ate a light lunch of macaroni and cheese and edamame at 11:30 and got to the meet at 1:45…

…and didn’t run until 5:30!!!

This must have been the slowest operating track meet in the history of track meets.  We went and sat in our coach’s car four different times to warm up, and each time we came back thinking, “They must be on Event X by now!” when they were still on Event A or B.

It was dark, cold, lonely, and I was very hungry by the time our race rolled around.  Most of the spectators had left, and the slower heats of the two mile had all been run that morning, so it was just the fast heat of about fifteen girls.  However, half of them scratched, so there were only seven or eight girls in our final!  Two girls from a school in our region were aiming for the state auto, so our coach told us to stick with them.

Honestly, the best part of this race was my ludicrous outfit: bright purple and pink patterned tights, an electric blue Under Armour long-sleeve shirt, my very tight uniform top, white/pink/blue spikes, gray striped gloves, ear warmer… you get the picture…

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I was the most colorful girl in the race!

Anyway, the first half of the race went out about how we expected.  The two girls went to the front, and I slipped in behind them.  By 1200m, I was really feeling my lack of food (hey, I ate perfectly for a 3 pm race…), and it was tough staying up with them.  One of the two girls started falling back, so I just stuck with her while the other girl lengthened her lead.

Girl 1 went through the mile in 5:35, and the two of us went through in 5:39-5:40.  The girl I was running with really started struggling then, so I passed her.  I had slowed down a lot, but I managed to easily keep a 6 minute pace.  I didn’t kick, but it didn’t really matter because I hung on for second and finished in 11:40.08.  It was a decent time (faster than I ran at outdoor states, haha) considering the cold, hunger, competition, and my lovely outfit 😉  I notched the conference qualifier by a good margin and didn’t even feel tired 30 seconds after I’d finished!

The girl who won ran the whole thing by herself in the nighttime cold and finished in 11:07, which was a huge PR for her!  Ridiculous!!

The first day of conferences is this Thursday!  It’s so soon; I’m running both the 4×800 and the 3200, unfortunately.  Next Thursday is the rest of the events, and then there’s a three week break until regionals.

Time to rest and tune up!

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Started from the bottom…

…now we HERE.

I sure have an interesting race recap for you.

Our coach entered me and my race buddy into Saturday’s invite two mile, but we were rejected even though we’ve both run sub-11:25 and the standard was sub-11:55.  Don’t ask me.  Anyway, 4/5ths of our workout group ended up in the 1600 at the invitational, even though the maximum number was two girls per school.

Again, don’t ask me.

Pre-race: I woke up on Saturday and chowed down on oatmeal, then ate macaroni and cheese with edamame (a combination I am addicted to) along with a banana, orange juice, and applesauce between 11 and noon to prepare for my 2:40 race.  When we got to the race venue, the meet was somehow running ahead of schedule.

This meet was kind of stupid in that they didn’t have bibs or a race clock, and their method for checking runners in before their events was confusing and unnecessarily complex.  Long story short, our heat (the fastest heat) ended up standing in the “infield” for about 20 minutes without water, bathrooms, or a place to stride.  I was seeded 14th because my seed time wasn’t a lie like most of the other girls. (That sounds SO snarky, I’m sorry.)

Race: The gun went off, and I began implementing my usual race policy of starting out in the middle of the pack and gradually moving up.  kWith the lack of a race clock (WHY??), my splits are pretty arbitrary.  I think I went through the 200 in 38, the 400 in 77, and the 800 in 2:38-2:39.  I maintained 4th or 5th place by having elbow fights with the girls around me, and my friend from another school actually fell into me from behind because she tripped over my foot.

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On the penultimate lap, the girl in first went down with no warning.  She ended up lying dazed on the track for around 15 minutes before being wheeled off on a stretcher into an ambulance… I hope she’s okay now.  It’s happened before, and she’s only a freshman.

The bell rang signaling the last lap, which I’m inherently bad at, and I was tucked in third.  At that point, I thought, “Well, as long as no one else passes me, I’m content!  I’ll get a medal!”  However, with 120 meters to go, I kicked with a drive I didn’t know I had.

Sprinting down the last stretch, I crossed the line…. AND WON!!

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In my (*snort*) glorious running career, I’ve probably only won about three races (all unimportant quad meets) because my older teammates were always faster than me.  I had never won an invitational, although I’ve gotten second in a few of them.

But I won an invitational!!!  My time was 5:20, six seconds faster than two weeks ago and two seconds away from my PR.  I would have placed seventh overall in the invite mile, so take THAT, dumbass meet directors that wouldn’t accept me or my race buddy (who finished 5th in 5:24).

We had a rainy, icy track workout today that we’d never done before. 10x500m with 2:30 jogging recovery.  Our pace was between 1:43-1:46, with the last one at 1:40.  We had to do the last two repeats alone because most of our teammates were stopped at 8.

Our next race is a polar bear meet on Saturday! I’m running the two mile for the first time since the disastrous outdoor states…. We’ll see what happens 🙂

Workouts: “Slow” and steady or fly and die?

I’ve been mulling something over for the past few days, and I haven’t completely decided what my opinion is on the topic.  —-Sorry for no pictures!!—-

As you well know, I am a high school runner, so because of that, I do almost all my workouts with my team.  There’s one teammate that I consistently work out with, and there are about four other girls of varying speeds in our workout group.

Here’s the debate topic: When the two of us are assigned a certain range for our repeats, the other girls ignore their workout paces and just fall in behind us. This is going to sound snarky, but none of them can calculate splits, so when the two of us calculate our splits, the other girls just go off of ours.  For example, if we’re aiming for a 2:55 800 and the other girls are supposed to run a 3:05, they just run a 2:55 with us.

Of course, this results in nobody finishing the workout except for the two of us who actually run our paces.  If it’s a 6-8×800 workout, most of the other girls rarely make it past 4 800s before they have to stop or modify their workout.  This is what I refer to as a “fly and die” workout.  Meanwhile, the two of us almost always complete our “steady” workout, usually finishing the last few repeats faster than we started.

I don’t think there has been a single workout yet this season where five girls started and five girls finished.  I’ll readily admit, I’ve dropped out of a couple as well, one due to me being out of shape and one (the one a few days ago) due to weird abnormal fatigue/shortness of breath.

Anyway…

Should the other girls continue their fly and die tactics?  Is it better to run fewer, faster repeats until you can’t hang on anymore?  Maybe it doesn’t matter, but the two of us lean more towards races like the 3200, while the other girls are milers, 1000 runners, etc.  Should we take that into account?  I just wish the other girls would calculate and stay true to their own splits in order to finish their workouts; I think I support the “steady” workout more than fly and die.  Even if the other girls were faster than us two (which one of them almost definitely will be come outdoor track), I would still wish they’d finish their workouts.  It seems as though modifying or dropping out of every workout takes its toll mentally as well as physically.

Happy 2015!

Happy New Year!!  It’s officially my graduation year, so that has me a little freaked out.

Monday brought a quick track workout (6x800m) which felt pretty good.  Tuesday’s run was a little longer than usual, but still felt okay.

Wednesday, on the other hand… I was supposed to do 4x1600m between 6:15 and 6:30, but right from the first lap it felt terrible.  My breathing was constricted and my legs were abnormally fatigued.  Not fun.  I ended up doing 2x1600m at 6:17 and 6:18, then a 1200 (4:43), but I had to stop after that.  Not finishing a workout is always a huge mental struggle, but I know that if I had kept pushing, it would have affected me negatively in the long run.

New Year's Eve, where miraculously we were both awake!

New Year’s Eve, where miraculously we were both awake!

We went to a New Year’s Eve party at my mom’s/brothers’ friends’ house, so I didn’t really have anyone to talk to, but it ended up not being a nightmare. 🙂  My mom actually stayed awake this year (last year, she fell asleep around nine!).

When we try to take a nice family picture... (that's one of my younger brothers)

When we try to take a nice family picture… (that’s one of my younger brothers)

Yesterday, I ran with two friends who are home from college!  I hadn’t run with one of them in two years!!

Today’s schedule includes a tempo run and the submission of my last college application!!!  I’m almost done!

I hope everyone’s New Year started off positively, if not with a bang.  I didn’t really make any New Year’s Resolutions, but my three best friends and I do have a huge bucket list of things to do before college.  We only have eight months to complete it!

Maybe one of my New Year’s resolutions should be to eat more of these chips!

IMG_4542 I discovered them in my house the other day, and they’re pretty much the best chips I’ve ever tasted.  I’m usually of the “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mentality, meaning things that are unhealthy are meant to be unhealthy (i.e. I don’t believe in “healthifying” desserts and chips and whatnot), but these chips are one of a kind.