Regionals!

Although this was my last regional meet of high school, I ultimately made the decision to scratch any individual events because they fell on the same night as prom (Friday). ¬†This means that I am not qualified for states in an individual event, but I’m okay with that ūüôā

The 4×800 was on Thursday night, which did not bring ideal weather. ¬†It was in the 80s and extremely humid, with lurking thunderstorms, which was not a surprise but still gross.¬†We got to the meet around 6:50 pm and warmed up at 7:30 because there was a 15-minute storm delay. ¬†I felt okay on the warm-up; I tend to get a stitch either before or during races, and I got a stitch during this warm-up, which was kind of a relief because I’d gotten it over with. ¬†Weird, I know. ¬†We were soaked in perspiration by the end of the warm-up.

We kept the same order that we ran at conferences, so I was running the first leg. ¬†I really wanted to have a good race and just get back under that stupid 2:25 barrier that I hadn’t been able to break all season (even though my PR from last year was a 2:21). ¬†If I was ever going to do it, this was the race.

As I lined up at the starting line, I was mentally shouting “I love racing” or something along those lines at myself in order to override any negative thoughts that were trying to creep in.

After three separate “on your marks” because someone kept stepping on the finish line, the gun finally went off.

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IMG_5441The first 200 went out pretty hard, but I felt good.  There was no finish line clock, so I had no idea what my 400 split was during the race.  I figured it was fast, but I still felt strong! (It turned out to be 66 high)

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Unfortunately, I got spiked and boxed in on the back stretch during the second lap. ¬†I lost my balance and slowed down but still managed to hang in there. ¬†Races are never perfect ūüôā

I hardly remember anything from 500 to 700 meters, but as I came around to the final straightaway and tried to find my teammate, I realized she was lined up really far to the outside. ¬†Trying to get to her wrecked my concentration a little bit, so my final kick wasn’t amazing and I slowed down drastically as I handed off to her in fourth¬†place, but we managed not to drop the baton,¬†and I turned around as fast as I could to check out my time on the scoreboard clock behind me.

When I turned around, the clock read 2:19.

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IMG_5449IMG_5450I love these pictures.  I was shocked!

As you can see, even though depth perception is hard in head-on pictures, I handed off about five meters before the line, so¬†my leg was a little¬†less than 800 meters. ¬†But I’d like to think all the dodging and weaving I did made up for it ūüėČ ¬†If I had run all the way through the line, it would’ve either been 2:20 low or 2:19 high, so I’m calling it as a 2:19. ¬†(I hope no one minds.) No matter what, it was a PR, which honestly I was not expecting at all after running 2:25-2:26 all season!

My teammates ran amazingly as well, and we actually set a season best, faster than we’d run when we had our original four! ¬†Our soph anchor split a 2:16-2:17, her fastest time ever as well!

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On to states!  I have one more race left in my high school career!

 

 

 

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Reluctant conference recap

I’m pretty behind on blog posts, so this is a quick recap of what I’ve been meaning to write over the past three weeks!

I wrote a post about the heat affecting my workouts about three weeks ago, but I never finished it because that was during the peak of IB exams and I pretty much had no time.  I completed a total of eight IB and AP exams (twelve days of testing!) before school ended and senior experience began.

Anyway, for a quick summary of that post, I’m terrible at running in the heat, so my workouts suffered when the temperatures shot up to 85+ with no warning. ¬†Also, the humidity is really terrible where I live, so each step felt like I was running through a sauna. ¬†Not fun.

Conferences was last Tuesday and Wednesday. ¬†I ran the 4×800 on Tuesday, and I pretty much knew from the warm-up that it would not be a good race. ¬†My heart rate was frighteningly high after the warm-up, and for the first time ever, I actually thought¬†on the starting line, “What if I just don’t start this race?” ¬†With 200 to go, my breathing was off, and I was just not feeling good. ¬†I ran 2:26 and was really mad.

The mile and two mile were the next day, and I went through 3 laps of the mile in 3:56, which was on pace for another (small) PR. ¬†I was feeling pretty good, but all of a sudden with 250 to go, I hit the biggest wall I’ve ever hit in a 1600 in my life and barely finished in 5:24, nine seconds slower than what I’d been on pace for through 1300m. ¬†This means my last 200 was probably around 49 seconds, which is 6:40 mile pace. ¬†I was practically crawling. I barely crossed the line before collapsing off to the side. ¬†It took awhile to recover.

I scratched the two mile and went home pissed off and sad.  Why had that happened??

Anyway, conferences did not go well. ¬†To make matters worse, that 1600 was the last individual race of my high school career because I’m forfeiting my chance to individually state qualify by going to prom instead of individually racing at regionals. ¬†Not a great way to end.

But then the relay at regionals happened, which I’ll write about next!

1600 PR

I finally did it.

After eleven and a half months, I have a new PR in something.

Specifically, the 1600.

The last few months have had moderate highs and extreme lows when it comes to running.  After a crappy cross country season, I was rediscovering my love for running and nailing my workouts and races through January when BAM.  Injury.  Illness.  More injury.  My love for running disappeared once again as my everyday attitude was fraught with negative thoughts and self-doubt.

I was finally able to start real training at the end of March, nowhere near the fitness level I wanted to be at, and still apprehensively doubting myself as I watched my teammates get faster and my own fitness level remain unknown. ¬†My diet wasn’t the greatest, either, and I struggled to accept the fact that I’d gained (mostly muscle) 8-10 pounds since last year.

But then something happened! ¬†I realized I shouldn’t be¬†afraid of the pain! ¬†A few weeks ago, I raced a 1600 in 5:21 and let another girl lead the entire way because I was afraid to see what would happen if I pushed too hard. ¬†After a strong couple weeks of workouts and (mediocre) races, I figured it was now or never!

So………

I got to the meet on Saturday around 5 pm for my race.  My teammate and I warmed up, and I felt okay.  Not great, but not like I was running through tar, either.  We stretched, did skips, grabbed our spikes, and headed over to the check-in tent.  My teammate ended up winning her heat and PRing!

We lined up on the line, and the gun went off. ¬†The race went out really, really fast, but I’m getting used to that being the case. ¬†I didn’t feel very good during the first lap but tried to settle in.

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I came through in 75 (after a 35-second first 200), which I’m getting used to as being the first lap split. ¬†It no longer scares me ūüôāIMG_5345

The next lap was slower (81ish), so we went through 800 in 2:36.

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I didn’t feel that much worse than I had after the first lap, so I really focused on attacking the third lap and passing people.

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You can tell when I get tired because my lower lip goes in and I start leaning to the left

I passed 1200 in 3:56 (third lap was an 80) and mentally growled at myself, “OK, if you just hang on and run an 82 you will PR. ¬†But do you really want to do that? ¬†You can go faster.”

The last 200 was really, really hard and I didn’t have much left to kick with. ¬†I closed in a 79-second last lap for a 3-second PR of¬†5:15.65!!

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I’m pretty happy with that ūüôā ¬†It was my last high school invitational¬†ever, so this was a good way to finish it off. ¬†I’m not sure I’ll run the mile again this year since regionals is the same day as prom and I haven’t auto-qualified for states in the mile, so this may stand as my high school PR. ¬†But that’s not the end of the world ūüôā

A Penn 4×8, a 3200, an 800, and a 4×4 walk into a bar… (4 race recap)

Don’t worry, I didn’t run them all in one meet ūüėČ

I’m very very behind on race recaps, and I’m sososo excited to recap¬†my most recent one! ¬†But that one will have to wait. ¬†First, I need to get through a whole mishmash of weird races, so this might be pretty long. ¬†Skip to the bottom for a tl;dr.

The week of 4/19 to 4/25 was weird.

We found out the week before¬†that our teammate completely tore her ACL, seemingly putting her out of running for a very long time. ¬†Even though we’d qualified for the Penn Relays, we weren’t even considering running after that news. ¬†However, our coach apparently was not on the same wavelength as the rest of us, and she informed us that we would run at Penn two days before we were supposed to leave.

We took a really late train on Wednesday (4/22) and got to the hotel around midnight. ¬†For some reason, I woke up at 6:30 am on Thursday and couldn’t go back to sleep, so I only got six hours of sleep ūüė¶

The atmosphere was so different from anything we’d experienced! ¬†None of us had ever been to Penn before, so we didn’t know what to expect. ¬†There was a police officer checking the 4x8s in, and the officials were pretty mean (but I guess they had to be). ¬†The stadium was beautiful and gigantic. ¬†After some miscommunication by the officials, we ended up standing in what I call the cow herding area for half an hour wearing only our skimpy uniforms in the wind and cold.

There were cameras everywhere, and our friends back at school were watching us on the live stream, so that was exciting and motivating.  The gun went off, and we pretty much knew right away that this would not be a PR day.

Our first leg ran OK, our second leg ran OK, our third leg ran OK, and I ran OK. ¬†(2:26) ¬†Not extremely slow, but not where I wanted to be. ¬†It was so cold! ¬†Also, I wore french braids for this race, and 200 meters into the race, one of my braids came loose after the hair tie fell out. ¬†SO I ran 600 meters with half my hair flying everywhere ūüėČ ¬†Not quite ideal.

……………..

Two days later, I “raced” the 3200. ¬†The race was at 8:30 am, so I woke up at 5:30 to eat breakfast. ¬†I got to the meet all alone, and it was 40 degrees. ¬†Again, not ideal racing conditions. ¬†I was originally going to try to go for the state auto, but that plan fell apart after a lap. ¬†The first mile was between 5:45 and 5:50, and everything just continued to fall apart.

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11200590_852660791489516_7941018876439640870_nThe deterioration of form……

I managed to pull it together for a decent last lap, but I still finished in 11:50. ¬†Yikes. ¬†Almost everyone raced horribly, though, so I wasn’t that upset. ¬†It was kind of funny, actually. ¬†I knew it wasn’t a good representation of my fitness level.

…………….

The next Wednesday was our senior night and final home meet. ¬†I don’t generally race in tri/quad meets, but our coach wanted us to, so I decided to run the 800. ¬†I was just supposed to run it for fun, not for times or anything. ¬†Zero pressure.

Except I’m not good at that! ¬†The gun went off and I found myself running pretty fast, so I just stuck with it. ¬†Rolled to a 9-second victory in 2:26, the same time I’d split at Penn! ¬†Except this time was nowhere near 100% effort, and I just bounced right off the track afterwards! What?? The body and mind are strange things.

An hour or two later, I was getting ready to leave, when some sprinters coerced me into running a 4×4. ūüėČ ¬†I told myself not to go that hard, but of course that didn’t work (again). ¬†I ran a 63 and nearly caught a boy’s team, so that was fun. ¬†My legs felt great afterwards, and the times that I’d run without 100% effort were encouraging for my mile on Saturday.

TL;DR: Penn 4×8 split 2:26, awful 3200 two days later in 11:50, fun tri meet where I ran the 800 (2:26) and 4×4 (63) without anywhere close to 100% effort.

The mile recap is coming next :))))))