Race weekend!

This past weekend was one of the most fun/tiring/instructive weekends of college.  We hosted a very large meet Thursday through Saturday.

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When you’ve essentially been at a track meet for 60 hours and also you’re freezing

Thursday was the 3k!  All day Thursday I was feeling great about my fitness level and excited to run the 3k… but as soon as I walked into the locker room about two hours before my race…BAM.  Nerves.  This was one of the worst cases I’d ever had.

Some of my older, faster teammates noticed that I was looking a little petrified.  “Trust your training,” one said.  “You’re in really good shape right now.”

In a perfect world, I wanted to get the junior nationals qualifier of 10:10.  My “B” goal was to PR (sub-10:22), and my “C” goal was to give 100% of whatever I had that day.  My coach had said that in a workout last Friday, and it really stuck with me.

I warmed up and went through the pre-race rituals of putting on my uniform, tying my ribbons, lacing up the spikes, getting the hip numbers, drills, strides, the whole shebang.  Then my coach turned to me and said, “I want you to go through the mile at your mile PR.”

Okay then.

We lined up at the start, the gun went off, and a 38-year-old woman rocketed to the lead.  We passed the 200 in 36 seconds and the 400 in 75 seconds.

Yeah.

Sooo that kind of screwed me over for the rest of the race.  I passed the mile in 5:20 and got slower and slower each lap 😉 My splits are very embarrassing, but here they are:

36, 1:18, 1:20, 1:23, 1:25, 1:28, 1:29, 1:21 = 10:24

The last 1200 meters were a solid death march filled with lactic acid, but I somehow got through it and was only two seconds off the time I ran two weeks ago.  At least my last lap wasn’t above 90 or something!  I KNOW that with slightly better pacing and a less erratic, nerve-filled start, I can run in the 10:teens at least.

I had a recovery day Friday before racing the 4×1500 on Saturday.  On Saturday, we woke up early, watched some early morning 5ks, ran our shakeout in the pouring rain, and got ready for the 4:30 pm race.

We ran an “A” relay and a “B” relay consisting of all freshmen.  I anchored the B relay.  It was my first 1500 and my first relay in almost a year!  There were significantly fewer nerves for this race, and I was pumped.  The first three legs were all tired from their race the night before, so I received the baton pretty far back.  I went out hard, tried to hold it in the middle, and kicked hard to the finish.  My split was 4:51, which converts to right around 5:10 for the mile- faster than my (slow) PR of 5:15!

The 1500 was sooo much more fun than the 3k!  Why do I have to be better at longer distances!? 😉

Many of my teammates had excellent performances.  It’s exciting to see the team collectively improve after an indoor season marred by injury and weirdly serious illnesses like bronchitis, pneumonia, and mono.

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Sunday was pretty low-key.  Among other things, I did some Econ homework in my favorite coffee place after my recovery run, did laundry, played piano, baked a sweet potato, and bought a pint of Ben and Jerry’s brownie batter core to celebrate a weekend of racing!!

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If dreams could be incarnated in food form, they would appear as this pint.  Oh my lord.  This was the most amazing ice cream combination I think I’ve ever had.

Anyway. A crazy race, a fun race, and two weeks of training to go before my next race (an open 1500).

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First college race! and dead legs

Hey guys!  I’m currently lying in my bed eating popcorn, dark chocolate, and microwaved cinnamon apples.  I’m a little too tired to go out tonight, so it’s just a quiet night with my sick roommate, food, and a sushi documentary on Netflix.  I thought I’d spend this time talking about some recent running things!

On Tuesday, I had my first college race!  We didn’t really treat it like a race- more like a hard workout effort.  The meet was a strange format where we divided up into two-person relay teams and each leg raced a 3k, then a 2k.  So the race was 3k-3k-2k-2k for a total of 10k.

We ran two miles in the morning to prep for the evening race.   It was 95 degrees and very humid when we arrived at the race venue, which was an extremely hilly park used for religious retreats, I think. I didn’t feel very good on the warm-up.

The first of my two relay legs (3k) wasn’t great.  I was caught completely off guard by the most monstrous hill I’ve ever seen/run on!  First time I’ve ever walked in a race. 😉  I recovered while my relay partner was running her 3k leg.

Freshmen ran unattached, so I did not wear a uniform

Living that unattached life

I started my second leg a bit behind the rest of my workout group, so the first part of my 2k leg was spent catching up to them.  I passed some of them right before I hit the monstrous hill for the second time, and I’m proud to say I successfully ran strong up the entire hill!  My second leg felt much better than the first.

After that, we did 5 x 1:00 hard, :30 easy, with the hard minute around 5k race pace.  Followed that up with about a 1.5 mile cool down, so in total I ran about 10 miles on Tuesday.


Today, we had another pace run!  We warmed up for a little less than 3 miles (7:30 pace) until we got to the park/rec area where we were doing our workout.  After drills and strides, we got started!  My workout group was supposed to do 4 miles at 6:30 pace with a slightly faster finish, but we started out conservatively because it was 88 degrees and humid.  Our splits ended up being 6:35, 6:35, 6:38, 6:18.  The last mile was really hard, but I’m happy with the time!  My legs have been dead all week (trying not to dwell on it), and I thought about quitting multiple times throughout this pace run, but I finished strong with my group.  We cooled down for a little less than 3 miles at about 8:55 pace, and some of us went to Wawa for chocolate milkshakes before stretching, ice bathing, and doing core.

After a workout like that, I’m always ravenous, so I’ve been eating nonstop for about four hours.  I had the post-workout milkshake, multiple plates of chicken, rice, baked potato, chili, and carrots at dinner, a berry smoothie, and of course all the popcorn, dark chocolate, and cinnamon apples.  Living the good life.

I have three miles and yoga tomorrow and ten miles on Sunday.  My weekly mileage will end up being around 45 (plus 90-100 minutes of cross training)!  As I mentioned before, I’ve been feeling pretty dead this week, but I’m trying not to worry about it since it’s kind of expected with a complete routine upheaval, much more walking, a lot more “little things” like activation drills and hurdle drills, a new diet, a new sleep schedule, and a new workload.  Phew!  My workout buddy (who’s a junior) said it takes most people at least a few weeks to adjust.

I’ll try really hard to not let this tiredness get to my head.  And now…sleep!

Conferences and EXCITING NEWS

Conferences first.  Then the other thing.

Our conference meet took place over two days, a week apart.  On the first day, I ran the 4×800 and 3200; a week later, I ran the 1600.

Conference day 1: Our main goal for the 4×8 was simply to qualify for regionals, but we also wanted to win.  I was running the anchor leg.

2:26 first leg, 2:25 second leg, 2:26 third leg.  I got the baton in second place by about four seconds, and my leg was pretty rough, even from the beginning. On the last lap, I finally made contact with the team in first but tied up really badly on the home stretch.  I ended up with a 2:25 split.  We finished second in 9:42, though!  Sooo close to the 9:40 state auto!!  (The first place team ran 9:41, so they missed it too.)

After the race, my entire body just felt awful.  My coach wouldn’t consider scratching me as an option even after watching me practically throw up and pass out on the ground, so I finally accepted that I would have to die run the two mile.  Coach told my teammate and me to focus solely on nabbing a regional qualifying spot (top 6).  I decided to go out conservatively and hope to out-kick whoever was in sixth.

I technically executed that plan perfectly by staying behind- and stepping on- the sixth place girl until there were 300 meters left in the race… I kicked really hard and ran my last 400 in an 81!  That’s something to be proud of considering how terrible I was feeling before the race.

I finished 6th in 11:40 and qualified for regionals.  However, I still feel really bad about how I literally used and abused the girl :/

Conference day 2, a week later: All I had to run on Thursday was the 1600.  I was seeded third with a 5:20, and the first place girl was seeded at a 5:17.  My plan was to stick with her and try to PR and/or win.

Unfortunately, she went ham in the first 800!!  Our first lap was a 35, and her 400 meter split was a 73.  I don’t think I’ve ever gone out faster than a 78 in a mile… I gave my coach the “oh, craaap” face as we came through, and he mirrored my expression.  The girl in first maintained a few seconds over the rest of us, so I ran most of the race by myself in second.

The only picture I could find from the race... ignore the fact that I look like death warmed over

The only picture I could find from the race… ignore the fact that I look like death warmed over

By 1000 meters, my lungs were on fire, but I pushed through.  With 200 meters to go, I had nothing left to kick with, but I finished the race in second place with a time of 5:19.05.  That’s less than a second away from my PR, and it’s a season best and only the third time I’ve run in the 5:teens, so I suppose I’ll take it.  The girl who won didn’t run her second half any faster than I did!

After the race, two of my coaches ended up carrying me off the track because my legs just would not function.  I don’t know what’s wrong with me!  This is happening far too often!!

Three weeks until regionals!  I aqua jogged today instead of running because my foot has been bothering me.

And now for the other news…..

I GOT INTO COLLEGE!!!

…That is all.

🙂

Christmas, food poisoning, and races

Happy day-after-day-after-day-after-Christmas!  I have two races and a weird, challenging week to report on.

Our county was the only county in the state to have school on Monday and Tuesday, so that was fun.  My former teammate, home from college, hosted her annual holiday cookie party on Tuesday night, and I went home stuffed with sugar and glee.  (That was super cheesy.)

On Christmas Eve day, I woke up feeling extremely weak and terrible.  It felt like I’d scaled Mount Whitney with the flu; my joints felt achy, I was close to collapsing, and all I wanted to do was sleep.  We realized it was probably food poisoning, so I skipped that day’s workout and mostly stayed in bed.  I did drag myself to church for the first time in forever, and we also took part in our yearly tradition of make-your-own pizza for Christmas Eve dinner.

Christmas Day was a bit better, and it was fun opening presents and eating a great breakfast.  We gorged ourselves on the typical Christmas/Thanksgiving spread: turkey, cranberry sauce, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, sweet potato and apple casserole, broccoli, apple crisp, whipped cream, and flourless chocolate torte.

The indoor track gods decreed we had a race (in my case, the 4×800 and the 1600) on the 27th.  We woke up at 6:30 a.m. and got to the race venue around 8:15.  The 4×800 was weird; our coach wasn’t there, so the jumps/hurdles coach was in charge of getting us our baton and bibs.  HE DIDN’T DO THAT UNTIL LITERALLY TWO MINUTES BEFORE THE RACE.  We were all very stressed and anxious, which wasn’t the best race situation.

Our first leg didn’t run very fast for some reason, and our second leg ran about the same.  We were supposed to be winning, but at that point we were probably in eighth in a not-very-great field.  Our third leg ran solidly to put us in second, and I ran the anchor to keep us in second.  I hadn’t done anything more than light jogging in several days, so the 800 made my legs feel absolutely awful.  Our time was terrible, but that’s okay; at least we got a medal. 😉

Super attractive relay finish

Super attractive finish

My race buddy and I had about three hours until the mile, so we walked around, listened to music, ate applesauce and bananas, and talked to the jumps coach until they called us.  We were both in the fastest heat; I was seeded fourth so I was in the alley.  The race official boomed, “Runners: take your mark!” and then there was such a long pause in between that and the gun that I actually fell over.  The race video is hilarious.

Smiling because I'm a klutz

I’m smiling because I’d just fallen over (I’m #4)

The race went out aggressively, so I started out around 10th.  It was very much a bloodbath; girls were tripping over each other and spiking each other.  I held my ground and gradually moved up until I was in fourth, which is where I stayed for the rest of the race.  I finished in 5:26, which I am happy with.  That’s a conference qualifying time and a great starting place.  Considering my recent lack of conditioning, the times I ran were satisfying.

k-4Takeaways from the race:

  • I can hold my ground when I haven’t done any hard work in a couple weeks.
  • Lack of speedwork = lack of a kick.  I need to work on my turnover and power at the end.

I spent all morning cleaning out my closet, dresser, drawers, etc.  I like to do a vigorous New Year’s cleaning to start the New Year off on the right off (so cliche, I know).  My room isn’t finished, but it’s time to finish some college apps!