Home invitational = first real college race = PR!

Last night (and this morning) was my school’s annual home invitational.  Our home course is really hard thanks to uneven footing and the fact that we run up the same extremely steep hill three times throughout the race.  Our coaches told us to treat it more like a race than we treated the first race (the weird relay one), but this was still supposed to be more of a hard workout effort than a full-out race.  The plan was to take the first 2-3k conservatively, start pushing the fourth kilometer, and finish the last one with a hard effort.

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I did two shakeout miles in the morning with my friend.  Our race was at 6:30 pm.  We warmed up for 20 minutes, and I felt pretty good!  After drills and a few stretches, we headed to the line.  I ran unattached again, so I sported a bright orange and blue tank top instead of my school’s singlet.  I also tied a bow around my headband.  🙂

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The gun (jk, the air horn) went off, and we started out with an uneven downhill stretch before hitting the big hill for the first time.  I’m used to flying and dying in races, so the prescribed conservative effort felt like a jog at first, but I knew it’d make the rest of the race feel so much better.  I tried to stay with my workout group, but it was hard with a lot of people around, and I ended up losing almost all of them pretty quickly.

I spent much of the next 3k looking backwards for my group and talking to the one teammate I was actually near.  At two miles, my coach told me to start picking things up, so I notched the pace up a bit.  Things started hurting around 2.5 miles.  I kicked the last 400 or so and came around the last turn to see that the clock was at 19:05!  13 seconds later, I was in.

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As a result of sucking at cross country during high school, 19:18 was actually a PR for me!  It was such a weird situation since I wasn’t planning on PR-ing, the course was hard, I didn’t “race” the race, and I talked and looked backwards and was very chill about it the whole time!  I don’t know if I’m even racing the rest of the season (I might redshirt), but I’m super excited about my fitness right now!  If I can PR in a casual workout-race and feel pretty recovered seconds later, what can I do in a real race??

We did 5 x hill repeats after the race and cooled down in the dark for 20 minutes.  Afterwards, I went out to eat with my mom, who had driven down for the race!

Today, I woke up at 7 am because I was working the course for the high school meet from 8-10 am.  Afterwards, I did a quick 3-mile recovery run and came back to my dorm, and the rest of the day has been pretty chill.  I studied for bio, cleaned up a bit because my roommate and I are hosting a recruit for the next two nights, and baked some sweet potatoes. 🙂

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Yes, this plate is on my bed. Judge me, I don’t care.

Tonight, my dad (who also drove down for my race) is cooking me a steak dinner!  I’m so excited because I haven’t had home-cooked Montreal steak (one of my favorite meals) since I came to college!!

I’ll recap the whole week tomorrow as usual.

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